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  • Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

    My 21yo son cleaned up a spilled glass of water in the bathroom with about three Bounty paper towels. He didn't think about the results and flushed them down the toilet resulting in a massive clog.

    I've tried almost everything I can short of calling a plumber. I'm a renter so I want to fix this if I can before I let the apt complex know since I'll get stuck for a really massive service charge on top of the plumber bill.

    I've tried both the ridgid 3' and extendable 6' closet auger. Neither can negotiate the bends needed to get past about 1.5' into the toilet. I've tried several types of plungers supposedly designed for this toilet (it's a 1.6 gallon for flush toilet with a small bottom hole). The plungers are only forcing open the flapper in the tank and pushing back into the tank through the overflow tube. I even get water coming out of the upper flush holes with each plunge if I hold the flapper closed and seal up the drain tube in the tank. I even tried a smaller 25' drain snake but it only doubled up and wouldn't make the bends needed.

    I've tried the cup of dishwashing soap and hot water home remedy and the several cups of bleach home remedy. Neither of which worked after a night of sitting. I'm afraid to use drano or one of the other liquid drain cleaners because it may damage the system or not work at all leaving lye or acid just sitting in the bowl.

    What will break down/dissolve paper towels? I wish I had bought the cheap ones instead of the heavier Bounty brand.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Oh yeah, after about an hour or so the water level eventually drops to the bottom of the bowl so there is some flow.

  • #2
    Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

    The mistake most people make with a plunger is they try to push the blockage out. The real trick is to get a good seal with the plunger gently push down and pull back quickly. The suction caused by the plunger will pull the stoppage back some so it will start to flow again. Also make sure you have a good quality plunger, stay away from them hard plastic ones they never make a good seal.

    With the augers, trick is to keep a constant downward pressure on the handle as you crank it in, it does take a bit of practice to get it to make the turns.
    Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
    A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
    Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
    Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

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    • #3
      Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

      the auger should be able to negotiate the toilet. as long as you don't have the one with the swivel drop head. .

      try running the auger in reverse/ counterclockwise to ease up the tension.
      once you get past the hard spot run forward again to use the hook to grab

      sounds like the towels are stuck in the trap or horn of the toilet. therefore a plunger will not damage the wax seal.

      careful with the auger that you're not scuffing the china doing damage.

      make sure you have the auger with no drop head. it should just have a bulb spring.

      are you sure it's only 3 sheets

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

        When using the plunger, how do I keep it from just sucking air in through the upper flush holes in the bowl? I've been using the big flexible bellows plastic plungers so far. I guess I'm going back to the hardware store.

        I think I'm going to give up on the auger since I've already scratched the porcelain in the bowl some and don't want to damage it more than it is.

        Edit; they have the bulb shaped heads.
        Last edited by tateg; 06-28-2009, 11:04 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

          DO NOT USE DRAINO OR YOU COULD DIE.
          Since you have used bleach, any mixing of drain products will result in a toxic gas that will KILL you in seconds.

          Plus draino would be a waste of $ anyway.
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          • #6
            Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

            Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
            DO NOT USE DRAINO OR YOU COULD DIE.
            Since you have used bleach, any mixing of drain products will result in a toxic gas that will KILL you in seconds.

            Plus draino would be a waste of $ anyway.

            Got it! Drano = BAD.

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            • #7
              Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

              try taking all of the water out of the bowl and see if the blockage drops back down into the bowl. this has worked for me on occasion.

              i sounds like the papertowel is swollen. you could also try pulling the toilet and either work from the bottom up/backwards through the bowl, or let the paper towel dry out. then you might be able to remove the blockage then because it's not swollen.

              Vince

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              • #8
                Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

                Thanks everyone. I got it fixed.

                Actually the bleach worked. I decided to try one last time before spending any more one new tools.

                Before I had only poured in about 16oz's or so into the standing water. This time I let it drain all the water out (it will empty if it sits for about an hour) and poured in about a gallon of bleach. This way it wasn't very diluted. After about 30 minutes of almost pure bleach sitting on the paper towels it flushed just like normal. Before trying this much pure bleach I tested it in a bowl with a paper towel. The paper towel was totally dissolved in about 15 minutes.

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                • #9
                  Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

                  If you are on a septic system you had probably better add some bacteria to counteract all the bleach. Read this for more info. http://www.capecodbiochemical.com/id1.html If you are on city sewer, don't worry about it.
                  Last edited by Trent2; 06-28-2009, 01:24 PM. Reason: Grammer
                  www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

                    he's in an apartment complex, at worst he's on a private sewer, in which case there still should be enough bacteria from all the other donors to counteract his bleach.
                    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Clogged toilet, tried almost everything any help is appreciated

                      A shop vac would have cleared that right out. I like to send the flexible hose thru the trap if augering doesn't work. Most of the time it clears the trap by retrieving the object very quickly. Paper towels, glasses, cell phones rags, flushable wipes... you name it.
                      ANYONE CAN TAKE THE HELM WHEN THE SEA IS CALM.

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