clogged toilets
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
clogged toilets (by laura [MD]) Mar 27, 2017 10:20 PM
       clogged toilets (by OPM [OR]) Mar 27, 2017 11:16 PM
       clogged toilets (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 27, 2017 11:43 PM
       clogged toilets (by LiveTheDream [AZ]) Mar 28, 2017 12:19 AM
       clogged toilets (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 28, 2017 2:04 AM
       clogged toilets (by Ken [NY]) Mar 28, 2017 4:11 AM
       clogged toilets (by cjl [NY]) Mar 28, 2017 6:03 AM
       clogged toilets (by Robert,Ontario,Can [ON]) Mar 28, 2017 6:10 AM
       clogged toilets (by Vee [OH]) Mar 28, 2017 6:38 AM
       clogged toilets (by S i d [MO]) Mar 28, 2017 7:19 AM
       clogged toilets (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Mar 28, 2017 8:12 AM
       clogged toilets (by Arnold [OH]) Mar 28, 2017 11:01 AM
       clogged toilets (by Barb [MO]) Mar 28, 2017 1:15 PM
       clogged toilets (by Robert,Ontario,Can [ON]) Mar 28, 2017 1:27 PM
       clogged toilets (by elliot [RI]) Mar 28, 2017 4:59 PM
       clogged toilets (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Mar 28, 2017 6:23 PM
       clogged toilets (by Lucy [IN]) Mar 29, 2017 8:54 AM
       clogged toilets (by DJ [VA]) Mar 29, 2017 4:26 PM
       clogged toilets (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Mar 29, 2017 4:51 PM
       clogged toilets (by elliot [RI]) Mar 30, 2017 3:03 AM
       clogged toilets (by Landgoddess [CA]) Mar 30, 2017 2:21 PM
       clogged toilets (by DB [KS]) Mar 30, 2017 3:21 PM
       clogged toilets (by wayde [MI]) Mar 30, 2017 6:08 PM
       clogged toilets (by Dan [OR]) Mar 30, 2017 6:23 PM
       clogged toilets (by LL [IA]) Mar 30, 2017 6:26 PM
       clogged toilets (by LL [IA]) Mar 30, 2017 6:26 PM
       clogged toilets (by Ernie [TX]) Mar 31, 2017 2:21 AM
       clogged toilets (by Arlene [MD]) Mar 31, 2017 9:23 PM
       clogged toilets (by Blue [IL]) Apr 1, 2017 4:04 AM
       clogged toilets (by Paulette [WY]) Apr 4, 2017 5:28 AM
       clogged toilets (by Luba [NY]) Apr 4, 2017 10:00 AM
       clogged toilets (by Kathy [GA]) Apr 9, 2017 9:29 PM
       clogged toilets (by WMH [NC]) Apr 14, 2017 6:54 AM
       clogged toilets (by Brad [MI]) Oct 30, 2019 11:51 AM
       clogged toilets (by JR [ME]) Oct 30, 2019 11:00 PM
       clogged toilets (by Jkj [MA]) Oct 31, 2019 3:05 AM
       clogged toilets (by Marketer2 [SC]) Nov 5, 2019 3:44 PM
       clogged toilets (by Mike [PA]) Nov 5, 2019 3:53 PM
       clogged toilets (by Patti [OK]) Nov 5, 2019 4:09 PM
       clogged toilets (by Mike, sewer inspecto [PA]) Nov 5, 2019 5:32 PM
       clogged toilets (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Nov 5, 2019 6:39 PM
       clogged toilets (by Dan [OR]) Nov 5, 2019 7:53 PM
       clogged toilets (by George [NY]) Nov 5, 2019 11:02 PM
       clogged toilets (by mike [CA]) Nov 6, 2019 9:28 AM
       clogged toilets (by seagal [CA]) Nov 6, 2019 2:37 PM
       clogged toilets (by seagal [CA]) Nov 6, 2019 2:39 PM
       clogged toilets (by John [NY]) Nov 8, 2019 5:24 AM

clogged toilets (by laura [MD]) Posted on: Mar 27, 2017 10:20 PM

Just wondering how folks handle stopped up toilet calls. I normally say, I am happy to send a plumber over, HOWEVER know that if he determines you are at fault you will be responsible for all costs. I also let them know....FYI... hard to imagine how a stopped up toilet is NOT DUE to something you put down it.

How do you handle stopped up toilet calls?

clogged toilets (by OPM [OR]) Posted on: Mar 27, 2017 11:16 PM

































clogged toilets (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 27, 2017 11:43 PM


We make it clear we do not unclog toilets. Period. It is clogged from whatever THEY or their kiddos tried to flush. Call a plumber because my guys are busy with MY list!

Our lease orientation meeting includes some basic training on feminine products, kitty litter, etc. Several small loads are better then one large load.

WE remove any shelving from above the toilet and that has helped immensely with brushes, scrunchies, etc falling into the bowl. It does not stop toys, phones, or men with large colons.

We supply each bathroom with a zip tool for the sink and an accordion style plunger for the toilet. Cheaper than a single service call.


clogged toilets (by LiveTheDream [AZ]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 12:19 AM

I actually have a laminated card taped to the toilets like they have for boats. "Do Not Put Anything Down the Toilet Unless You Have Eaten It First!"

I am not paid enough to unclog someone's toilet.

Problem is - they won't call a plumber and some will just use the sink - or god forbid, the garbage disposal!!

clogged toilets (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 2:04 AM


As I think back I cannot recall the last clogged toilet call we received.


clogged toilets (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 4:11 AM

Brad,you just jinxed yourself

clogged toilets (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 6:03 AM

Well ... I had one a few months ago that the tenant called and was indicating that the toilet is continuing to "overflow" and is backed up. She claimed that she tried to plunge it and snake it but to no avail.

When she called again (before I could even get the messages) she indicated "It's running all over the floor! You need to get someone here ASAP!!"

I called her and said "STOP FLUSHING THE TOILET!"

So - plumber goes over and clears it. Says after (to me) "I think there is something wrong with the toilet because I'm having a hard time getting my snake through. Whatever it is - it's hard. I think it may plug again in a few days but we'll have to see".

Sure enough, a few days later and she calls indicating that it's plugged up again. He pulls the toilet (again) and just says "I really recommend just replacing the toilet at this point - if that doesn't do it then there is something in the pipes (which he can't see immediately from looking down".

We replaced the toilet - no more issues.

MY DAUGHTER calls us about 3 weeks ago and says "hey, my toilet isn't flushing right (never really has since she moved in a few years ago but always went down). She plunges it, reads on line about hot water and soap (tries that - sort of helps). Goes out and purchases a toilet snake (all proud of herself because "she fixed it all by herself) and then about a day later - not flushing again.

Talks with the neighbor downstairs (in a condo) to see if he is having issues (I'm "hoping" there may be something wrong with either the vent stack or the lines and not with our toilet) ... no problems at all.

She has a maintenance guy she knows at work come over and he pulls the toilet for her - yup - needs a new toilet!

Now at my house - seems that BOTH of my toilets lately have been acting up and not really wanting to flush ALL OF THE TIME. Almost on a daily basis which is NOT common (obviously).

I think this is the "Year of the Toilet"

clogged toilets (by Robert,Ontario,Can [ON]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 6:10 AM

In the apartment buildings have plumbers type of toilet snake which in most cases clears the clog. I wait a few hours before as this discourages the toilet from being clogged again. For Around $40 to $60 dollars the toilet snake is paid off after the first use.

clogged toilets (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 6:38 AM

Very unlikely a toilet goes bad, CJ - tap on the used toil;et till the toothpaste tube or GI Joe doll falls out then glue it together and place into service again, I have a battery gizmo called -see snake- it is 30 inch camera on stainless flex and you push it in and can see the perfume bottle cao, socks, shampoo cover, head of doll floating in the trap so there we tell them the old phrase - if you did not eat it and we pull it out you must pay the service call and in this case it is a replacement toilet, however if the stack is stuck then we hand them this list --

Dear Tenant, Upon signing of the lease /rental agreement you were issued the the keys to the premises and are the sole occupants. You took possession of a clean, well kept residential rental, with clean floors, walls, and fully functional utilities. While in possession you are responsible for maintaining the dwelling, kitchen and bathrooms, including free flowing drainage of all sinks tubs and showers.

Cotton swabs (Q-Tips®)

Cotton balls

Dental floss .

Fats, oils, grease

Facial tissue (Kleenex, Puffs, etc)

Food scraps

Unwanted cooking oil, cleaners, and the like should not be emptied down your drains.

Chemicals - Photo chemicals, paints, thinners, oils, varnishes, pesticides, used motor oil, unwanted cooking oil should never be flushed down a toilet nor put into any other building drains.

Clothing articles

Baby wiping products

Dead pets

Cigarette butts

Coffee grounds .

Dirt (such as from people who clean their flower pots in the bath tub should never be flushed down a building drain)

Drugs, prescription or non-prescription medicines


Hair - Animal or human hair combings

Disposable diapers

Paper towels

Tampons, (wrapping them in toilet tissue and placing them in a garbage receptacle)

Any paper products with synthetic fiber reinforcements

The above mentioned products are known to create drain blockages and the owner will not be held responsible for drain cleaning if any blockage is found to contain these or other components that are not compatible with the drain system. Drainage clogs are the responsibility of the lessee and under no circumstances will the landlord incur charges for plumbing services requested or required as a result of abuse, mistreatment, or negligent practices resulting in the loss of function of any of the water based utilities.

Our property manager may be able to offer property access but payment methods are between you and the plumbing service and should be arranged in advance, she/he will not handle any cash on your behalf. If a problem arises, Please call a -licensed plumbing service- with whom you can arrange prompt service, we have had a high success rate with xxxx plumbing and he offers a discount to our tenants when paid promptly. 216

clogged toilets (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 7:19 AM

Unless it's tree roots, in which case a pro with an auger will be required and he'll tell you it was roots, or a collapsed line the tenant pays. There was only one exception to that since I started doing this in 2005. A couple with no kids moved in. Toilet flushed fine during move-in check, but a few days after move-in they reported it would clog/slow flow even when just a few sheets of TP were flushed. I witnessed it myself. Came to find there was a toy lodged in the trap, most likely from the PAST tenant's who had a little kid that did have those kinds of toys.

Maybe I was too soft on these folks, but I don't see 20-somethings flushing a GI Joe.

clogged toilets (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 8:12 AM

I usually ask if they can explain how a toilet can clog itself....the answers are priceless. lol

Don't get me started on tenants that let the toilets overflow and do nothing about it.

It is true, that tree roots and even debri flowing down the city lines can clog a home line. Just had one this past weekend. I try to run by and check the city clean out before I go any further. (ie. if there is water in the clean out, that means that the line above it is clear and that the city connection is blocked.) The city where I have my homes is very quick to respond. I am very lucky.

As far as my policy....I don't unclog toilets, but for an otherwise good tenant, If I am available, I am always willing to run by and help them for an occasional problem.

clogged toilets (by Arnold [OH]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 11:01 AM

One tenant told me that the sewer was clogged. And because my regular plumber was not available that day, the tenant called in another company. The service men could not rooter out the clog but they still wanted to be paid. They claimed that the line to the street was broken. I refused to pay the company. And when the workers threaten to call the police, the tenant immediately paid the bill.

The billing was a complete scam. A new sewer line had been installed just the year before. And the next day my plumber found that the inside sewer line was clogged solid with the tenant's baby wipes. The tenant got the joy of paying twice for the stupidity.

clogged toilets (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 1:15 PM

We actually just replaced the toilets in my own home. Since installation, one of them routinely clogged.

Upon the advice from a friend, we purchased and installed the "16 Golf Ball Toilet". Google that and you'll see it at HD, Lowe's, etc.

We love it! No clogs since!

I'm contemplating replacing some of the toilets in my rentals with them. On the plus side, they use less water than some of my old toilets. --131.151.xx.xx

clogged toilets (by Robert,Ontario,Can [ON]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 1:27 PM

Pressure flush toilets are less likely clog but the clog may go further down which will require a plumbers snake. Found a toilet plumbers type of auger nine times out ten clears the clog. Rigid makes a good commercial toilet auger. Many tenants do not under physics where they can flush everything down.

clogged toilets (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 4:59 PM

$200+ a toilet for rental seems a waste to me..

The cheapest home depot $30 tank plus $29 toilet bowl worked just fine.. If someone manage to clog a regular toilet with regular cr@p, then their plunger will unclog it.. For everything else, plumbing service..

clogged toilets (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2017 6:23 PM

The main line is my problem, individual lines are your problem

clogged toilets (by Lucy [IN]) Posted on: Mar 29, 2017 8:54 AM

I have one property the lines clog at least 1 time a year, often 2. I've augured it, some ppl say it's roots, some say it's the city line (the city says it is not their line) Told the local plumber to dig it up (its goes under a street) and fix whatever the heck it is and I will pay for it. They say they will have to find a fit in their schedule. That was 2 years ago? It's usually in the spring or fall. Had one tenent text me a gross picture right as I was having Thanksgiving dinner. They almost got tossed for that. OMG I was so mad. I would not pay holiday rates to unclog them, when it had been slowing for a few days.

clogged toilets (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Mar 29, 2017 4:26 PM


I really like the wording in your dear Tenant paragraph. I hope you don't mind if I use it.

My lease has a clause that includes: "The only items approved to be disposed of down the toilet are bodily excrement and reasonably necessary amounts of toilet tissue."

I do list some restricted items, but you can't think of everything - so this seems pretty clear.

clogged toilets (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Mar 29, 2017 4:51 PM

Lucy(IN). I once had a house with a similar problem. It turned out that it was because of the many different materials (pvc, terra cotta, concrete) that had been used when making the city connection.(and possible workmanship issues) Thankfully the city came out and repaired it for free. (It was on their side of the clean out). They had to dig up the road. The neighbors weren't happy.

If the problem is past your street cleanout, it may be worth your time to call the city and request a camera to inspect.

Just a thought. Best of luck. :)

clogged toilets (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Mar 30, 2017 3:03 AM

I like LTD's laminated card. I am going to try it and see reactions..

No need to list million things that they shouldn't flush down..

clogged toilets (by Landgoddess [CA]) Posted on: Mar 30, 2017 2:21 PM

My lease states tenant is responsable for keeping all drains clear. I tell them at M/I that if it's a "line" issue, I pay, otherwise, they pay. BUT.... Call me & I'll arrange it as my guy can unclog it for cheaper than someone you pull off the internet or word of mouth. It helps to make sure I don't get ripped off by scammers trying to get paid for non-necessary repairs too.

I also will pay to unclog any drain 1 time within the first month. With my rentals, I gotta figure any clog that happens right away is almost always due to the prior tenant - hair, synthetic hair extensions (super fun when the melt it into a wad by using draino), toys, ATM card....

Has worked well so far.

clogged toilets (by DB [KS]) Posted on: Mar 30, 2017 3:21 PM

From our lease:

Agent guarantees clear drain lines for 30 days after initial lease inception. After 30 days drain clogs caused by anything other than pipe failure or tree roots are the financial responsibility of the tenant. Items such as hair, grease, food, feminine products, paper towels and baby wipes can cause clogs that would be the financial responsibility of the tenant.

clogged toilets (by wayde [MI]) Posted on: Mar 30, 2017 6:08 PM

Tenant had a plugged toilet, it couldn't be plugged. Toilet hole was a triangle, plunger was round. Used a shop vac, it cleared the problem. When buying he next toilet I will inspect that the hole is round.

clogged toilets (by Dan [OR]) Posted on: Mar 30, 2017 6:23 PM

Occasionally you will find a toilet is the fault of the appliance itself.

Most often it can be blamed on the user, however it is our job to explain to them what not to put in the toilet......................

Personally, I handle my own service calls and there are very very few because they know that they may themselves be responsible if any item is placed in the toilet and found to be a violation of the rental agreement.

Your rental agreement should have a timeframe, that allows the tenant to use the toilet trouble-free and after that unless it's a mainline failure, they may well be held liable.

Dangling that Carrot in front of them will make them think twice. Unfortunately children have their toys, and I have had the large plastic keys that are used as teething toys get stuck in the toilet basin between the porcelain....

Most plumbers would want to throw the toilet away.

Before doing anything I cross tied a 1 inch strip of terrycloth towel and used a small packing strap as a very strong handle. On the third flush, the towel wrapped around the plastic keys and I was able to pull those out.

The toilets never delightful, but it can be costly.

Stay in control

clogged toilets (by LL [IA]) Posted on: Mar 30, 2017 6:26 PM

If you see bubbles when you flush, then there is still something in the toilet and it's not totally cleared yet.

clogged toilets (by LL [IA]) Posted on: Mar 30, 2017 6:26 PM

If you see bubbles when you flush, then there is still something in the toilet and it's not totally cleared yet.

clogged toilets (by Ernie [TX]) Posted on: Mar 31, 2017 2:21 AM

I have had interesting experiences with toilets, a driver's license found when we pulled the toilet out (it didn't flush sometimes). And at another time the toilet auger got a plastic candy wrapper out a little thing kept it from flushing. A toilet overflowing with dirt overflowing from the bath tub as well. Of course that was a sewer line break of the rusted pipes. Most likely caused from drugs burning the pipes I discovered.

clogged toilets (by Arlene [MD]) Posted on: Mar 31, 2017 9:23 PM

Boy have I learned a lot here. I always run right over when they call with a clogged toilet. I'm afraid of the mess I'll have to deal with if I don't handle it right away. But why, oh why, do they wait until Sunday night when it's been clogged since Friday morning? The last clog was a night light in the toilet....I never would have thought to charge the tenant....I'm sure they would say they didn't have the money for a plumber.

clogged toilets (by Blue [IL]) Posted on: Apr 1, 2017 4:04 AM

I have had an old toilet lime up. We have really hard water here.

clogged toilets (by Paulette [WY]) Posted on: Apr 4, 2017 5:28 AM

We always let our tenants know at move in and it's in the lease as well. The only time we've had problems is when the tenant can't pay rent, then they clog the toilet on purpose and use it afterwards. That only happened twice by different tenants and they were evicted.

Seems that tenants think they don't have to pay the rent if something is wrong with the unit. We know something is up when a repair request comes at the end of the month.

Once had a cleaning service the tenant hired flush paper towels down the toilet. They were very difficult to get out even after pulling the toilet.

It's too bad toilets don't have locking lids for homes with small children.

clogged toilets (by Luba [NY]) Posted on: Apr 4, 2017 10:00 AM

Paulette, toilet's locking lids is exist!

I just googled it and they are coming in different shapes and designs.

Is it a good idea - to install it for tenant or just tell them to buy it themselves?

clogged toilets (by Kathy [GA]) Posted on: Apr 9, 2017 9:29 PM

We own a mobile home park and most of the trailers. We have a well and septic system. We're currently working on posting laminated notices in every bathroom and kitchen stating to put nothing but water down the drains and flush nothing but human waste down the toilets. I believe that about covers everything. Hope this helps someone.

clogged toilets (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 14, 2017 6:54 AM

Just interviewed two young girls recently who were moving because their landlord wouldn't let them flush tampons down the toilet. HAH! I told them, "Well don't move here because we have the same policies!" They were shocked until I explained about septic systems.

But they still said, "But my dog goes in the trash and gets them." I said, "Get a trash can with a lid!" --173.22.xx.xx

clogged toilets (by Brad [MI]) Posted on: Oct 30, 2019 11:51 AM

Well it seems as if many plumber and landlords here cannot fathom that a toilet drain can get back pitched from old worn straps or having rodents crawling around in the crawl.. how does a toilet get backed up by itself? And a collapsed drain isnt tenants responsibility. I'm seeing to many landlords try to remove as much liability from them as they can, i.e. tenant pays for repairs that ultimately home owner is responsible for. Tenant pays for the service of a functioning home. Stop being cheap and greedy and realise not everyone is an idiot and things do happen. It seems the ones who act smarter are the ones who neglect the most. Trust me. I'm renting a pos place from a slumlord who cant even hire a real plumber. Hires some guy and uses a small snake and cannot get toilet to drain. And nothing was shoved into it. 75ft of snake all the way through he left the toilet off sitting in the tub over night. Spent about 4 hrs max trying to snake it and giving up at about 8pm. Here I am 27 hours later since notifying of the issue and they tell me dont call a real plumber.. I'm sure this happens to alot of the renters but lack education on and real issues. Get told stories to make them pay instead of cost applying to landlord. I wonder how many of you actually inspect your plumbing in between tenants. Including under craw spaces to check for possible issues with hvac, drains, supply lines.. nobody does it. So when things happen it's always the tenants fault it how most landlords act.

clogged toilets (by JR [ME]) Posted on: Oct 30, 2019 11:00 PM

Brad (MI) Why would you rent a POS place? You obviously are intelligent and know more about home maintenance than your landlord. Please enlighten us stupid, greedy landlords. Are you some kind of undercover reporter, a religious person who took a vow of poverty?

clogged toilets (by Jkj [MA]) Posted on: Oct 31, 2019 3:05 AM

Brad [MI] I read the entire thread a second time and can’t find where or who the “cheap greedy landlord” is that said they would charge the tenant for a collapsed pipe, roots in the line, or if the toilet itself is the issue. In fact Brad, I read the opposite, I read landlords saying that the tenant is responsible if it’s clogged from flushing anything other than human waste and TP. Not 1 person said the tenant is responsible if it’s due to issues with the plumbing. Also, a little tip Brad, maybe you should proof read your post prior to hitting submit next time, it’s hard to sell the whole, I’m smarter and know more than you stupid, greedy landlords thing, when you struggle with your grammar.

clogged toilets (by Marketer2 [SC]) Posted on: Nov 5, 2019 3:44 PM

If it's a new tenant or a new house that we just started managing within 30 days, my maint guy goes and evaluates issue. If great low maint tenant, I take care of it usually. Otherwise, tenant pays for plumber and unless plumber says tree roots, tenant owns problem.

Latest issue is tenants or kids flushing stuff into new low flow toilets and hard items get caught in curve. I tell tenant that if there stuff stuck in toilet, its $250 bill. We take toilet into yard and hit the ceramic at the curve. Every single time, something is there like the wire from the toilet bowl cleaners, makeup lids, etc.

clogged toilets (by Mike [PA]) Posted on: Nov 5, 2019 3:53 PM

I love the hard stand textbook responses. Here's the call to the code department and it becomes YOUR problem regardless of what lease says. Otherwise it's considered an uninhabitable property.

Yes, you can collect from the tenant but you may just find the property empty in a week or posted condemned. --174.201.xx.x

clogged toilets (by Patti [OK]) Posted on: Nov 5, 2019 4:09 PM

If tenants put anything what is not suppose to go down anywhere it doesn’t belong. The tenants will be paying the bill. It is in our lease.

clogged toilets (by Mike, sewer inspecto [PA]) Posted on: Nov 5, 2019 5:32 PM

Brad (MI), I have been a landlord for over 20 years and before I rent to anyone, I actually crawl through the sewer line to make sure the pipes are clear and not damaged. It's a smelly job but someone has to do it.

clogged toilets (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Nov 5, 2019 6:39 PM

The joys of a clogged toilet. My plumbing problems are compounded by the necessity of a 'Sewage Pump". My houses are below the street grade and need the assist to get up and out to the main line. I recently had new tenants move in, gave them the usual written notice about NOTHING going down the toilet except toilet paper and human waste. I went over it orally when we signed the lease. Within one month, my electric bill doubled and then tripled. Finally traced it to the Sewer Pump which was pulling twice the Wattage it should and was cycling on and off every 1 1/2 minutes, 24/7, for an entire month going on 2 months when it finally just overflowed all over the back yard. Long story short (leaving out the inept plumbing company who did nothing and wanted to charge me $500.00), the new Tenant (bless his little heart) followed my directions, pulled the pump and fixed it. Saved me all that money, AND what we found clogging it was a temporaty mystery. It looked like someone had thrown a wash rag or towel in the toilet. Turned out to be about 30 'Feminine Hygiene Wipes'. Not your usual baby wipes or personal wipes which are square. I've had that problem before because the box clearly says, "Flushable". My tenants tend to believe the box even after I tell them nothing goes down the toilet. Sad. These were 4" by 10" and were all wrapped around the impeller, filling the inside of the pump housing. It took over a month of abuse to finally clog permanently. I took pictures. No other contraband found. So we have the 52 year old dad, 28 year old daughter, and 7 year old grand daughter. Guess who was the culprit? She is fuming at me and her dad now for daring to call her on flushing all those wipes. Won't happen again. If it does, I have found a guy who will fix it for FREE. Yes, the dad. Awesome on taking instructions from me. I've dealt with sewer pumps for 40 years, I know what can go wrong. He believed me and did exactly what I told him to do. I rewarded him with a 6 pack of Modelo Especial and a $50.00 gift certificate for See's Candies. He was happy, I was happy. Everyone is happy except the daughter. Hope she learned her lesson.

clogged toilets (by Dan [OR]) Posted on: Nov 5, 2019 7:53 PM

I have a one page addendum, each of my tenants read it through and also swear with their signatures understand that any clogs in the toilet after 30 days will be accepted as their responsibility and there is a long long list of items, many of which other people have mentioned.

Plastic children's toys are prominently a problem in rental properties I have done repair work for other landlords through management companies and found those quite often.

One time I even found a cell phone!

In all cases where a renter has had possession and the toilet was working and now it's not working. It's either their fault or it's the renters friends, who entered the property with their permission.

So I always promise that I will send them the bill, and if the bill should go unpaid they understand that that will come to them in the form of a notification that will enable me to cancel the rental agreement.

I as a landlord love cats, but I do fully explain cat litter is one thing that will not be tolerated.

It's problemsome because it can step up your pipes.

I once did work for a landlord who owns an apartment building, and she had a $10,000 plumbing repair, one of her tenants who was not happy when they left actually poured cement down the drain. This stopped up the sanitation 7 of the 12 apartments.

prescreening and having a thorough written agreement with pictures and a video and mandating the tenants to watch the video can be helpful.

If they don't accept your rules, they would not be a good tenant. That is if you administer your rules correctly!

To your success,


clogged toilets (by George [NY]) Posted on: Nov 5, 2019 11:02 PM

About 10 years ago I started giving each new tenant a new toilet plunger at move-in and instructing them on how to use it properly. They are also instructed what can and cannot be flushed. Since then I've had only one or two calls for clogged toilets in 13 units. Previously, it was one or two a month.

clogged toilets (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Nov 6, 2019 9:28 AM

baby wipes! baby wipes! baby wipes! they are such a problem that the local sewer district sends special memos about the damage they do to their treatment equipment. they snag on any root or burr and stack up like cars in a junkyard.

i have a special one page memo for them and floss. i've also seen lady items with the strings entwined like a bolo. the tenant called to report a slow drain and i reminded him his 13 year old girl might have some "input" and to remind his wife about the wipes she continues to use.

on some of my props i simply do yearly maint and run the main with a half blade and follow with a cam. that way the roots are cleared until i can have the thing lined

clogged toilets (by seagal [CA]) Posted on: Nov 6, 2019 2:37 PM

We changed out 24 toilets to the Niagara stealth 0.8 GPF Single Flush 10” Round Toilets in 2015 when the water company offered rebates that made then nearly free. It cut my water volume use by about 40% overnight - and NOT ONE clogged toilet since. The tank has a flush chamber and no flappers - we have experienced NO leaking at all. There is a push button at top of tank and the applicants love the look "OH! you have contemporary / european toilets!" Well ... I guess that yes I do ! My gripe: happy meal toys! I swear the folks who design the happy meal toys create them to be certain they clog any brand of toilet P-trap they enter. They do not get past the bowl of the stealth toilets. Yeah!

Years ago at another site with the "old school" toilets our plumber shred shared this trick for clogs: Try to plunge then snake - but only very gently snake. Then put S cup "Dawn Platinum Advanced Power Liquid Dish Soap" into clog. WE buy at Costco. Only use the platinum Dawn / that says 4X on the label; told me it has 4X more silicone or soem other grease removal agents than the other Dawn products. Let that sit about 15-30 minutes and it will sink into the clog location. Then heat up some water very hot, but not boiling. slowly pour 1 cup hot water into the standing water-muck and then watch if bubbles come up or the clog moves - if not try a swift partial-flush (if toilet) and slowly pour more hot into muck as the drain starts to clear. Try plunger again - then snake. This cleared 95% of my drains on old -school style toilets we owned until 2014. Did not clear spaghetti or rice that sat and dried up in drains. And 100% of my sink clogs the past 3 years.

When we did replace any old-school style toilets at my past property due to clogs - I always had the plumber put the bowl part into my storage garage. Then I had the tenant come to the storage and watch while I hammered the old p-trap open to see what the clog was due to - and every single time there was either a small toy, makeup items, etc - and then they got to pay for the new toilet....

clogged toilets (by seagal [CA]) Posted on: Nov 6, 2019 2:39 PM

DAWN - it should say one-third cup Dawn ! turned 1/3 it into "S" - looks like 5 ? ONLY S -˝ cup needed!

clogged toilets (by John [NY]) Posted on: Nov 8, 2019 5:24 AM

I had tenant involved in a drive by shooting. FBI raided the house and took him away. The toilet was clogged ever since and I had to replace it. When I threw the toilet out on the curb bullets in a bag fell out of the bottom.

What will codes say if tenant complains about toilet? Here codes cites the landlord, no matter what lease says, if they are on public assistance or section 8, the rent is stopped. Usually judge will side with tenant.

Subject: RE: clogged toilets
Your Name:
Your State:

clogged toilets
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: