School me on Plumbing Snakes? Or better? (1 Viewer)

e9999

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One of my toilets is acting up. Well, actually it's not acting down... Anyway, flushing action is a bit sluggish. I'll spare you the gory details.

The rare few times it happened before, that got resolved with a bit of energetic plunger action but not this time. Not really plugged but close to.

I may need to get a snake in there. I mean the spinning cable affair you feed in.

So, what should I get for -hopefully- infrequent use by a homeowner?

I'd rather buy my own tools than hire somebody. Plus it may come in handy for sinks and what not.

Toilet is on the second floor. No idea where the pipe accesses are.

What worries me a bit is that other toilets in the house seem a bit slow too, although that could be my imagination. If true, though, that might mean a pluggage way down there?

I could remove the toilet and access the pipe from the top, but may not be worth the trouble if a snake will do it easily.

I hear that an M80 will do the trick too :D but I hear you can't have those any more... :frown:


So, what do I get?
 
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If other toilets and/or drains are draining slowly, you most likely have a clog/crap buildup/roots in the main sewer from house to the street. You'll need a big/long snake for this one.
 

John Smith

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Start with a powered hand snake from a rental place. You could also buy a water bladder drain clearing device. Make sure you buy the proper size for the pipe and use a vacuum breaker on the garden hose. If that won't clear it... Rent a rooter machine and clear it yourself, or hire someone. According to my plumber buddy, most drain blockages are tampons, tree roots, or grease. If there are young children in the house, all bets are off; there is no telling what they may have flushed.

It's a s***ty job, no pun intended. If you have a low sewage threshold, you may want to pay the $350 plus and let someone else clear the clog.
 

e9999

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the thing is that if it is a main line pluggage under ground and the second story toilet is not flushing right, would that not imply that the 4" line from second floor toilet to underground stoppage is full of water, which in turn would make the first floor toilet a geyzer? Which thankfully I don't see.
To me that would suggest that the stoppage is more likely local to the second floor toilet, my imagination be damned, no?

Rent a powered one...? mmm... Home improvement Tim's style? SBC V8? Yea! :D

the closet augers are not too expensive. Maybe start with that? Or does a much longer snake work equally well for toilets while being more versatile?
 
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If you have kids pull the toilet. Bob the builder cost me $150 to get pulled out of the toilet. The rookie plumber snaked from one toilet, and bored a hole through the other toilet.(what a mess)
 

Trollhole

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closet auger.

sometimes a slow drain can be from plunging a clog and getting stuff up the little flow hole at the bottom of the toilet. Sometimes flushing will unclog it. My favorite method is using a coat hanger. When you flush the bowl fills up but will eventually drain normally after it fills up more than usual is a sign of this problem.

I worked for an apartment complex for 4 years. I'm seen all kinds of crap that goes on in toilets. Kids toys are the worst. Once we had a new complex that 4 apartments would back up every couple months or so. No matter what we snaked nothing fixed it. Finally got a camera down in the line. Found out someone had dumped a flattened coke can down the pipe when the building was being built. Actaed like a flapper at one of the Y connections. That cost a whole wad of cash.
 

e9999

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If you have kids pull the toilet. Bob the builder cost me $150 to get pulled out of the toilet. The rookie plumber snaked from one toilet, and bored a hole through the other toilet.(what a mess)

hopefully no kid toy as the kids are older but who knows... teenagers.... and don't get me started about girls with long hair and drains...


closet auger.

sometimes a slow drain can be from plunging a clog and getting stuff up the little flow hole at the bottom of the toilet. Sometimes flushing will unclog it. My favorite method is using a coat hanger. When you flush the bowl fills up but will eventually drain normally after it fills up more than usual is a sign of this problem.

I worked for an apartment complex for 4 years. I'm seen all kinds of crap that goes on in toilets. Kids toys are the worst. Once we had a new complex that 4 apartments would back up every couple months or so. No matter what we snaked nothing fixed it. Finally got a camera down in the line. Found out someone had dumped a flattened coke can down the pipe when the building was being built. Actaed like a flapper at one of the Y connections. That cost a whole wad of cash.
interesting, the influx hole, eh? might check that but seems to flow well enough.
 
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Free advice is worth what you pay, right?:

Inexpensive 6' closet auger first; if that doesn't do it then pull the toilet and make sure nothing is stuck in it.

If nothing was in the actual toilet, rent an electric auger and go at the drain pipe with the toilet still off. If there is a block in the vertical down from the second floor you should be able to tell. You may be able to clear it if there is a block or you may be able to pull it up with the auger's retrieval attachment.

If those steps don't work, call the plumber.

Plumbing repair/cleaning sucks ass and knowing a decent guy to call is worth it when you really need it. The highest fees are charged by crooks but also by just about anyone who is asked to respond in an "emergency" time frame. Waiting for a decent plumber is better if you can wait.

Decent = highly experienced and reasonably priced but not the cheapest. Old school dudes know their "s***" on blockages.
 
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If it's a second floor toilet then the clog is in the toilet. A plugged main line usually won't affect a second floor toilet because it will just flush out a 1st floor toilet.

2x on the closet auger.
 
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some times s*** builds up around the pipe under the toilet ,a snake wont fix it you have t take the toilet off and use one a big spoon or some other kitchen utensil to remove the stuff.gross and smelly .dont put the spoon back in the drawer.!!!
 

e9999

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some times s*** builds up around the pipe under the toilet ,a snake wont fix it you have t take the toilet off and use one a big spoon or some other kitchen utensil to remove the stuff.gross and smelly .dont put the spoon back in the drawer.!!!

even if she didn't see me use it? :confused::hmm:





:D
 
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age of the kids do not exempt you from pulling the hopper. females get worse as they get older. used to rent apts to college aged kids, they'd try to flush anything that's marked "disposable". males would say that they are sorry..females just look at you like you are the clueless one in the room. go ahead and pull the toilet. rent t a good snake and snake the pipe after you clear the obstruction..it'll be good experence and you'll never want to own a snake that's been used..trust me on this one
 
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Eric, so what was the issue? How did you get it fixed? I had the exact same issue in my 2nd story bath. I used a simple 6' hand crank snake. There was "crap" and paper built up just below where the pipe leaves the toilet bottom. It did not clear up easy. Took me about 20-30 mins of using the snake in/out/in/out etc. Nasty job to say the least. Since then I have had no issues. For me it was local to that toilet only.
 

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