toilletproblem Registered User

Slightly embarrassing problem; all help appreciated!

Have posted this in both DIY and Heating/Plumbing as I’m not sure which forum is best for this.

Went to the toilet about an hour ago and knew that there were likely to be “flushing issues”.

Sure enough, when I flushed, the bowl filled up close to the brim, but soon afterwards it emptied out again. While I was waiting for the tank to fill for a second flush I noticed a small amount of moisture on the floor, but not too much. The toilet wasn’t completely cleared, so when the tank was filled again I flushed a second time. Once again it filled close to the brim and gradually started to subside, and now the toilet seems to be empty.

However, I noticed that some water was flowing out of the pipe at the back of the toilet. There was certainly more than during the first flush. I’ve no idea about quantity, but maybe half a cup?? The flow lasted for the duration of the flush. The water was coming from the area where the toilet pipe connects to the drainage pipe. I have taken a photo and marked the area with a red oval. See attached.

I’ve no idea what’s going on here. My guess is that the blockage moved from the toilet itself to the drainage/sewer pipe and caused a backwash of water and hence the leak. Can anybody shed any more light on the problem? Does anybody know what’s going on here? Have I completely blocked the drainage pipe? Is the junction between the toilet and drainage pipe meant to be sealed in some way to prevent this, and has the seal been damaged? Is it safe to use again? I am tempted to flush again just to see what happens; is this wise? Is it safe to just leave it for now, or could some new leak develop even without using it? If I need to get somebody out, do I need somebody to unblock the drains or just a plumber to look at that leak? Really, I know very little about this kind of thing so I would be very grateful for any help.

Thankfully we have other toilets in the house so I can leave it for a few days until after the Bank Holiday to get someone out if needs be.

fergal.b Moderator

Hi your fitting looks a bit like this and sometimes the rubber can come out of the grove or get a kink in it, try moving it around and pushing it in and out if all fails you can get one cheep in B&Q and replace it.You still seem to have a blocked pipe and the amount of water sitting in the pipe might be too much for the fitting as they are used to the water just flowing over them and not sitting in them, so fix the blocked pipe first and then if the fitting is still leaking have a look at that.
Ps if you stay on Boards keep the name "love it"

toilletproblem Registered User

Many thanks for this. I'd have no idea how to change or fix that fitting and would be reluctant to do it in case I didn't do it properly. I guess that a lot of these DIY jobs are actually relatively simple when you know what you are at, and very off putting when you don't!

The leak was only there at the time of flushing, it stopping as soon as the water in the toilet went down. Perhaps this cleared the blockage?

Actually, describing it as a leak is a bit of an understatement; there was quite a flow of water to be honest.

I have had another look at the fitting and it is completely dry, so perhaps there is no longer water sitting over it.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do next. I'm tempted to flush again, but don't want to have to cope with another minor flood. Maybe a halfway house is to pour half a bucket of water in and see what happens? I don't want to have to call out a drain clearing company unless there is a real need to do so....

Any other suggestions?

By the way, re the name... I am already on Boards with a proper name but this problem is so embarrassing that I just made a new one for the sake of anonymity. However, even more embarrassingly, I see that I carelessly mis-spelt toilet by adding another "l". Oh well, I have other problems to worry about...

galwaydude18 Registered User

Fill your mop bucket up with water and throw it down the toilet. This has to be done when the toilet had not been flushed and is empty.

I have doelne this before and will force what ever is blocking the toilet down the pipe.

meercat Registered User

can i assume you are in a bungalow
is your septic tank full
thus not allowing flushed water to release quick enough and back flow through collar seal

650gs Registered User

You need to rod the drains don't worry about the leak at the rear it will stop once the drain is clear, the fitting at the rear is called a multi wick as in the pic posted already and it is not a permanent seal it just holds off the water as you flush unlike a waste fitting with a permanent seal so don't panic just rod the drains

Buford T Justice Registered User

Because you have a blockage in your pipe then you've created additional pressure on the multiwick that wouldn't normally be there when you flush. Priority is to get the blockage fixed first. if you really haven't a clue what you're doing, then I'd call in the professionals and they'll have it sorted in a jiffy for you.

toilletproblem Registered User

Many thanks for these replies.

The toilet waste pipe goes straight out our wall and then straight down into the sewer outside. The sink and shower in that bathroom also feed into the same waste pipe. There has been no backup of water or even slowdown in the flow of water in the sink or the shower, so it leads me to conclude that either the blockage is gone or else that it is somewhere between the ubend and main waste pipe.

I intend to test it by pouring in water from a bucket, but if this doesn't work I will get somebody in to fix it. I would have no idea how to go about rodding the drains. In theory it sounds like a simple procedure but in practice I think I could easily make more of a mess of the situation if I don't know what I am at.

Two questions.

1. I am inclined to leave this until tomorrow as I'm sure it will cost more to get somebody out on a Bank Holiday. Since we have other toilets, and since the blockage (if still there) seems local and is not affecting other pipework, is there any downside or potential damage that could come from leaving the blockage there that long?

2. If I have to call somebody out, can anyone recommend (if you are allowed!) a discreet company that won't cost an arm and a leg?

slimjimmc Registered User

Wrap a plastic bag over the head of a toilet brush and tie around the handle with string/tape, fill the bowl with water, insert the brush into the u-bend and give it a few forceful pumps. It's a great way of clearing any blockages near the u-bend.

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