The toilet fills with water when flushed, but it doesn’t go down.

Here’s some info:

-it’s been over a week. I can’t afford a plumber.

-the house is on a concrete slab. The pipes are in or under that.

-As far as I know, no foreign object was flushed. I don’t have little kids that would drop something down there and we don’t keep anything on the back of the toilet.

-the bathtub and the bathroom sink both drain. The sink drains slowly, but since they do, we don’t think it’s a main line issue.

-I think my dad broke the wax ring plunging. It leaks like a mofo now.

-I’ve used Rid-x and something that’s blue crystals and is meant to dissolve organic matter. The blue stuff primarily just leaked all over my floor, so no idea how much use that ended up being.

-I put mainline cleaner down the tub, and foaming root cleaner in the clean-out in the back yard. These don’t appear to have done anything.

-we have plunged it with a sink plunger and an accordion plunger, snaked it with a 25 foot auger, and used a kinetic water ram to 45lbs. I was afraid to use more pressure.

-we have emptied it out and poured a bucket of water in the bowl. It doesn’t drain like that.

-the tank doesn’t fill as much as it seems like it should, but the toilet still doesn’t flush with water added up to the fill line.

-I am about to lose my marbles.

Any ideas or solutions? Please. Thanks!

  • You have snake through the toilet bowl? Does the toilet slowly drain down to the normal level after awhile? Commented May 3, 2020 at 6:12
  • Open up the manhole and check - is that clear or full of water? It depends on which country you are in. In UK, we would call the water board for the area to clear it.
    – cup
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 11:26
  • The water either stays still or leaks through the bottom of the toilet.
    – inusa
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 11:35
  • 2
    If you have to replace the wax seal anyway then you may as well pull the toilet ( un-mount it ) and pour water directly down the pipe and see if it drains. If it does then the blockage is in the trap of the toilet itself. If the pipe does not drain and your snake is not long enough to clear it then you can rent one at a tool rental place.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


I'm not a plumber; but, have a lot of life experiences. 1st - the "Dad" issue. We mean well; but, sometimes stuff just happens, If the toilet wasn't blocked before you think your dad broke the wax ring, there's a good chance it fell into the sewer line and that's your problem. If it was blocked before that then there's a good chance the sewer line collapsed under the concrete. My brother who lives in Florida has a home on a slab and had an identical problem. Unfortunately, it was an expensive fix. Either way, your first step would be to remove the toilet and check the wax issue. It's an easy job - shut off main water supply (either in the garage or possibly against an outside wall), drain supply line (possibly at water heater), disconnect supply to toilet, remove 2 bolts securing toilet to floor, and lift toilet up and out of the way. At this point you can check to see if wax ring is blocking drain, if not and you have necessary skills, rent a drain auger and attempt to clear drain, if not, call a professional plumber to assess problem and suggest remedies. Good luck and stay safe.

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