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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
    Posts
    36

    Exclamation My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    Help… once every few months, we seem to have an explosion of water coming out of the toilet. The first time it happened, there was water all over the floor and the roll of toilet paper was soaked. I thought it was the kids playing w/ water. Now it’s happened a few more times in the last couple of years. Yesterday again, I get home, and water level in the bowls of both the upstairs and downstairs toilets are super low. The floor-mats on the upstairs bathroom are soaked, as is the roll of toilet paper… which is about 30 inches off the floor.

    Any idea as to what can be causing this surge of water pressure to come out of the sewer line? This is kind of gross and mystifying. I’ve never actually seen the water pour out of the toilet, and dread to think what will happen if one of the kids is sitting on the loo and it blows up like that….. or me for that matter.

    Thanks,
    Rich
    Your music is one-of-a-kind. Now your guitar can be, too... build your own guitar with our fantastic Guitar Kits. Hidden Content Hidden Content

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    Howdy post a sign warning (There She blows)lol
    Any an all of my comments are just my opinion and not to be confused with facts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    going purely on speculation as i'm not a licensed plumber, but i've done a fair amount of plumbing work, and understanding how plumbing works in general i would say the following. i would think that you have a blocked vent somewhere close to your toilet. when a large surge of water moves quickly through the sewer pipe outside of your house it sends a pressurized blast of air into your house's waste pipes. normally that surge of air would blow right through your house's waste system and out through your roof vent not disturbing any traps in your waste system. if there is a blockage upstream of your toilet that blast of air has no where to go except through the trap for the toilet, forcing the water into the bowl and if it's strong enough, which it can be, shooting water out of the toilet.

    so, how did i do? make sense?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,321

    Default Re: My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    Questions: - You said that this problem has happened a few times in the last couple of years, did you solve it each time, or did it stop happening just like that?

    - do have leaks in the supply lines and in the angle stops?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    find out if the sewer mains are being hydro-jetted because it will do that depending on how close the mains being jetted are to the toilets.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    Thanks for the reply's:

    1) I will start charging admission for this, along w/ a sign

    2) This happened before and as noted:
    a) the first time, I thought it was the kids.
    b Second time, I realized it was not the kids, but since it was about 9 months after the first, I did not do anything about it... yeah, my bad, but really thought it was more of an overflow problem.
    c) Fourth time. So now I'm posting here and will check both the vent as well as that jet thing.
    d) 3rd time I was not aware of it, until my wife told me that she was wondering why one day the bathroom was soaked.


    Thanks again and if I figure out what the problem was, I will post the results. Hopefully a plumber can help.
    Your music is one-of-a-kind. Now your guitar can be, too... build your own guitar with our fantastic Guitar Kits. Hidden Content Hidden Content

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Bay Area..Ca View Post
    find out if the sewer mains are being hydro-jetted because it will do that depending on how close the mains being jetted are to the toilets.
    Yep -- this might explain the cause especially the timing between occurances.
    In our city they come by semi-anually to clean out the mains. Usually they drop a note to all the homes around the days the lines in the area will be jetted. The note explains to ensure the toilet seats are down to avoid possible water spillage.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,915

    Default Re: My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    The newer codes now require a 'backflow preventer' on the main drain going to the sewer line which will prevent the 'jetting out' drain gushers. According to how accessible this line is the cost of installation will vary widely. If you can get to it from th crawlspace it's easy and cheap. If you've got to dig up the lawn and go deep, that's another story all together. This will also prevent your house from being flooded with sewage should the sewer itself get stopped up downstream of where you are.

    My brother had a house flooded this way and he wasn't in a low location where you might see it coming; he was near the top of one hill but there were higher hills going into that same line above him. Even with the city paying all the costs of remediation, it was a nightmare of having a 3 kid family stuffed into one hotel room for 2 weeks in the middle of the night, losing everything porous that was on the floor, and having to let the city-approved contractors go through their house moving and cleaning everything, sealing the wood and walls with oil-based Kilz complete with it's odors, and having items come up missing when they were finally allowed to move back in. In the interim they were not even allowed to go back for personal items like clothing. They all wore 2-3 sets of clothes which they grabbed on the way out for that time period. It was traumatic on the kids and they now had to be driven to school since the bus didn't stop at the out-of-the-neighborhood hotel.

    You don't want this- get a backflow preventer put in anyway. If you ever use it you'll be very, very glad you did.

    Phil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
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    4,045

    Default Re: My toilet thinks it's a Geyser! Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    The newer codes now require a 'backflow preventer' on the main drain going to the sewer line which will prevent the 'jetting out' drain gushers. According to how accessible this line is the cost of installation will vary widely. If you can get to it from th crawlspace it's easy and cheap. If you've got to dig up the lawn and go deep, that's another story all together. This will also prevent your house from being flooded with sewage should the sewer itself get stopped up downstream of where you are.

    My brother had a house flooded this way and he wasn't in a low location where you might see it coming; he was near the top of one hill but there were higher hills going into that same line above him. Even with the city paying all the costs of remediation, it was a nightmare of having a 3 kid family stuffed into one hotel room for 2 weeks in the middle of the night, losing everything porous that was on the floor, and having to let the city-approved contractors go through their house moving and cleaning everything, sealing the wood and walls with oil-based Kilz complete with it's odors, and having items come up missing when they were finally allowed to move back in. In the interim they were not even allowed to go back for personal items like clothing. They all wore 2-3 sets of clothes which they grabbed on the way out for that time period. It was traumatic on the kids and they now had to be driven to school since the bus didn't stop at the out-of-the-neighborhood hotel.

    You don't want this- get a backflow preventer put in anyway. If you ever use it you'll be very, very glad you did.

    Phil
    Phil -- backflow valves have been in code here for 20+ years but only on streets that have the old single storm/waste sewer lines -- which makes sense. However, they aren't code ( yet ) on streets with seperate storm and sewer lines which wouldn't help when the city jets the lines.
    But then and again there's less need to jet lines on waste sewer mains as opposed to waste/storm lines.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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