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Toilet flushed in reverse! What do I do with the tank?

supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
After this morning’s bowel movement I flushed the toilet and heard a loud clanking noise. I popped open the tank and realized that while flushing, water from the bowl somehow splashed up into the tank! Repeated flushings are slowly getting the brown mess out, but I’m pretty sure that I need to really scrub it out to keep it from becoming a breeding ground for stink. What’s the best way to handle this? Can I drain the tank and wash it out with lysol? Or do I need to be drastic and remove the tank, clean it with bleach, and replace the mechanical parts?

supabeast on


  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Flush it, then turn off the water before it refills. If you scrub it out (with bleach), let it refill, it should probably be okay.

    Just make sure you're thorough and it should be fine.

    Endomatic on
  • BEAST!BEAST! Adventurer Adventure!!!!!Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    whoa...i'm trying to put together exactly how this would ever seems to defy physics as we know it..haha

    either way, like endomatic said, turn the water off (should be a valve beneath the tank, coming out of the wall)...flush it, and clean with may be helpful to remove the whole float housing (where the water connects to the tank) so that you have an easy way to drain ALL of the water and feces out of the tank

    BEAST! on
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Man I really find this hard to believe...

    Anyways, turn off the water, flush it, and wash it.

    Oh, and wear some rubber gloves man!

    Casually Hardcore on
  • meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Water flowed up? I call miracle. Get the Pope on the line!

    There is a prank called The Topper where someone drops a 2 in the top of the tank so when you flush the toilet fills with surprise crap. Did you have a party last night?

    meeker on
  • JobastionJobastion Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Be careful when you're cleaning the tank that you very, very quickly rinse off or otherwise remove the bleach from the rubber seals and valve gasket. Else you will be dealing with a wet floor, a trip to the hardware store, and an hour or so of fun time happiness when the rubber seals dissolve.

    Jobastion on
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  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    whoa...i'm trying to put together exactly how this would ever seems to defy physics as we know it..haha

    I’ve had ridiculous amounts of pressurized air coming out of the pipes all day, probably related to ongoing pipe work in the neighborhood. I’m still not sure how the hell that made the mess in the bowl splash up, but I can’t think of anything else.

    Edit: It occurred to me that what was in the tank was just rust and dirt from whatever is going on in the pipes that is causing these air blasts, and didn’t actually come up out of the bowl. Does that sound more likely?

    supabeast on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2009
    That sounds MUCH more likely.

    Pheezer on
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Just think about how the toilet works: it's not a direct line between the sewer and the tank, so anything backfiring would have to pass through the bowl at high speeds, and that all wouldn't go right back into the tank.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Shit in your tank is absolutely impossible. If there were something acting with force enough to "flush backwards," so to speak, the contents would just overflow out of the bowl.

    What you've got are rusty pipes, which is extremely common--every house in the country that hasn't been refitted or built with copper pipes has this problem.

    That clanking noise was an air pocket or two pushing through the fill valve inside the toilet tank. Air pockets occur if the water has been turned off at all... say, for pipe maintenance.

    Seattle Thread on
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