Toilet backup question?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
Hypothetical question. Would it be possible to somehow seal off the toilet at the top of the basin to prevent sewage overflo? Seal it with some kind of cover and weigh it down?
If you live on the second floor of an apartment can sewage still back up?
No place else to go.
-- FOX (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 20, 1999
It is hypothetically possible for the sewage to back up to the second (or third, or fifth) floor of an apartment.
Practically -- nah. The apartment floor would have to be lower than the great mass of sewage. Not impossible, just not probable.
As far as sealing at the top of the toilet, it would be hard to get a watertight seal around the basin. Using a seal (ball) forced into the line would be more practical.
-- de (email@example.com), August 20, 1999.
It could happen if you live in an area "below" a lot of other "sewage providers".
I saw a thread before that flax seed in a sock is a good plug for this sort of thing. you put the sock filled with flax seed in the "output" of the toilet, the seed swells and produces a "plug" that can be pulled out later with the long arm of the sock. This will not hold a lot of preasure.
But it may be better than bailing s;;t out the window...
Or maybe make a "creek" from the overflow to the balcony?
It may smell bad, but you probably will not drown........
-- helium (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 20, 1999.
Could a backflow valve be installed between your toilet and the building's sewage line? Maybe a friendly plumber could advise you.
If you're in a hilly area (I'm thinking of my mom who lives in an apartment building at the *bottom* of a big hill) the likelihood will really depend on your elevation and where the lift stations are.
-- mommacarestx (harringtondesignX@earthlink.ent), August 20, 1999.
Theoretically, it should be possible, as long as the pressure was not too great. but the trouble is there's no way to check ahead of time whether you have a good seal. So it would be better to plug off the line using a device made for the purpose.
But if I couldn't get the plug, or in addition to it to be extra safe, I would remove the toilet and put a new wax seal, like you would to install a new toilet, and a thick metal plate. Then put something heavy but compact like weight plates, an engine block, or a car battery on it.
If you absolutely have to try to seal the bowl, get the rim really clean with solvent, and use RTV to seal it. It would help to rough up the surface, try chucking a wire wheel in your drill, but that may not work.
-- biker (email@example.com), August 21, 1999.
Hey FOX.... You mentioned a second floor apartment. Your concern for sewage backing up will be from those above you. If your only a two-story building then the probability is less. You can plug a toilet with an expandable plug forced deep into the bottom of the toilet and tightened. Plumbing supply houses will have this item. Just measure the width of the openning in the bottom of the toilet ,and they'll do the rest...........By the way,any luck with the dill crock?
-- kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 23, 1999.
Uhh, correct me if I'm wrong. Wouldn't the effluent flow out of the first floor toilets, therefor never reaching the second floor? Still not a good situation. If the sewers fail for very long, you be moveing out of town anyway. Think I'll go out and kiss my septic tank : )
-- CT (email@example.com), August 23, 1999.
Husby is a civil engineer, and when I asked him about this, he said that it depends on what other dwellings (read toilets) are higher than you. You're right about the lower floors getting the worst of it, but the flow from their sinks and toilets is limited by the narrowness of the openings. If you live in a community where two or maybe three story buildings are the top of the sky-line, you should be fine. If, however, you have numerous buildings that are taller than you.... He says the pressure of the backing-up water, etc., could be tremendous.
Don't forget that if you are on a sewage system, your sinks and tubs/showers most likely drain into the same system as the toilets. You'll have to plug them up, too. I asked Husby about using wet towels for plugs, and he laughed derisively, as only a civil engineer can. The plumber's inflatable seals are your best bet.
-- Arewyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 27, 1999.