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Separett Villa toilet urine line clogged

 
Posts: 10
Location: Alpine, Texas: 5,400 ft elev, desert grassland foothills
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I thought someone in this thread may have a urine-diverting toilet and could help.  Our 6 year old Separett Villa has a clogged urine line.  I had been trying to keep it clear with white vinegar sometimes, and biokleen enzyme cleaner foam spray sometimes, and of course water, and recently it was so slow I tried hydrogen pperoxide, which seems to have loosened so much material that it clogged it.  Following on the advice from Separett we used drano as the last resort... And I don't think this slope and diameter of line is meant for that, nor probably for letting it sit overnight because it wasn't working... For now it is fully fully clogged without even a slow drain.  Sadly we've built around it over the years and I can't fathom how to get it out to be able to directly poke at the connection of the "back" end of the urine line to the pipe in the wall (goes to buried grey-only field) so I"m hoping to next siphon out the line (drano, vinegar, water) to get boilng water directly onto the backmost, probably clogged area.  

Has anyone with a toilet like this had this problem?  
 
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I'm not familiar with this toilet, but I am familiar with the crystallization build up that occurs with urine. I use an automotive funnel for urine collection, and if it is not rinsed with water after use, crystallization of the urine left on the inside surface at the lower end of the funnel will eventually build up and clog it. I remove the build up by simply running an appropriate sized wooden dowel down the funnel throat, but of course that won't work for you. I have found that vinegar doesn't work on that sludge build up at all.

Thinking along these lines, could you run a semi-stiff wire down the discharge tube? Perhaps a piece of single strand electrical wiring? You may have to breakdown and replace the tubing, which I'm guessing will be a major endeavor.
 
Jessie Kelsch
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Location: Alpine, Texas: 5,400 ft elev, desert grassland foothills
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Hi Su Ba!  Thanks for your insights, especially about vinegar.  Separett sells an enzyme solution (of course) that they recommend to use regularly.  I did have some success this morning with a skinnier snake I bought at the hardware store... It didn't do the trick entirely but did bring out SOME waxy yellow stuff along witha  few hairs... After the snake I ran a siphon to clear out the line with the express purpose of re-pouring boiling water that this time would hopefully get right to the clog that's 3 feet way back there, and after the siphon, thank heavens and earth that it is draining slowly.  I'm going to repeat this process several times now:  siphon then boiling water.... I always love and appreciate a physical solution over a chemical one but the snake still doesn't go past the clog so that obvious one didn't work, but siphon-plus-boiling water hopefully will get it to where I can attack it with the manufacturer-recommended enzymes now and in the future.  
 
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I don't know what the unit looks like, but could you blow compressed air down the line to clear it?
 
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Hello Jesse. My experience with a urine diverter involved a 1 1/4 " p trap which would clog to the point I needed to disassemble it every couple months. I am currently using a separett privy kit which I believe has a similar smooth hose to yours. Im going to try to stay on my game making sure that some vinegar makes it through there every week or so, but I also am mentally preparing for the possibilty of needing to snake it out if it comes down to it.

I am glad to hear that you were able to get some flow to happen and take the emergency down to a code yellow.... sorry I have to stop for a second... anyway my advice would be to appreciate this as a gift of time rather than a pass to move on. Situations like this have a tendency to become a real drain.... ok im really soory... a drain on one's time and energy and if I were in your position I would make anothe post on the building forum in order to get some assistance planning the seemingly impossible task of modifying your plumbing to be more maintainable. It might seem really impossible right now but with the adrenaline of a non functional toilet out of the way, you might be surprised how clever we can get with the labroscopic house surgery. Electricians are really smart about this sort of thing, though I don't know the particulars of your situation. I think I remember a couple examples that demonstrate this sort of thought in Art Ludwig's laundry to landscape video as well.

Another thing I wonder about is whether constant water flow would help this problem in the long run. My urine diverter has a little attatched piece that might allow water, perhaps from handwashing as I witnessed in a brad lancaster youtube video, to rinse the diverter without cutting a hard to clean hole. If anybody has any experience with this Id love to hear about it, as I would really like to try this soon.

Either way I hope you can figure out a way to snake the struggles out of your bathroom so the bodily functions do not become a source of distress. Best of luck in going with the flow!
 
Jessie Kelsch
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Location: Alpine, Texas: 5,400 ft elev, desert grassland foothills
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Thank you all for your insights.  We ended up taking the toilet out and removing a couple of wall tiles plus the hardibacker behind them to try to get at the clog from there.... And found a lot of pale sludgy stuff that I'm sure is baking soda.  I had followed the approximately 1,000 blogs that said you should put baking soda and vinegar down your drains to clean them...... Until in a more recent and more critical search I found some notes on this practice describing that the effervescence of this reaction is not strong enough to dislodge physical things.... and that it's most common to use too much baking soda.  

We ended up rerouting the plumbing and we are very happily going with the flow again.  And I've switched to boiling soapy water to clean my kitchen drains..... And plain old hot water after every pee down our Separett toilet now.  
 
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