Home & Garden

Toilet clogging only in winter

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 4th, 2018 8:43 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 1, 2017
2 posts
1 upvote
winnipeg

Toilet clogging only in winter

All three toilets are clogging only in the winter on daily basis. One is on the main floor other two are on the main floor. It is a new built (Jan 2018). We had this issue until April 2018 and now facing it again.

I am pretty sure none of the drainage line is with outside wall. Not sure how to deal with problem.
12 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2009
4993 posts
2792 upvotes
Toilets don’t clog in the main drainage line, they clog in the toilet itself in that little S turn portion. This is why you can unclog them with a plunger, otherwise a plunger wouldn’t do anything for a main line clog. It could just be a coincidence it’s happening in winter again.

The only thing I can think of weather related is maybe your plumbing stack vents are clogged with snow or ice? Or leaves?
Deal Addict
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Jan 2, 2012
2449 posts
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KINGSTON,ON
If all three are clogging, and only in winter, it's most likely that your vent stack ( the pipe that protrudes through your roof)) is freezing.
There's something seriously wrong here. It should not be happening in a new build.
In Ontario new homes are warrantied through Tarrion. In Manitoba, it appears to be a provincially legislated. Contact your builder and explain what is happening. If you get unsatisfactory results, here's a link to the government website: Manitoba Home Warranty.
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 11, 2007
9680 posts
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Oakville
The other thing that happens in the winter is that fats solidify quicker in the cold. I had an issue with roots in my main line to the city, and in the winter the fats/oil from toilets, showers, dishwasher, washing machine, etc clogged in the cold and plugged the line.

They say running hot water is worse because it stays hot/liquid in your house, then freezes when it goes into the underground line.

I would suggest getting a few bottles of enzymatic cleaner and running that through all of your lines. Otherwise have a plumber come clean out you main line out.
Deal Addict
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Sep 22, 2005
3034 posts
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Ottawa
MrFrugal1 gave you the correct link for Manitoba New Home Warranty Protection. Definitely contact your builder first, what happened in April 2018 and what was done?

What is covered by the warranty?
One year for defects in materials, labour and design
Two years for defects violations of the Manitoba Building Code and defects to electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, exterior cladding, caulking, windows, doors, and building envelope, including defects resulting in water penetration.
Seven years for major structural components

What if I find a problem with my new home?
As a new homeowner, if you notice something that isn’t quite right with your new home, you may contact your home builder directly to discuss the issue. The builder knows your home and is the best person to address any possible defects and make repairs if necessary. In the event that the builder is unable or unavailable to resolve the issue, you may then consider filing a formal warranty claim.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
6776 posts
2860 upvotes
Kootenays
Almost definitely the vent stack. It's been cold in Winnipeg this week. It shouldn't be happening, though. Get your builder to inspect it. If you're comfortable on a ladder and want to clear it yourself, pour a kettle of hot water down it. Flush the toilets immediately afterward and see if they drain properly then. I have one cabin in our small resort that does this. The plumber forgot to bring the vent out straight when he put it in, then felt it looked bad, so he added an elbow at the roof line. The elbow is enough to trap vapour and as soon as we get a combination of -15 temps and someone taking a long shower or jacuzzi tub, the vent freezes. I clear it a couple of times each winter and keep a ladder behind that cabin specifically for that.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 1, 2017
2 posts
1 upvote
winnipeg
Thank you all for your replies. I will definitely contact my builder as it is still under warranty. Wanted to have some idea what may cause this issue before they send someone.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
6776 posts
2860 upvotes
Kootenays
If your weather is supposed to go above freezing before the builder sends someone, I would check the vent myself if you're comfortable doing it. If it goes above -2 or so, it might clear itself and the problem not be apparent.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
10082 posts
3862 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
eonibm wrote:
Dec 4th, 2018 6:46 pm
Bigger winter dumps?
Either too little or too much fiber....
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2007
13448 posts
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London
fdl wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 2:19 pm
Toilets don’t clog in the main drainage line, they clog in the toilet itself in that little S turn portion. This is why you can unclog them with a plunger, otherwise a plunger wouldn’t do anything for a main line clog. It could just be a coincidence it’s happening in winter again.

The only thing I can think of weather related is maybe your plumbing stack vents are clogged with snow or ice? Or leaves?
An easy way to tell is when you have the problem (after you are unplugged), have someone flush a downstairs toilet while you are watching the water level in the bowl of an upstairs toilet.

If you see the water level move around in your bowl when another toilet flushes, it means the vent is blocked and it's trying to pull air from other places
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2009
4993 posts
2792 upvotes
Also if the vents were blocked there would be other issues present , like slow draining sinks.

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