Intermittant Toilet Backups


Old 05-23-03, 09:18 PM
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Intermittant Toilet Backups

Despite all attempted remedies, plunging, snaking, chemical buildup removers, checking and clearing the drain vents,removing the toilet and replacing the wax ring to insure a good seal, my toilet continues to back up intermittantly without apparent cause or explanation. In just the last few days we noticed that there may be a leak in the main drain line running through the basement ceiling from the bath and kitchen to the main sewer line. We have cast iron drain lines, about 30 years old, held together with rubber fittings and pressure clamps. We have noticed small rusty areas on the drain line and some damp spots. Could pinhole size holes in this line be letting air into the drain line and causing a "vapor lock" that is making my toilet back up? We are sure there is no other sort of obstruction.
Old 05-25-03, 08:25 AM
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Location: Kansas City MO
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No to the vapor lock.

Cast iron will eventually develop leaks but it takes a long time.

Let's talk about the toilet. It works by a siphon action. To see if you have a drain problem or a toilet problem is real simple. Pour a 5 gallon bucket of water down the toilet and see the results. If it just goes right down and flushes out as a normal toilet would do, you have no drain problem but a toilet problem.

If the problem is the toilet, you need a coat hanger and a gallon of vinegar or very weak muratic acid. You need to clean out all the holes under the rim of the toilet and the siphon hole on the bottom of the toilet, under the water level. Turn the water off to the toilet and flush as much of it out as you can, from the tank. Pour the acid solution directly down the flapper hole and let the acid work for a hour or longer. Refill toilet by turning water on after time is up and flush out acid a couple of times.
If you have ever used the little blue toilet tablets in the toilet tank, you will find chunks of these in the holes.

Hope this helps you out and good luck with your commode.

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