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My $1200 toilet!

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  • My $1200 toilet!

    I got an auger for Christmas! Yes, that's what I said.

    This comes on the heels of our plumber's last visit. I honestly think the plumber is tired of taking our money for this downstairs bathroom.

    On his last visit he ran a snake and told my wife, "I shouldn't tell you this, but just buy your husband a snake to have."

    She did and I'll never forget this Christmas!

    Anyway, we've owned the house about 5 years now and have had a recurring problem with the downstairs half bath on a slab. We've had the main sewer pipe cleaned from house to street, the snake run at least 3 times and the toilet replaced - TWICE!

    The original toilet was had no visible name on it and matched the seashell design of the pedestal sink. The plumber recommended replacing it after several trips to clean the line. The first toilet he installed (Koeler 1.6 I believe) was discovered to be cracked and replace with another just like it at no cost.

    All added up, we've spent about $1200 in 5 years on just the upkeep of this one half bath! The bath itself has the same tile, wallpaper, sink and accessories as before. It's the same bathroom $1200 later.

    Sorry for all the details but my question is:

    Knowing all this, will owning this auger (and operating it correctly) likely be the answer to my woes?

    Golden Toilet Boy.
    Stay well and play well.

  • #2
    skipsax, the answer to your question is very simple. the problem is i need a little more info. to clear the stoppage did the plumber use a 6' closet auger?
    did you ever have the toilet overflow when you flushed, or used a fixture upstairs or at another location?
    typically a poor flushing toilet will be easily cleared with a plunger. an auger is good when there is a foreign object flushed in. too easy to scratch a toilet.
    if the toilet overflows when another fixture is used in the house, then the problem is in the main sewer line. an auger isn't going to fix this. if the toilet only plugs up when it is used, and a plunger clears it, then it's a poor toilet or bad installation of the piping.

    i'm not a big fan of a kohler toilet! i would also suggest a camera to be run into the line to rule out a piping issue such as poor grade, misalignment etc.
    my gut feeling is changing to a good flushing toilet will cure the local stoppage. anything beyond that is a sewer line issue.

    give a few more details and then it's easier to pin it down.



    • #3
      Golden toilet boy,

      At least you have maintained your sense of humor.

      Having the auger is not a bad thing. A good plunger with the flared end is also good to have.

      Do you have children who might be putting things in the bowl to watch disappear?

      I once cleared a toilet for a family several times only to find steak bones in the neck of the trap every visit. the housewife called me a liar each time. Turns out she was a vegetarian and fed her whole family the same fare she had for herself. While she was away her hubby and son would have their steaks and they thought they were flushing away the evidence. I finally required her to watch in person as I cleared the bowl for the last time.

      Are you the original owners of the house? If so you might be able to track down the plumbing contractor to find out how they ran the drains and vents. The quality and brand of toilet is very important also. Some brands that were once considered very good have simply never successfully adapted to the new 1.6 gallon flush requirements.

      With your new auger and plunger you will probably save your self some money and teach yourself and your family some new phrases and words. Good luck.
      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


      • #4
        Thanks guys. I'll try to give more details.
        No, never a problem with any other toilet in the house. There are two upstairs, one original Standard from 30+ years ago when the house was built. The other is only a few years old and nothing special or expensive.

        The Kohler downstairs has one of those elongated bowls and just says ' Kohler 1.6 gallons/6 liters per flush.

        The previous owners claim there was not ever a problem with the downstairs bathroom which was remodeled by them. I made it quite clear to them that I was only interested in pinpointing the problem - not interested in retribution of any sort.

        The length of the snake/auger used in the past is unclear to me. My wife would have been home to see, not me.

        Plungers in the past have sometimes fixed the problem and sometimes we had to call the plumber.

        Yes, there are two young children (5 and 8 now) Unlikely they were the source after the first couple of plumber visits.

        Anyway, from all that you guys have said, I'll assume the auger is a good idea to have on hand.

        Any tips on proper usage?

        Golden Toilet Boy.
        Stay well and play well.


        • #5
          skipsax, try the plunger first. this way you'll never scratch the china. with an auger you might grab a sample of the problem. if you do clear it with an auger, 3' or 6', you'll know how far you went out. that would be a good clue. if a plunger is all you need, then it's probably a paper stoppage and a better flushing toilet should be a fix. look into the toto line of tolets with the g-max flush. also the american standard champion line of tolets are great flushing. the kohlers are good for a planter in the backyard.



          • #6
            BINGO 'there was never a problem with that bath that was remodeled by them " maybe hubby played plumber? $100 it was hacked. was a permit pulled?
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .


            • #7
              I think the Totos are one of the best water closets out there but I like the Kohlers as well and have never had major problems with them with the exception of the very early low flush Kohlers.

              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!