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Porcelain Stuck in master bathroom drain?

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  • Porcelain Stuck in master bathroom drain?

    In 2013 when we purchased our 1950's era home that was "renovated" we discovered months later the pipes under the slab foundation to our septic tank which were Orangeburg and terra cotta were collapsed. After a major jackhammering and repair job which involved most of the plumbing (kitchen and main bathroom) we noticed that the "new renovated master bathroom" that toilet was not flushing properly. The company that did the main lines pulled that toilet and found that a porcelain piece was inside the line, removed it and we replaced that toilet. Now it never flushed as well as the main bathroom but it worked up until a week ago. Suddenly that toilet was stopped up, did the plunger and it slowly drained but still not flushing. We had a plumber come take a look and he removed that toilet and ran a snake. the line seemed clear and he suspected we needed to get the septic drained which we had scheduled for the next day. The tank was dug up and drained and the workers ran the water in all the rooms and they all were running properly except the master bathroom toilet. That was not coming out the line. So the plumber came back out snaked the tub and the toilet and ran into a hard object that he could not get past. Next he ran his camera and he noted and showed us what appears to be a solid pinkish colored item. He ran the camera into both the clean out and both toilets to see where this was stuck and how the back to back toilets were hooked into the main line. It appears that the master bath piping was never upgraded but instead are the original cast iron it appears, the new line is PVC. This item is jammed at the Y between the two toilets. He is suppose to come back out Monday and bring some equipment he states should be able to break what we now suspect to be a piece of porcelain from that original broken toilet stuck in the line. I am a bit concerned that it this equipment is strong enough the break through porcelain it might be strong enough to break the pipes, especially the upgraded PVC connection or pipe.....that was an expensive job and is it possible to break up an object stuck in a pipe if it is possibly porcelain? Trying this figure out what worse case scenario might be and sorry such a long post

  • #2
    My guess the plumber is going to attempt to break the stuck piece of porcelain with either a heavier snake with a spade bit or a jetter with a specialty nozzle . I would not worry about busting through the drain line during this attempt .

    I have in my years as a drain cleaner I have ran into that type of problem and been successful with breaking ceramic / porcelain with a heavy duty sectional drain snake . Let us know how you make out it would help others and the best of luck to you .


    • drainman scott
      drainman scott commented
      Editing a comment
      A afterthought a chain knocker on a flex shaft might work better if either you could push it past the piece and work it back or get a piece of the porcelain moving forward though I never tried it .

  • #3
    Well that plumber never came back nor returned any call we have placed so we had to find another plumber. This new plumber tried to break through what ever it is and was also unable so now he is saying he will have to cut the tile, break through that area in the slab to get to the pipe and replace that section....of course he has not showed up this morning at the time he stated nor can we even call being it goes straight to voicemail and his voicemailbox is full....this better be the darn hope diamond or a sack of gold because this is getting expensive...tried calling other plumbers who are booked for weeks or just do not return calls....frustrating!


    • #4
      Another Great reason to have your sewer system inspected by a professional.


      • #5
        I am not a drain tech but to me it might be worth having a video inspection (with a DVD copy) of the whole system after the repair to prove that everything has been removed and there is no damage to any piping. Then in the future you will know where you started from. Sounds like your repair from years ago left some pieces behind. Those would have shown up on video post inspection I would think.
        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" ? Bob D. 2006
        "?ǝɹɐ sɹǝƃuıɟ ɹnoʎ ǝɹǝɥʍ ʍouʞ noʎ op `ʍɐs ǝlqɐʇ ɐ s,ʇı"



        • #6
          One reason most drain guys don't want to camera after they opened the line is all the roots left behind.
          (or they don't have a camera, you can't be a good sewer man without a camera)
          Now we will hear of guys who say they always get all the roots but it just ain't so.

          That's why I use flex shaft and a camera to clean after I open up a line. The results are on camera and
          I can make you a film of what is involved.


          • #7
            Sorry to hear about your troubles getting a plumber to return and resolve your drain problem ... In all my years in business I have never not returned or at least called if a emergency stopped me from keeping a appointment .

            You could try contacting a drain cleaning company that also does pipe lining .. They should have a machine ( flex shaft ) like a Maxi Miller that should be able to smash that piece of porcelain into a thousand pieces and send it to your septic . Explain to them that you had it inspected by a camera and it's wedged in there not far from your problem toilet and they ( plumber ) never showed back up .. See what they say , don't hurt to ask .