Clogged toilet needs a super-hero fix

Lack of downward suction likely caused by foreign object

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Dear Barry, Until recently, our toilet was working fine. But lately we cannot get it to flush, even with very little paper in it. The water just goes around, but it won't go down. We have tried using a bucket of water and a plunger and finally are able to force everything down. But there's just no downward suction. We have a 5,000-gallon septic tank, and it was just cleaned about six months ago. What could be the problem? –Tonya Dear Tonya, Without conducting an onsite review of the problem, the best we can do is consider some likely causes, three of which come to mind: 1) Although the septic tank is large and was recently serviced, it is possible that the leach lines are clogged, preventing the liquid effluent in the tank from draining into the subterranean leach field. However, if that's the cause, you'd probably have noticed drainage problems at other fixtures, such as bathtubs, showers and sinks, not just the toilet. But just to be sure, contact the people who pumped the ...