toilet overflow
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
toilet overflow (by small potatoes [NY]) Feb 7, 2019 8:23 PM
       toilet overflow (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Feb 7, 2019 11:39 PM
       toilet overflow (by myob [GA]) Feb 8, 2019 3:45 AM
       toilet overflow (by Opinionated [NC]) Feb 8, 2019 4:44 AM
       toilet overflow (by Barbara [VA]) Feb 8, 2019 4:54 AM
       toilet overflow (by Steve [MA]) Feb 8, 2019 5:14 AM
       toilet overflow (by Steve [MA]) Feb 8, 2019 5:38 AM
       toilet overflow (by fred [CA]) Feb 8, 2019 5:44 AM
       toilet overflow (by TOM [FL]) Feb 8, 2019 11:46 AM
       toilet overflow (by don [PA]) Feb 8, 2019 12:26 PM
       toilet overflow (by small potatoes [NY]) Feb 8, 2019 5:20 PM
       toilet overflow (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Feb 10, 2019 11:32 AM

Click here to reply to this discussion.
Click Here to send this discussion to a friend

toilet overflow (by small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2019 8:23 PM

In a first floor apartment that has been empty for weeks, I discovered that the toilet had backed up and overflowed. Was not a bad situation, but enough 'water' had pushed up to flow out the door and down the hall. Everything was dry and the bowl had no water in the trap.

The upper floor toilet is on it's own stack and the two don't meet till they head to the street. No signs of a problem in the basement. So if the upstair affected the downstairs that's a lot of volume. I saw no signs that the tub or sink backed up. Upstairs tenant says they have not noticed any issues with their toilet. I know the municipality can have issues in the street at times, but I would think I'd see that in the basement. I am not thinking that the recent subzero weather played a role. Thoughts?

toilet overflow (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2019 11:39 PM


How do you know it came out of the bowl? If the water came up thru the bowl it would take a long time for the entire bowl to evaporate. time our city used their jet blaster to clear the line in the street. My crew reported water spraying UP out of the toilet with enough pressure to lift the lid. If that was your situation they might have also sucked the water OUT of the trap.

Could be a broken tank or a broken fill line.

I love a mystery! Let us know what develops!


toilet overflow (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 3:45 AM

Tater! If there's any question as to where this came from yank the toilet. take it outside and turn upside down and make sure nothing is caught in the neck of the toilet. I would also get one of those expandable hose connectors for 4 inch line and put it into the big pipe.

Fact is soemthing caused this and th etiem to investigate is while the unit is empty.

Did you notice any back up stains in either tub or sink?

toilet overflow (by Opinionated [NC]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 4:44 AM

Much simpler is to use a 5 gallon bucket of water and pour it quickly into the bowl. If it goes down like a normal flush, all is well with your passage out of the bowl and the line beyond it.

toilet overflow (by Barbara [VA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 4:54 AM

I had the same thing happen to me as Brad20000. As for it not happening in the basement, that's a mystery.

toilet overflow (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 5:14 AM

If there wasn't any water in the bowl or the trap then there must either be a leak in the toilet bowl or someone removed the water. Of course someone removing the water wouldn't explain the water in the hall.

I would fill a five gallon bucket with colored water & dump in in the bowl. If the water goes down then I doubt that there is a drain issue. Put more colored water in the bowl & let it sit for a few days. If the water level goes down you should be able to see signs of stains some where on the outside of the bowl. --96.237.xx.xx

toilet overflow (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 5:38 AM

How come the bowl didn't refill? Was the water shut off to the toilet? --96.237.xx.xx

toilet overflow (by fred [CA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 5:44 AM

Most likely, the obstruction is inside the toilet. Take it outdoor, clean it, reinstall it and if the trouble continues, report back.

toilet overflow (by TOM [FL]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 11:46 AM

Tater Tots of NY,

Those darn toilet gremlins???

Theres a 2nd floor tenant.

Check the ceilings for any water stains????

Did you have a hot water heater pop its valve????

Check the staining on the floor. PLUS since your unit is vacant shut off the water to all the toilets, vanities and sinks. I am guessing you can not shut off the water to the unit that is vacant.

IF the unit had a frozen something check the toilet for any hairline cracks in the boil or tank due to freezing from the Subzero vortex that hit the area last week or so.

Maybe the 2nd floor tenant is not telling you the entire story.

OR did you change the locks on the vacant unit and did the former tenant cause some trouble to the unit.

Also consider putting a lot of paper in the bowl and checking how it flushes.

Call the Sewage Man Auth ask them if they did any work in the immediate area of the unit and if they cleared any lines in the area, sewer lines???

Otherwise GREMLIN in the toilet....

Call a Priest to do an exorcism on the unit? HMMM...


toilet overflow (by don [PA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 12:26 PM

Insufficient venting on the first floor toilet could cause a drop in air pressure behind it in the line when it is flushed, sucking the water out of the bowl upstairs.

toilet overflow (by small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2019 5:20 PM

I know the toilet overflowed because of the trail of little scraps of TP and 'chocolate' flakes. Toilet and lines did not freeze, as I keep the apt heated at 52. I have changed the locks, so no shenanigans. The toilet, plain was not flushed for 3 weeks, so flushing it is not the cause. I did flush it a bunch and run the tub and sink at the same time, w/out incident. And there were no signs of back up in the tub or sink.

Yes the upstairs tenant might not be letting onto something, but the ceiling is not stained. It is a drop ceiling (dreaded C rental S8 nono) and there are no signs under the top fl toilet that things went south.

I will call the water dept monday. I like Dons' idea that there was a mini typhoon. It was late in the day when I found it. At a better hourI will uncap the cleanout and see if it's under pressure. Just got to remember to stand to the side!

toilet overflow (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 11:32 AM

Tom - what do you pay the local priest to do the exorcism? I have a couple units that are more prone to turn overs than others and then I have the one unit that is simply evil.

In this one unit just about every other resident dies either at the place or in the hospital. Had a suicide in the place, a heat attack at the place and then someone from cancer who all passed.

I am not sure if i should have a priest visit it or if I should also leave a magnet on the frig for the local funeral know a coupon for 20% off a funeral

Click Here to send this discussion to a friend
Report discussion to Webmaster

Subject: RE: toilet overflow
Your Name:
Your State:

toilet overflow
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: