What's the 5gal bucket test prove??

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Old 03-20-06, 04:49 PM
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What's the 5gal bucket test prove??

I posted in the wrong section yesterday, but after reading through this forum i decided to try the 5 gal bucket test, did it twice back to back, water went down perfectly. Not sure what i proved with that except that there is not an actual clogged pipe? Anyways, here is my original post. I blew out two of three stack vents with the hose tonite, but the roof was cold, damp, and steep so i did not attempt the 3rd...

For about the past week or two i have noticed that none of my toilets flush correctly the first time (after a few hours of no use), basically the water swirls up and the level rises but it never gulps, the second time around always works perfectly. I had no issues today running the dishwasher, shower, and several laundry loads at the same time. Septic was cleaned and a new pit(?) set up in 2001. I put some Rid-x in Friday night. I want to think that there maybe a clog but it seems to me like it would flush the first time but not the second. Ideas? We have had a bunch of rain over the past few months, not sure if that would cause this or not. Should i try acid or is that going to cause problems?
 
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Old 03-20-06, 08:06 PM
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Have you looked inside the tank(s). Take the lid off and watch the flapper when you flush. It may be short cycling. Odd that it would happen to more than one toilet at a time though. If you flush and the flapper reseats before the tank empties, you need to adjust the chains. The flapper should rise and stay up until the tank empties. You may want to take a mirror and check under the rim of the bowl also. The holes that the water comes out of get clogged with mineral deposits occasionally. You can unplug them with a metal coathanger. If it is heavy, you can pour something like CLR down through the flapper opening after shutting off the water supply valve and flushing. Let it sit in the rim for a while and then turn the valve back on.
I am hesitant to recommend using acid especially with a septic system. Also, you need plenty of ventilation when using acid. Try what I have mentioned and let us know. Good luck.
 
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Old 03-20-06, 08:16 PM
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yeah, i did check the flapper on one of them earlier (i replaced all of them about 4 months ago), it appears to be staying afloat, it also does not matter if i hold the handle down for the entire cylce. One thing i did notice is that the jet in the front of the one toilet will blow out two air bulbs when you first flush it. The second time around it will not do that and will flush successfully. I'll try cleaning it, but the water fills the bowl quickly so i wouldn't think that it is a problem.

You know, i did buy one of those "neighborhood packs" of the blue tablet things from Costco right around the time this problem started, i found it kind of odd that these were two pieces, one is a blue pill and the other appears to be a chlorine tablet. I wonder if this may be causing the holes to clog like you are talking about.
 
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Old 03-20-06, 08:36 PM
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If you have had a lot of rain and the water table has risen into drain fields, this can create problems. Water should not stand on drain fields for several hours after a heavy rain.

Avoid the use of drop in cleaners in tanks. They will clog the little holes under rim where water comes in.
 
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Old 03-20-06, 09:17 PM
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Bleach tablets in the tank will ruin the rubber and hence the seal on your flapper valve - they should not be used.
 
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Old 03-21-06, 07:15 AM
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unfreakin believable. The problem was the blue tab, it had expanded into a large formation in the side of the tank, after sitting for a while if the flapper was opened a decent size chunk of it (probably 3/4 x 3/4 inch) would separate and go down the pipe. This explains why the second flush always blew out little blue chunks. Anyways i cleaned the tabs out of one of the tanks last night and it appears to be perfect thus far.

I appreciate all the help on this one.. this saved me from both renting an auger and falling off my roof
 
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