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Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: Wailer
Date: March 04, 2008 01:35PM
I'm having some plumbing issues with one of my toilets. The house was remodeled (with permits) recently and I want to make sure it was done correctly.

All other toilets/drains work fine, so I'm pretty sure it's a clog isolated between the problem- toilet and the "main" sewer of my house. I can't tell if there is a vent for this toilet.

Unfortunately there is no cleanout, so I'll need to remove the toilet to rooter it. Before I do that, I want to make sure it isn't a problem with venting. Does each toilets need a vent or does the house just need 1 vent?

Thanks!

Brief description of problem: I can get 4 or 5 flushes before the toilet no longer flushes. On the last flush, the bowl fills but the water drains slowly until the bowl is empty. I believe this indicates water remains in the siphon ie a clog. I used a cheap hand snake and went 25 feet. I pulled a bit of stuff out, but I think I might have pushed whatever was blocking deeper so I'm going to rent a 50-foot electric rooter. I've got a feeling someone threw a baby wipe or paper towel down there.
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: March 04, 2008 01:37PM
Each one needs to be vented, or at least connected to a working vent...



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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: Acer
Date: March 04, 2008 01:40PM
Or within a certain distance of the main stack, per code.
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: billb
Date: March 04, 2008 01:52PM
each toilet has to have a vent but, they can be shared vertically or back-to back.
There's a cumulitive load to the number of drains / vent so you may have one or more vertcle penetrations on your roof.

google: DWV systems for lots of typical schematics.
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: papercup
Date: March 04, 2008 01:58PM
Hand-held snakes are really useless for most clogs.

A 100" power auger is probably needed, with a cutter-head for possible roots outside the foundation ( a lot of assumptions being made here)

You can rent one, but its a messy job, as you can imagine.

A birds-nest/dead squirrel in the vent stack could slow drainage, too. As could a full septic if you have a septic tank.
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: March 04, 2008 02:19PM
A Chicken in Every Pot.


A Vent in Every Toilet.. !
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 04, 2008 02:27PM
what papercup said. Pulling the porcelain is a good start- a power snake is gonna beat that to death. There *is* probably a main sewer line cleanout in your basement / crawl space, but you do NOT want to open that up without something big to catch the gunk. And a fan. And noseplugs.
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: Cary
Date: March 04, 2008 03:11PM
If all the other toilets drain OK, the problem is in that specific toilet's branch, not in the main drain.

I think you've got the right plan - pull the toilet, snake it out in both directions (drain and vent). Don't forget to buy a new wax ring (I like the type with the plastic "shoe/funnel") and new bolts...

Cary
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: Wailer
Date: March 04, 2008 04:31PM
Thanks for the suggestions folks.

I'm fairly confident this is an isolated clog in the sewer line that connects this toilet to the "main". When the line is backed up, no other lines in the house affect the hydraulic head or appear to be clogged.

You are right about the 25' hand-auger snake being junk. I may try it again after I remove the toilet, but I have a feeling all I did was either 1) punch a tiny hole in the clog or 2) pushed the clog to 25'. Too bad I scratched up my toilet with the auger.

There is a cleanout in the crawl space but it is in a really shallow part and I think it is easier to remove the toilet.

It costs $35 to rent a 50' auger for 3 hours. If it's a messy job, maybe I'll see what a rooter service would charge once I have the toilet off.
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 04, 2008 05:29PM
If it scratched up the bowl, you had a drain auger instead of a toilet auger. A toilet auger has a bend and usually a rubber or plastic coating to go into the first bend of the toilet trap and protect the porcelain from being scratched. On the other hand, if you went to the full 25' extension of the auger you have, then the clog is possibly worse than you can handle without going to a large auger after taking off the toilet. You also have to watch for the auger going up the vent instead of down the drain under some circumstances.



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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: h'
Date: March 04, 2008 06:27PM
A vent problem typically manifests itself with a gurgle after the flush.
I think your instincts are right about the clog, and I agree with removing the toilet and power-augering.
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: kap
Date: March 04, 2008 06:54PM
Two months ago we had a plumbing problem in our kitchen sink. Got it unclogged for $65.



West San Gabriel Valley, California ... for the time being :-)
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Re: Does every toilet have a vent?
Posted by: Wailer
Date: March 04, 2008 08:53PM
Yeah, it was a drain auger. I bought both and was so desperate and/or impatient to get it unclogged that I didn't care if I scratched it. Of course, had I known it would actually scratch it, I wouldn't have done it. ;) Oh well, live and learn! I plan to replace it with Toto that people here have been raving about.

I'm pretty confident that clogged line is a maximum 35' before it connects to the house main line. If I push it there and it clogs that, there are cleanouts that I can access to push it all the way to the street. Maybe someone flushed a sock or a diaper or something that doesn't degrade? I do have a 3-year-old in the house, so I should get at solving plumbing problems.

Thanks again everyone! I'll follow up.
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