Somewhat Plugged Toilet
Ok, when flushing the toilet in my upstairs guest toilet the water will go down after a few minutes, but solids do not go down without plunging. So, there is not a complete blockage but enough solids don't go down easily. Last year I replaced all the guts in the tank because of a water leak but the toilet worked fine for 9 months afterward.
My two children (ages 3 years and 20 months)use the bathroom the most often and I suspect that they have tossed something in the toilet and flushed it with the object getting stuck in the trap (we are missing a childs toothbrush). My 3yr old is fully potty trained and goes completly on his own, my 20 month old is about half potty trained and knows enough that she flushes just for the fun of it, this adds to my suspicion.
I have heard there are "toilet snakes", similar to drain snakes that could dislodge the object. I am also half tempted to just pull up the toilet to see if something is in the trap.
The toilet is not leaking. I am concerned that using a snake could disloge the object but cause another clog further down the line with worse consequences.
How would the users approach this problem? Should I buy a toilet snake or just pull up the toilet? Is there something I'm not thinking of to solve this problem?
Re: Somewhat Plugged Toilet
Yes there is a special "snake" it is called a toilet auger or more correctly a "closet auger". Cheap ones go for about $40, the middle to better ones go for $60-85.
However, from your post, I agree with your suspicion that the missing toothbrush or some other object flushed for amusement might be caught in the trapway snagging and that using the auger may not be of any use at all, or could end up breaking something or dislodging some non-solid and sending it downstream to snag and clog up things elsewhere.
Since you have your suspicions, a toddler of the age where "flushing for fun" is a frequent event, and a missing child's toothbrush.....I'd go with pulling the toilet and investigating from both ends - one wouldn't need a closet auger in that case - there are $5 devices that you can use - non metal to fish through and draw back and forth bowl to flange sometimes a shop vac can suck or blow an item just enough to get the offending foreign object to roll forth in the direction it once came.
If it turns out you cannot find the obstruction in the bowl, and the original wax seal wasn't split, fallen in, compromised (by the way you'll need a fresh wax ring which is just a few dollars to re-set the toilet), then while the toilet is off you can investigate the closet bend, the stack, etc.
Re: Somewhat Plugged Toilet
Thanks for confirming what I was thinking...I'll post back on success or failure...