Toilet won't flush; Maybe affecting sink/tub

bassoonicmayhemNovember 21, 2012

I'm having a plumbing issue. I'd like to know if it sounds like this is something I'll be able fix, or if my family will need to contact our rental agency so that we can be referred a plumber. I've tried looking up a solution online, but maybe I'm not wording my problem right, I'm not sure.

My brother has always a tendency of using more than his share of the toilet paper roll, if you know what I mean. But recently, the toilet I share with him has had a difficult time flushing at all. When he ends up clogging the toilet now, plunging it does absolutely nothing. Instead, a gargling sound can be heard in the his/her sinks. Most concerning of all now, that sound can be heard in the bathtub's drain as well.

Right now, the toilet won't flush completely. It will drain to what 'looks' normal, but as soon as you flush it fills up to the rim of the toilet bowl and sits there for at least twenty minutes, draining painfully slow. I don't know if it's because my brother used too much paper or if it's because of the house itself. Like I mentioned before, we are renting this house and it's at least thirty five years old.

I'd be really grateful if someone could give me an answer. I've never lived in a house where a gargling sound comes from the sinks and tub drain when you try plunging the toilet and I've lived in about twelve different homes. Maybe it's because its an 'older' home, but it sounds odd to me.

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It sounds like the drain needs to be snaked out to remove a partial blockage. This is usually the owner's responsibility to have done, not the renter.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Agree with Randy.

It is possible a previous renter had a child that put something they shouldn't have down the trap. And, your brother's problem, or not, may have just brought this more to light... like a plunging may have changed the position of the stuck object (turning it) in such a way as to block the plumbing more.

A plumber (called into play by the owner/manager) would be able to remove the object (maybe with a snake, or maybe by removing the toilet and inspecting drain, etc...)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Okay. Thank you for your information. I was able to get the toilet to flush while I was cleaning the kitchen that night. Somehow when I used the garbage disposal my brother said he heard the toilet making noises and he tried flushing it and it was back to normal. Currently, both toilets now make a gargling noise whenever someone uses either shower. The plumbing of this house has me concerned, but hopefully it's nothing to major. We will contact the management company see that this issue is resolved. Thank you again for all of your information.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:18PM
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I can only offer a little practical advice for preventing future problems: get some moist wipes. They are surprisingly efficient and the volume of paper good you need to flush should be significantly less. Plus it's much more comfortable than many dry swipes!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Moist wipes have to be the worst invention for the sewer and plumbing systems ever invented! I've had several friends with costly plumber's bills after using those. Be forewarned. (they don't disintegrate like paper and really clog things up).

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:34PM
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A gurgling sound downstream is indicative of a partial blockage, and tree roots are the worst offenders. Said excessive use of toilet paper (and especially moist towlettes!) exacerbates the situation.

Depending upon the age of the house, you may have cast iron pipe or PVC drain lines. Though PVC is much less susceptible to root invasion, it still can happen.

Whenever I hear the tub making noise, I know it's time to snake the main drain - and they ain't even my trees....

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Gurgling sounds often indicate blocked vents. A backed-up drain can push debris into the vent and since the vent has no water flow through it, the debris may remain and inhibit movement of air through the vent. Vents (and drains) can be snaked from the roof. But it is not fun.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:03PM
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