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Toilet Seriously Clogged

Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
My incompetent roommate got hammered one night and, in his stupor, knocked a tray of Gilette razors into the toilet. Unfortunately, he didn't bother to retrieve the tray, nor did he tell anyone, and so the thing was inevitably flushed by someone (knowingly or not) and has apparently since become lodged, obstructing the flow of water and thusly preventing the thing from flushing properly.

After a couple days, the situation hasn't changed. The plunger hasn't done anything to help the situation, nor have repeated flushing or, as of yet, the use of Drain-o. As far as I know, this is the extent of our most basic options.

So, what I'm asking is where we go from here.

Firstly, what are our options for dealing with the problem, considering we're renting the apartment (only one of us is on the lease, and the rest of us including myself and the gentleman who fucked up the toilet have separate rental agreements with the man on the lease). Is there anything left that we can do, or are we at the point where we need to approach the landlord?

Secondly, how do we approach the matter of paying for whatever the next step is, assuming it involves a plumber or something along those lines? Obviously the guy who fucked up is to blame, but this is our only toilet and, obviously, the thing's a bit of a necessity. Given that, I wonder if the landlord has some kind of legal obligation to take care of the problem, even if the responsible roommate or the man on the lease are themselves unwilling or unable to cover any resulting costs. The landlord himself has been reluctant to address problems in the past, as have everyone else here, so I very much think there'll come a point where someone needs to be pushed into taking care of this. When that happens, who needs to give in?

Fyi, in regards to the toilet itself, the water level rises to about the rim with a flush before slowly receding and reaching about the average level of water. Personally, I'm reluctant to use it for anything but liquids, and I don't as of yet know how it handles solid waste. Given the evidence, though, I can't imagine it would go very well.

Robos A Go Go on

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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I'd call a plumber. He'll probably charge you whatever to snake the line and you'll be fine.

    Xaquin on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I'd call a plumber. He'll probably charge you whatever to snake the line and you'll be fine.

    How much will that cost, and if the responsible person is unwilling/unwilling to pay, can we get the landlord to pay or will it fall to the rest of us to divide the cost amongst ourselves or cope?

    Also, if snaking doesn't work, what then?

    The man on the lease actually had this same exact problem with his last apartment, and in that particular case snaking didn't solve the situation and addressing things would have required something more serious and expensive. He wasn't willing to pay for it, the landlord wasn't willing to pay for it, and this went on for a year until he just moved out.

    Even if that's unlikely to happen again, I'd like to know what would need to be done if that were to happen again, from the extent of the problem to all parties refusing to do anything about it. I'd move out sooner rather than later if nobody did anything, but I'd like to think there's something more reasonable than abandoning the place just so I have somewhere to poo at night.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    ErandusErandus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    You can try buying a plumbing snake yourself and see if you can bust it free.

    plumb_metal_pipe_auger.jpg

    Your landlord would be obligated to provide you with service to make sure the toilet operated properly, but given that your roommate clogged it through... basically incompetence... you would probably be on the hook for covering the cost.

    If you choose the professional plumber option, I would contact your landlord. They may have some sort of contractual obligation or arrangement to have it serviced with a certain plumber. You also don't really want to have someone come and do this sort of thing to your landlord's property on your own without at least alerting them first, so either way a phone call to your landlord is in order.

    Some landlords are fairly handy and have tools like snakes and stuff to do this on their own. I'm guessing an object like you're describing wouldn't have made it much past the u-bend, and a borrowed or purchased plumbing snake may get you out of this on the cheap.

    Otherwise organize with your landlord for they or you to arrange for a plumber and do it professionally. Expect to pay if you do. Probably more than 50, probably less than 100.

    Erandus on
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    Fleck0Fleck0 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I'd call a plumber. He'll probably charge you whatever to snake the line and you'll be fine.

    How much will that cost,

    'bout 60 bucks, maybe a little more. Assuming running a snake through will fix it, which it sounds like it will

    edit: beat'd and with better info, well shucks

    though I'd agree with calling the landlord fist, he may take care of it himself pro-bono

    Fleck0 on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I'd call a plumber. He'll probably charge you whatever to snake the line and you'll be fine.

    How much will that cost, and if the responsible person is unwilling/unwilling to pay, can we get the landlord to pay or will it fall to the rest of us to divide the cost amongst ourselves or cope?

    Also, if snaking doesn't work, what then?

    The man on the lease actually had this same exact problem with his last apartment, and in that particular case snaking didn't solve the situation and addressing things would have required something more serious and expensive. He wasn't willing to pay for it, the landlord wasn't willing to pay for it, and this went on for a year until he just moved out.

    Even if that's unlikely to happen again, I'd like to know what would need to be done if that were to happen again, from the extent of the problem to all parties refusing to do anything about it. I'd move out sooner rather than later if nobody did anything, but I'd like to think there's something more reasonable than abandoning the place just so I have somewhere to poo at night.

    Unfortunately you're most likely going to pay for it. However, if it comes time for you to move out, the rental office is obviously going to have to protect their investment. Basically, you're fucked. Your best bet is to work out some sort of extended repayment on top of your rent.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Call your landlord and they will deal with it.


    Side question - is this your only toilet?

    tsmvengy on
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    ErandusErandus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    if the responsible person is unwilling/unwilling to pay, can we get the landlord to pay or will it fall to the rest of us to divide the cost amongst ourselves or cope?
    If the person is unwilling to pay and is not on the lease, you're going to be stuck with the bill. You're responsible for what happens inside the apartment. A good friend will at least help for a mistake they made that cost you money.
    Also, if snaking doesn't work, what then?

    Professional plumbers have some pretty goddamn powerful snake/auger things. They can bust up anything that is less tough than your pipes. If you got a snake of your own, you'd basically be hoping for the object to get bound up in the little wire coil at the end of the snake in such a way that you could pull it out.
    The man on the lease actually had this same exact problem with his last apartment, and in that particular case snaking didn't solve the situation and addressing things would have required something more serious and expensive. He wasn't willing to pay for it, the landlord wasn't willing to pay for it, and this went on for a year until he just moved out.

    Any problem can be solved as long as you are willing to pay enough money. If a snake can't do this easily, and you want to poop in your apartment, you gotta pay.

    Erandus on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    CycophantCycophant Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Just a forewarning though, snaking, even by a professional plumber, won't always work. I know when a sibling dropped their cellphone in the toilet, rather than "dirty her hands" by getting it out, she decided flushing it was a better option. It became lodged in the trap of the toilet, and no amount of snaking would get it out. The end result was that the toilet had to be removed, and the phone was so badly wedged in the trap that a new toilet had to be purchased.

    A cellphone is probably larger and more dense than a tray of razor blades, but it -could- still happen to you.

    Cycophant on
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    Matt_SMatt_S Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Cycophant wrote: »
    Just a forewarning though, snaking, even by a professional plumber, won't always work. I know when a sibling dropped their cellphone in the toilet, rather than "dirty her hands" by getting it out, she decided flushing it was a better option. It became lodged in the trap of the toilet, and no amount of snaking would get it out. The end result was that the toilet had to be removed, and the phone was so badly wedged in the trap that a new toilet had to be purchased.

    A cellphone is probably larger and more dense than a tray of razor blades, but it -could- still happen to you.

    Truth. My situation is about the same...My former roommate, for reasons unspecified, flushed an Altoids can down the toilet and it got clogged in there. I bought a toilet auger and tried snaking it, but it was stuck and wouldn't come out. We called the plumber and he even used some auger that was ten times better than the one I got at the hardware store, and it wouldn't come out. Turns out he had to break the toilet open and we ended up getting a different one.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd buy an auger at the hardware store first...they're only about ten bucks and can save you a bunch if you're able to get it out by yourself. But if that doesn't work, you'll probably have to revert to a plumber.

    Matt_S on
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    AtomBombAtomBomb Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    If you've got some basic tools unbolting a toilet from the floor isn't that hard. It can be gross, but it's not difficult. You might need to get a $4 tube of caulk and maybe a $3 "wax ring" when you put it back, but that's about it. It's really not a complicated system.

    This only applies if the tray is within a few feet. If you're able to run a 10' auger down the pipes without encountering said object than it's time to get a professional.

    AtomBomb on
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    ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2008
    ah, it seems kind of gross, but have you considered just sticking a hand down there and seeing if you can dig it out? i used to have to do that as a counselor at camp, occasionally, when kids would wedge pine cones or whatever down there. wrap your arm in a trash bag or two if you don't want to contact the water.

    Servo on
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    fuelishfuelish Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    First reach into the toilet and try to drag the blockage out.
    Failing that, drain the toilet(tank and bowl), unscrew the two bolts holding the toilet down and remove it. You will need a new wax seal when you reinstall the toilet.
    Hopefully the obstruction is in the toilet trap and you can get it out.
    If not, and it is not trapped in the line at a point you can still see it, you will need to snake the line. With perssitence you will either snake it back to you or push it to the main line.
    Failing this you will need a plumber.
    Someone said to call the landlord. When the plumber, they hire, removes a bag of razors you will be getting a bill. This does not fall under the landlord/renter agreement of any place I have ever lived.

    fuelish on
    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited July 2008
    Do not stick your hand into the toilet to try to retrieve a tray of razor blades.

    Either you don't find them, or you do find them and cut your fingers to shreds in just about the filthiest imaginable environment for it. That would be what they call a no-win situation.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    ErandusErandus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I really wouldn't suggest unbolting the toilet from the floor in an apartment you don't own. Try snaking it yourself and after that call your landlord and let them deal with it.

    Erandus on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Cycophant wrote: »
    Just a forewarning though, snaking, even by a professional plumber, won't always work. I know when a sibling dropped their cellphone in the toilet, rather than "dirty her hands" by getting it out, she decided flushing it was a better option. It became lodged in the trap of the toilet, and no amount of snaking would get it out. The end result was that the toilet had to be removed, and the phone was so badly wedged in the trap that a new toilet had to be purchased.

    A cellphone is probably larger and more dense than a tray of razor blades, but it -could- still happen to you.

    Good heavens your sister is an idiot.

    Sorry Robos, it looks like you'll have to pay to poop. It's safer, and the chances of it getting further fucked up are minimal when you involve a professional, as the burden is then upon them.

    DoctorArch on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    My dad has one of these and it is awesome. Sounds ideal for your sitch:

    6968.jpg

    The claws work way better than the snake corkscrew for retreiving specific objects.

    Sarcastro on
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