Toilet wax ring catching toilet paper

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  #1  
Old 08-04-17, 06:53 AM
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Toilet wax ring catching toilet paper

First, a question about toilet design. Why is there those 'S' curves after the trap and before the exit port? Other than to slow flow down, which doesn't make sense, I don't see a need for it unless it is structural.

Now, the real problem. It appears that due to the mounting base plate not being level, (I inherited that) the wax gets compressed into the waste flow opening somewhat causing toilet paper to adhere.

This requires a regular plunge job which is ridiculous. If toilet paper is not used, no problem. Even small amounts over a few days will build up enough blockage that the bowl doesn't flush thru.

I planned on 'trimming' what appears to be the excess away even thou it doesn't seem to look like a problem. Note the right side on the last image.

This is a new wax ring, the original was replaced, but the replacement has change nothing. It still gets partly plugged.

I did snake the toilet (when removed) from the bottom up, but nothing was stuck in that passage way. Before I shave that little wax, I wanted to get opinions as this doesn't make sense.

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Last edited by PJmax; 08-04-17 at 09:08 PM. Reason: reoriented picture
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  #2  
Old 08-04-17, 07:07 AM
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The builtin trap can be a life safer. There is less chance that there will be a clog in a more remote place. There are ways to level the toilet, if that's the problem. Finally, don't use Charmin. It clogs the pipes.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 10:30 AM
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The clog is NOT in a remote place. The drain goes right into the vertical drain from the upper bathroom and there is no problem there, nor is there a problem downstream out to the street.

The path: 18" down to a 90, 18" horizontally to a 'T' then 6' down to a 90 (I believe) out to the street. That 3' I have snaked twice from the 'T'. These are all cast iron pipes, the house is 100 years old.

Beside, plunging surely isn't going to unclog a plugged drain that uses a 4" drain pipe 10' or more away.

BTW, correct on Charmin , never used the stuff!
 
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Old 08-04-17, 10:46 AM
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I don't see anything abnormal in either the "horn" on the toilet outlet or in the wax seal on the floor flange. If you have a problem within the trap itself you will likely need a new toilet. Using a regular snake on a toilet often shows no blockage so the next question is, are you using a snake or a "closet auger" to try to clear the blockage.

Silly little things like pocket combs, toothbrushes and the worst, children's toys CAN be lodged in the trapway and still show no resistance to a standard snake. Sometimes there is NO way to remove the offending item but to use a sledge hammer on the toilet.

If you still feel it is the wax ring you could try a foam rubber gasket like a Sani-Seal.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 10:51 AM
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You can not re-use a wax ring, so shaving will not solve anything. The main opening in the neoprene ring is still fully open so and the shape of the exit port on the toilet will prevent wax from blocking the flow. Your search would lead to another reason for the blockage. Use a mirror an examine the water exit holes located underneath the rim of the bowl and see if there is some blockage that prevents full flow of water into the bowl. How old is the toilet? High flush or low flush? Many early low flush toilets had issues with consistent flushing especially when going #2.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 03:48 PM
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I was aware of the possibility of something getting stuck in that passive way inside to toilet which is why I used a regular steel snake (which I had) from the reverse route since I didn't want to force that thru the top, scratching the porcelain. Nothing came out, nor did I detect anything in that passageway. The tip did make it thru to the visible (from the top) portion so I know it traveled the entire route.

The water flow from the ring above & around the bowl is good. Good water flow. The toilet was replaced around 10 or so years ago. It's basically the same model as the one in our upper flat.

I agree that it looks 'good', but I can't fathom how it can be anything else.

Let me add, long before I decided to remove the toilet and replace the ring, I snaked up from the basement thru an access hole in the vertical pipe where the lower drain T'ed into that pipe. Again, the travel distance was 3'-4'. The tip did pickup some of the wax ring which I why I figured that was the problem.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 03:51 PM
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Would someone answer this?;

First, a question about toilet design. Why is there those 'S' curves after the trap and before the exit port? Other than to slow flow down, which doesn't make sense, I don't see a need for it unless it is structural
 
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Old 08-04-17, 04:37 PM
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To verify there is no blockage in the toilet, do the following. Place a length of construction string (long enough to extend beyond the exit) in the toilet bowl and flush. Remove the toilet. Attach a cloth bag (filled with compressible material such as plastic shopping bags or tennis ball or etc.) at the exit. Using the string on the bowl side, pull the bag through the toilet. This should free any lodged items in the water path.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 04:54 PM
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I used a regular steel snake (which I had) from the reverse route since I didn't want to force that thru the top, scratching the porcelain. Nothing came out, nor did I detect anything in that passageway. The tip did make it thru to the visible (from the top) portion so I know it traveled the entire route.
This does NOT mean there is nothing in the trapway that can catch toilet paper or "other" material. A standard snake can easily pass by many objects that will snag the paper or other.

As for the curves cast in the china...how else are you going to have a proper trap and still connect to the bowl proper and the outlet?
 
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Old 08-04-17, 09:11 PM
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I'm curious.... what is that little angle piece connecting the bottom of the bowl to the drain opening ? It looks like it could clog easily.
 
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Old 08-05-17, 05:09 AM
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Would someone answer this?
I answered that but you misunderstood my answer or I wasn't clear. My answer was:

There is less chance that there will be a clog in a more remote place.
I should have said that it can prevent a clog from occurring in a remote place. Then you said:

The clog is NOT in a remote place.
Which I understood but I let it go.
 
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Old 08-05-17, 05:16 AM
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Siphon toilets work on the principle of differential pressure when flushed. When idle, there is atmospheric pressure on the water in the bowl and at the exit of the toilet which is connected to the drain/vent pipe. When flushed the additional pressure of the added water causes the water to rise over the S trap of the toilet. Since the exit of the toilet is still at atmospheric pressure, this allows the higher pressure water in the bowl to be siphoned out until the water level in the S trap lowers to allow atmospheric pressure air back into the bowl from the drain/vent pipe. The water level in the bowl will rise until the pressure in the bowl equals the pressure in the drain/vent pipe. Make sure the water level in the tank is set correctly. Hope this helps.
 
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Old 08-05-17, 09:32 AM
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beelzebob; Interesting, thanks.

ShortyLong;
I saw that, but I didn't know/recognize the term "builtin" referring to the 1st bend in the waste flow. But, were you referring to the reservoir (if that is the correct term) which I assumed is the trap, are were you referring to those S's?
Sorry for the layman's terms.

See attachment if I understood that correctly

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Last edited by videobruce; 08-05-17 at 09:48 AM.
  #14  
Old 08-05-17, 10:48 AM
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Been a plumber 30 years..

The issue is the toilet is always clogging on you?

I've had some instances of things getting in toilets that could not be removed with the hand auger. I once took the toilet outside and smashed it with a hammer to find a baby rattle at the top of the S trap. Wedged in there..

A simple paper test confirmed and my suspicions were right.

Other times removing the toiler found vases, combs, brushes, etc all at the horn outlet and not able to get out.

How to know?

Clear toilet with auger. Flushes good. Now throw several rolled up wads of paper in the toilet and flush. If it clogs immediately there is something in there then.

Also toilet looks like 2011 stamped on bottom, so I dont think it would have a calcium issue.
 
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Old 08-05-17, 04:04 PM
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Follow whatever Lawrosa says. He has more experience than I do & he can correct the terminology as well.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 05:47 AM
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The toilet is around 15 years old. The problem started many years ago, but the frequency kept getting closer together. Same tenant, my mother, who was 78 when she moved in.

I'm surprised no one suggested an inspection camera. I have wanted to get a shorter sewer inspection camera (50') for a separate possible issue, not related to this, but the reviews of the under $1,000 models aren't that good.

Those 18" under $100 would probably work, but are so limited in their use. Before I go thru the hassle of re-installing the toilet and probably removing it again, would one of those dryer vent cleaning brushes be stiff enough to dislodge what maybe in there? There is no hurry to get this back since the flat is vacant.

I'll post back as it does seem this is where the problem is since it's the only thing that makes sense.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 05:52 AM
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FYI, attached are shots of the drain from the basement. The pipe on the left is the lower toilet only. The sink & tub are separate. The 'stack' goes the upper toilet, tub and sink and roof vent.
That lead drain pipe off of the lower toilet drain pipe in the 1st pic that buried between the floor boards was for the original tub which was long gone.

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Old 08-06-17, 06:12 AM
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If the toilet is still out, turn it upside down and give it a shake. My wife accidentally flushed a small flashlight down the toilet shortly after a power outage. She stood to wash her hands and opps, down went the flashlight as the toilet was flushing - no time to grab it. I removed the toilet, turned it upside down and shook it until the flashlight found its way out. Worth a try as it is already loose.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 07:11 AM
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I did try, but after snaking it twice, something like that I'm sure would of at least loosened up enough I would of heard or felt something. The only thing I heard was the float valve & chain. I would think a small comb or similar. I was even thinking the cardboard 'roll' from a roll of toilet paper, but one would think that would of dissolved after time.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 10:08 AM
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Toilet paper test as I stated. Throw some toilet paper in there and flush. If it clogs immediately there is something in there.

Now dont throw in as much as this guy but do wad up 7 or so crumples of TP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcmiWxCu8So
 
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Old 08-06-17, 02:38 PM
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lawrosa, I pickup up an inspection cameras from Harbor Freight. Thou not the greatest, I snaked the camera head from the bottom up and from the top down and found nothing but calcium deposits.

Problem is when using those cameras in pipes or ductwork, it's hard, if not impossible to tell which side is up or any direction for that matter unless it's a horizontal run with water or sludge in it. It appeared and I assume the buildup was at the 'crest' of the trap before it drops down into those 'S' curves causing toilet paper to 'stick' due to the rough surface.

If the above is a correct assumption, would the lack of use, or more importantly the lack of flushing everytime the toilet was used make this worse? Both toilets were replaced within a year of one another.

The pen was for size/amount perspective (no, it wasn't stuck in the toilet ( ).
 
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Old 08-07-17, 08:31 AM
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I did a search, but all the solutions I found for calcium were for the visible area which isn't a problem.
Other than pouring vinegar, baking soda or finally muriatic acid as a last resort (or similar), is there anything that I could pour down the opening while it is reomoved to coat the surfaces that are not glazed?
 
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Old 08-07-17, 11:35 AM
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Clear the holes around the rim with a coat hanger. If that does not improve the flush I would replace the toilet with something with a fully glazed trap way.

Like the american standard champion 4 toilet.

I dont think the unglazed potion is your issue. I think the holes around rim need to be reamed out and possibly raise the water level to the max in the tank. ( usually up to the overfill tube top..)
 
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Old 08-08-17, 04:49 AM
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Ok, I will check those. I do see some 'crud' around them as I will clean that up. I do have the water level raised, I did that from day one. I have the flapper set to drop earlier. I'm sure it's more than the 1.3 gallons, but hopefully not too much more.

The flat will probably go vacant for the near future. Is it better if less or no water is in the reservoir?
 
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Old 08-08-17, 10:31 AM
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I have the flapper set to drop earlier. I'm sure it's more than the 1.3 gallons, but hopefully not too much more.
The flapper on toilets should be set to close when the water in the bowl goes all the way down. Or completes the flush. Only then the flapper should close.
 
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Old 08-08-17, 10:49 AM
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Correct, but with the higher float level, it defeats the 'water saving' feature. And the upper toilet is set the same way. I will measure the height of the full & empty levels after I clean out those ports and re-install the toilet.

Our water rates are terrible here.
 
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Old 08-17-17, 02:03 PM
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I'm trying to remember exactly when 6 liter flush toilets were mandated, but it seems like more than 15 years ago. When that happened it caught the mfg's off-guard, and some of the toilets from that era were flat out terrible. When you sold one of those toilet you may as well have included a plunger.

If this toilet is from that time, it's just poor design, and you would be well-advised to replace it. It looks like you're spending so much time trying to fix it anyway that replacement might be the better option. Set it & forget it.
 
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Old 08-17-17, 02:37 PM
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Time spent was troubleshooting and a learning process. Can't fix a possible bad design.

That Cadet toilet was purchased 10/02, the other toilet was around a year sooner with no issue. Judging by the calcium I got out of it, and the lack of regular flushing (based on the visible 'film' in the reservoir, I'm betting that was the issue.

It's back in, I ran vinegar thru it and poured some into the reservoir after a flush since it will go unused for a undetermined time.
 
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