CLOSURE ! toilet pan full to the brim ! Ideas please !

6 Oct 2004
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United Kingdom
My first floor bathroom toilet fills to the brim when flushed then empties slowly. The other (ground floor) toilet seems to empty fine. The soil stack therefore I presume is blocked. It is cast iron with no access covers. I have removed the toilet pan and rodded down the stack while standing in the bathroom but the blockage fails to clear. My next move will be to cut the iron soil pipe eighteen inches above ground level and rod from here with a view to repairing the iron pipe with a rubber ring or replacing the entire stack with plastic. Any ideas would be appreciated.
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It seems a very drastic step to be considering replacing all or part of the stack at this stage! you have the benefit of know exactly where the blockage is, so you WILL be able to clear it if you try hard enough.

If you did cut through the stack, what were your plans for disposing of it?

You sound like you come from my part of the woods i.e West Mids. Might be worth you phoning Drains R Us who charge around £25 plus vat for the first hour. They will put a snake down (might be better if you remove the pan) your stack and remove the blockage.
Their Wolverhampton no is 01902 736424 :)
thanks for your thoughts fellas. I think I'll call drains R Us and get a price. My worry is that if the pipe has blocked once it may be damaged or corroded and be prone to block again. However replacing the stack is going to cost me £100 in parts plus at least a long day of hard graft.
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A while ago I was told there was a problem with a wc where the water had been off for a while - the builders carried on using it. It was full. I rapidly new nothing whatsoever about how a wc even worked of course. But I did have some stuff for clearing drains - basically strong sulphuric acid.
I poured a litre on top more as a gesture, than with any hope of it doing any good. Next day the level was down where it should be so I poured a bucket of water in - which went through immediately. An easy £50!
you havent recently lost one of those loverly rim block fresheners have you
they are perfect size for getting stuck in the pan put a rubber glove on or try a coat hanger and try and fish it out orible job but i got mine out
LOL thanks chris,

good story. I think the chances of a phantom rodder being tempted to have a go with that builders compost toilet in your absence are slim. So there might be something in this genie in the bottle plumbing after all.

By morning my stack may have have emptied, so any chemical will sit on top of the blockage. I'll get on the b&q web site now and see what chemical they stock. My local merchants are shut on Sunday.

I'm affraid it can't be a freshener in the pan, I took the pan off the soil pipe.

Now, how come I get leaks from my installation work, yet perfectly water tight seals occur in my drains. And why does string left in a drawer always tangle..........
OK I'll let you know how it went after the question I posted.

look at the head on that pan. now why don't waste fittings seal as well as that ????

I found an access on the base of the stack ( I never looked it was surrounded by clutter). Someone had had this problem before.

Then I gave it some rodding.......nice !. I could only get my wheel attachment through and the sludge wouldn't shift


I poured down 250g of caustic soda in 3 litres of water and left it for the day. Next day I could run a plunger through and on the return stroke, out came half the hedge . Oh well thats old houses for u.


I also tried some 90% sulphuric acid in the adjacent gully which was a bit sluggish in emptying. It stank like rotten farts but worked a treat.

Sulphuric does seem to be the jizm for the job. But for chrissake don't put it down on top of sodium hydroxide. The reaction would be violently severe! I think you were lucky that all the hydroxide had gone.

Acid and bleach together is another no-no. You get Chlorine gas which is nasty when concentrated. I've told that wedding reception story several times now I think.. ;)
actually chris, I washed out the funnel and length of hose that I had used to introduce the sulphuric with a weak bleach solution. Yes, I did get a brief taste of what it must have been like in a WW1 trench.

Lucky I could leave the pipe to smoulder and walk away. :LOL:

I've not heard that wedding reception story
You can also produce a makeshift gas-mask for chlorine by soaking several layers of cotton with urine, and placing it tightly over the face. Hankerchiefs are ideal for this, folded over in a thick bundle.

That saved the lives of many soldiers until they started issuing masks.
thats useful to know if I'm ever in a tight spot with the sulphuric mixing with the bleach. I wonder who discovered that and what the hell were they trying to do with that **** soaked cloth ?
I pity all those friendly bacteria down at the sewage plant having to deal with that horrible chemical cocktail, it's bad enough that the normally only get fed sh1t!

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