View Full Version : why a clean out plug in toilet p-trap?

Michael MacDonald
01-16-2014, 11:57 PM
Help! looking for some knowledge of plumbing--someone who has seen a lot of toilets... intimate with the porcelain god, so to speak.

I just removed a kohler toilet from the wall (wall mount, rear drain) to check the was ring. I found what appears to be a tiny clean-out plug in the bottom of the p-trap. I think that might be what has been leaking.

now why would there be a clean-out in a toilet p-trap? that is, you would have to lift the toilet off the floor to get to the clean-out. and it is really a tiny opening.

So my question is, what should I do to seal this plug? I put a pic below, but may be too low-res? I don't want to buy a new toilet (is this a standard thing?), and I certainly don't want to take 'er out again in the next few years.


BTW, I just poked three holes in the wall looking for a busted pipe. (The tank stopped filling during the super freeze last week.) But I haven't found any busted pipe yet. So I am pretty annoyed and frustrated... I hope to resolve this problem once and for all before I get to patching and painting.

Ole Anderson
01-17-2014, 9:26 AM
Is it possible it was needed during the manufacturing process?

Michael MacDonald
01-17-2014, 4:23 PM
My thinking was that other toilets--floor mount like mine--do not have this. Rather than run around the house pulling up toilets, I thought someone with deep experience would have a good explanation. I can't decide if I should seal this with caulk, look for a new plug, replace the whole toilet pan, or what.

Mark Bolton
01-17-2014, 6:25 PM
That looks nothing like a "tiny clean out".

George Bokros
01-17-2014, 6:30 PM
The trap is internal in floor mount toilets, there is no external trap.


Michael MacDonald
01-17-2014, 11:01 PM
Right. Not an external trap. It doesn't seem reasonable as an actual clean-out. The ptrap is internal to the toilet. It is a rear discharge toilet, and i can only see the ptrap after removing the toilet and turning it over.

Why a hole in the ptrap? What should I do to better plug the hole?

Is this normal, or as weird as it seems to me? (With my limited experience.)

I really don't want to replace the whole toilet. Rear discharge toilet is a real pain.

Michael MacDonald
01-17-2014, 11:14 PM
The trap is internal in floor mount toilets, there is no external trap.

here is a pic of the bottom of the toilet. the hole is in the middle, right between the floor bolt holes on each side. I guess what I really need is to figure out how to seal the hole so I don't have to remove the toilet again any time soon.

Rich Engelhardt
01-18-2014, 10:46 AM
I just removed a kohler
That's all you really need to say (Kohler) to explain weird and bizarre engineering...

What's so sad is the huge share of the market those clowns have.
My wife and I have been searching for a stupid simple acrylic bathtub - not made by Kohler - for the last three weeks and we keep coming up dry! (no pun intended)

Bob Chapman
01-18-2014, 12:05 PM
If you want a good answer to this question, post it on the Terry Love plumbing forum. It's the best place I know for such questions.

Michael MacDonald
01-18-2014, 7:01 PM
Bob, Thanks for the reference. I spoke to a guy at a professional plumbing supply store, when I was picking up a gasket for the rear outlet (wax ring is not recommended). He said he has seen it before on Kohler's, but didn't know why it was there. He conjectured it was a pressure release... That made me laugh. Don't think so. He also said it was never shown in tech diagrams or parts list. I am calling Kohler on Monday to ask. I wonder if it is possible to talk to a human?

Brad Adams
01-18-2014, 8:20 PM
I believe it is so they can glaze the trap-way of the toilet. Floor mount toilets sometimes have the same thing under the toilet.

James Conrad
01-18-2014, 9:15 PM
My wife and I have been searching for a stupid simple acrylic bathtub - not made by Kohler - for the last three weeks and we keep coming up dry! (no pun intended)

Rich, try MAAX, http://www.maax.com/ even though homedepot carries some of their lines they make a quality product at several price points. I like their Aker line, try to find a local plumbing supply company with a showroom, most of them carry MAAX products.

Rich Engelhardt
01-19-2014, 1:42 AM
(I don't want to hijack this thread - but -)
We've exhausted all the local and semi local showrooms looking for a simple tub.
All of them have nothing but drop in whirpools or designer standalones on display.
No one displays a simple three side alcove non-whirpool! &/or on the rare occasion they do, it's a Kohler!

Larry Edgerton
01-19-2014, 7:05 AM
winter drain.

Michael MacDonald
01-19-2014, 10:54 AM
That could be--during the manufacturing process. I am surprised the would need to poke a hole to build it, but it could be a way to cut costs... Though not homeowner maintenance cost.

In case it is not clear, this is a floor mount toilet. It just has a rear outlet because the bathroom floor was built on an old porch slab. Or at least that was I was told when I purchase the house. There is no wall carrier because the floor holds the weight.