Here's the situation:

Conventional toilet flushes liquids with some TP just fine. Everything works and looks exactly as expected. It flushes effectively with a nice swirl.

But when someone makes magic happen, resulting in solids in the toilet, it requires aggressive plunging more than half the time. After plunging, it works fine until someone makes magic happen again, at which time it usually requires more plunging.

Once it is plunged, the flushing looks completely normal again. There is no "slow flush" indicating an obstruction in the drain line. Sinks on the same drain line work as expected without any clogs.

The toilet and pipes are all about 15 years old and have had consistent, but moderate, use. This problem has only been going on for about a year.

I have done some research, and many sites recommend a "main line cleaner" like Green Gobbler. Given that after plunging, the toilet drains fine, I'm not sure if such a cleaner will actually help. After all, there does not seem to be a large obstruction. Also, with over 15 meters/yards of drain line, it seems questionable if even a gallon of such a substance would make sufficient contact with enough of the pipe for a long enough duration to have a significant effect.

How does I proceed to resolve this issue?

  • 1
    Have you removed the toilet to see if there are any problems with the connection to the flange? I have seen some toilets mounted slightly off center of the hole in the flange causing this issue. Inspect the the flange, bottom of toilet, down the pipe etc.
    – Alaska Man
    Nov 11, 2020 at 18:14
  • @AlaskaMan I have not. Thank you for the idea. Given that the toilet did not have this issue for many years, but became an issue about a year ago, what do you think are the odds that this is the source of the problem? Since it's not a super quick thing to try, I would prefer to keep this option as a later diagnosis step if other steps fail, unless it is very likely the cause of the problem. Nov 11, 2020 at 18:25
  • I would also suggest making sure the vent is clear. A blocked vent can slow down the drain and cause this same issue, my worst discovery was a dead squirrel after memo all the problems were gone.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 11, 2020 at 18:53
  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket - It seems since what you have tried so far has not helped then further investigation by removing the toilet would be the next logical step, No? unless others cann provide more options to try before it becomes necessary.
    – Alaska Man
    Nov 11, 2020 at 18:58
  • If it were me I would at least try a toilet auger before pulling it up. Buy a decent one from a plumbing shop, not the cheapest one on the shelf at the big-box store. Just add it to your tool inventory. A partial blockage in or near the toilet would be my bet; particularly if there's a chance a young child may have tested toy flotation properties. Nov 12, 2020 at 1:36

3 Answers 3


Often it is an issue of some hard item (like a tooth brush or a comb) stuck at the floor flange, especially if someone used one of the self centering funnel type of wax ring https://amzn.to/2ImIVAd rather than a bare ring https://amzn.to/2Ixn8Wo .

  • To diagnose this, does one have to remove the toilet as Alaska Man recommended in the comments section? Nov 11, 2020 at 18:46
  • 1
    Yes, but it's what you got to do. It seems like it is an obstruction, and it is likely to be close to the toilet because when an obstructing item makes it past the vent then clogs don't respond much to a plunger. Nov 11, 2020 at 18:57
  • Definitely a possibility if kids are living in the house. A kid might flush anything, just to see what will happen.
    – Mattman944
    Nov 12, 2020 at 2:45
  • @Mattman944 I also suspect people are sometimes too squeamish to pick things out of a toilet and try to flush away evidence even if they know they shouldn't. :) Nov 12, 2020 at 17:09

I recently had to deal with the exact same problem. I pulled the toilet several times and found nothing blocking the flange seal area but I noticed that the toilet design resulted in the gooseneck at the back hitting the wall which caused the toilet to line up slightly off center with the flange. Ths resulted in wax squeezing out from the ring resulting in toilet paper catching on the wax.
The solution was pulling the wax ring and replacing it with a waxless seal. The one below is the one I used but there are others.
enter image description here


I must have accidently flushed a sanitary pad dkwn.. plunging did no good.I tried something new I read.. turn off incoming water. flush one time.. boil 1 gallon of water.. put 1/2 cup Dawn in toilet.. put in boiling water.. close lid fkr 4 hours.. let it sit undesturbed.. turn incoming water back on.. test by flushing.. it worked for me and has been great since. I didnt think it was going to and I had An auger ordefed at the store because I didnt want the bill of a plumber. I was very suprised.. working great!.

  • 2
    With some formatting & spell check, this could be a decent answer. Please edit your post, then look at the instructions on the right-hand side for formatting instructions, and the icons above the text entry box for formatting tools.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 16, 2020 at 12:43

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