Upstairs toilet blocked

16 Apr 2011
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United Kingdom

Our upstairs toilet is blocked.

If you do a short flush you're pretty much ok but a full flush eventually swamps the bowl. It is emptying after about 10 mins but seems to be getting worse.

Sometimes the water level in the bowl is lower than it should be after it has drained.

Nothing else is affected so I think it is a blockage in the soil pipe and I have had a drain hole put in it from previous problems and I have a drain rod.

However, I'm curious as to where the blockage might be.

Also, usually if the toilet gets the odd temporary blockage we get water dripping through the kitchen ceiling from where the pipe just passes the u bend. It is isn't happening now.

Could it be that the blockage is there?

If so, am I best off plunging at the toilet or rodding at the soil pipe first?

Thanks a lot.
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Mmmm there an inspection chamber that you can check close by? The blockage could be anywhere from where the loo pipe enters the soil stack downwards.
Either way, there shouldn't be any leaks at all.
John :)

No, there is no easily accessible inspection chamber as it was covered up by the previous occupants.

That's why we have the access hatch in the soil pipe.

Everyone in our household is thoroughly educated on the woes that can be caused by anything other than human waste and toilet paper but you never know.
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Unusual for a stack to block but not unknown. I'd try and clear it from the pan first, dont undo the access plate on the stack unless you have to, never know what it may be holding back..... :eek:

Possibly need a new pan connector on the pan to soil pipe joint if it's leaking. Long term you may find the floor has rotted away.....
Thanks a lot.

We need to get it all sorted properly in the new year as there is a tiny leak from the base of the toilet too.

Pretty sure the kitchen ceiling is in a mess and I might have to have a look up there to see what's what...the scene in Aliens when they open the ceiling panels springs to mind here :mrgreen:

I'll avoid the hatch unless I absolutely have too...don't fancy an evening of cleaning faeces off my back garden.
I think one of the ways forward here would be to pull the loo out of the way, and see if a drain cleaning firm could jet down the pipe for least then you can attend to the leak which in itself isn't too wholesome.
John :)
Well I tried plunging and that didn't work...I now have a completely blocked toilet.

So I went outside to look at the access hatch and the blockage is definitely between the outside of the house and the toilet.

Unfortunately, when I unscrewed and removed the cover, the other side of the cover plopped off and went down the drain...I was careful to hold on to the screw and all.

So I guess now that is a blockage waiting to happen unless I can get it out somehow.

The hole is only big enough for a jet as well so it was a waste of time.

Now my toilet leak is worse.

Trying to hold it together here but fearing a very expensive fix.

Any suggestions chaps?

Thanks a lot.
A picture of the position of the inspection hatch in relation to the SVP and loo itself could help at this point, if you can!
If the leak is worse, it won't cure itself so I guess its loo away, as I suggested before.
Not such a bad job really, and there's a good chance the blockage is literally just around the bend!
Hopefully there's another loo in the house!
John :)
Ok thanks a lot.

The toilet is the only one :(

The inspection hatch is just above the garden floor. The pipe runs from the toilet across the kitchen's mini attic and down the back of the house. Can't do pics now I'm afraid.

My main concern now though is the cover that has fallen down the soil pipe although I guess that will get stopped before my walls have to be dug up again.

I'm thinking get the Henry down it but how far down do soil pipes tend to go?
Now that is a bummer.
The hose on a Henry (dry vac anyway) won't go around the bend in the loo.
At this point, I'd be seriously thinking about calling in Dynorod or similar.
I don't know what size the patch is that fell in, but I guess thats fallen away from the blockage anyway.
I hope you get this sorted real soon!
John :)
How far is the manhole to the soil pipe, as it could be jetted to remove the fallen parts that you dropped.

Time to call out a drainage engineer.

Why are these jobs always to far from me! :cry:

The manhole is close judging by next guess is feet but there are flags over it.

When I say get the Henry out I mean to suck the cover out of the soil pipe.

felt inclined to help, even if it doesn't work, whats the harm.

There is a certain technique when you are plunging the WC pan, you flush the toilet and make sure it is filled with water, all the way to say rim, then plung vigrously back & forth in short strokes and continue to do this until you see blockage starts to move and you will see the water level soon drops as the blockages gets cleared.

Obviously I learned the hard way, my nice stuffed a complete toilet roll down the pan and flushed it, it got badly blocked up, I wish I had known about this technique, but I had no idea that a round plunger would work in a squarish bottom of the toilet pan!

So I called the big boys, Emergency 24Hr and it was 11pm, everyone would be expecting to use the toilet in the morning, so the big boy wanted 80quid to come out at 11pm or 50 quid in the morning! But I had no choice so I had to pay him 80quid and he was no sooner in , half a minute later he was out! with 80 quid cash!

He asked me if I wanted a receipt, and I thought yes why not, then he said Plus VAT then! Oh this was 20 years ago as well! 80 quid then!!

Come to think of it, I just unblocked someone I know had his loo blocked last week, so the same trick worked there, within a minute the blockage soon disappeared!

The trick is the pan must be filled with water as that acts as a hydraulic ram as you plung, most people try not to fill the pan to the rim for fear of overflowing and when they plunge using just the water in the s bend trap, this does not work as efficiently.

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