Need some diagnostic help, please - Toilet drain issue

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Old 07-10-19, 07:05 AM
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Need some diagnostic help, please - Toilet drain issue

Toilet is slow and gurgling. I've done the following:
1. Toilet auger. No clog found
2. Hose-powered bladder inserted into DWV. Water ran with no backup. No change.
3. Copper Sulfate treatment several weeks ago. Drain still slow.

The problem seems isolated to toilet. No backups or issues in tub or sink, washing machine drains fine, so it doesn't seem to be a clog in main line. I assumed it was roots in the toilet trunk, but the copper sulfate didn't seem to help.

I'm considering renting an auger, and removing the toilet to snake, but want to make certain that is where the problem lies. My flange was in pretty bad shape when I replaced the toilet a few years back, so I'm hoping to avoid messing with that unless I have to.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions!
 
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Old 07-10-19, 03:39 PM
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If you have the toilet off and can pour a 5 gallon bucket of water down the drain without experiencing any slow draining problems, then the problem is likely and old corroded toilet that needs to be replaced.
 
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Old 07-10-19, 04:03 PM
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As I said, I'm holding off removing the toilet, until I can determine where the issue might be. The toilet is less than 10 years old, and the toilet auger passed through with no problem.
 
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Old 07-10-19, 04:09 PM
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Well it takes about 5 minutes to remove a toilet, and 5 more minutes to put it back on.... and it's easier to snake with the toilet removed. But if you haven't removed the toilet yet, try pouring the 5 gallon bucket into the toilet and see if it will handle it if you pour it in quickly. It should. If it doesn't, remove the toilet and try pouring it right down the flange. If it still backs up or is slow you've got some snaking to do. (With toilet off!)
 
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Old 07-10-19, 04:13 PM
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Get a bucket with 2 or 3 gallons of water and quickly pour it into the center of the toilet bowl. If it causes the toilet to flush well then you have a problem with toilet like holes under the rim clogged or the passage between tank and bowl clogged. If the bucket test backs up and doesn't cause a good flush then the problem is probably a clog somewhere.

You can remove the toilet and take it outside and set it on some bricks so the drain opening is clear. Do the bucket test again. If the toilet flushes and the water flows through freely then the toilet is OK and you know the problem is in the drain line of the house somewhere. In that case I would auger the drain line starting at the toilet flange.

Copper sulfate is more a preventive or slow curative treatment for roots in a drain line. It doesn't clear clogs. It only poisons roots that have grown into your drain line and kills them. It doesn't remove the roots or clog, it just kills the roots. But, if you are using it then you have a problem with your main drain line. Copper sulfate is only a temporary Band-Aid fix for a broken drain line with tree roots. The fix is to have it lined or replaced.
 
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Old 07-10-19, 04:35 PM
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Thanks, xsleeper. It's not the removal/replacement that concerns me. It's repairing or replacing the flange on the cast iron pipe that might be necessary. I've poured a gallon or two of water into the bowl, and it drains right down.
 
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Old 07-10-19, 04:48 PM
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Thank you, Pilot Dane. I poured a gallon of water in and it drained right down, no problem, which is weird, because when I flush, it doesn't drain completely. Tried again with 5 gallons, and it backed up a little. I can hear the water gurgling down at the base, so it seems like something (roots maybe?) might be in the pipe. Tank drains into bowl fine, and holes under rim are clear. The reason I tried the copper sulfate is because, while replacing the toilet years ago, I found some roots down in the pipe. I removed what I could and used the copper sulfate to kill the rest. Figured it was worth another try. Looks like I'll be yanking the toilet up and renting a good auger.
 
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Old 07-11-19, 04:34 AM
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Why do you think you need to repair or replace the toilet flange?

How close is your toilet to the main line running out of the house if you saw roots when you pulled the toilet? Either way you need to fix your drain line.
 
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Old 07-11-19, 06:30 AM
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The flange was in pretty bad shape when I replaced the toilet years ago. I remember figuring that if I ever had to pull the toilet again, I'd probably wind up needing to replace the flange.

I have no idea where the main line is located, unfortunately. Seems like whatever the trouble is, it's isolated to the pipe leading from the toilet to the main. I was considering experimenting with my sink auger down the DWV, just to see if there's anything I can dislodge there, but worry that it might get jammed up and stuck.
 
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Old 07-11-19, 03:00 PM
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Trying to upload photo of the flange from when I replaced toilet. Hope it works. https://www.dropbox.com/s/hcjw5ft021...naked.jpg?dl=0
 
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Old 07-11-19, 03:41 PM
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It may be old but as long as it doesn't leak, the floor isn't rotten, and your bolts aren't stripped, I don't see anything wrong with continuing to use it. Flanges don't usually just go bad unless someone breaks them.
 
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Old 07-11-19, 05:49 PM
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Your toilet flange picture shows tree roots. Did you ever use bigger snake or did you just use that small snake?
You probably have a large ball of tree roots in your drain line.

Copper sulfate may kill the tree root, but it may not be able to remove thick tree root.
Once you have tree root in your drain, only sure way to fix is to replace the line.
 
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