My lower level toilet tank has leaves in it. Any ideas why?

  19 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Oct 03, 2020

    Do you think someone is pranking you?

    To be certain, this is the tank and not the toilet bowl? If there are leaves in the toilet bowl, that is possible because someone may be putting them in there, maybe from tracking them in or a houseplant is being trimmed and leaves are tossed in the bowl until flushed away.

    I am assuming you have an inside toilet and the top of the tank is firmly in-place. If you look at a toilet under the tank, there is a narrow pipe or tubing that goes to the tank. It would be nearly impossible to get leaves through that opening and angle of the plumbing. It is a closed system until it pours into the toilet bowl.

  • The tank? Huh. The water line should be rather narrow therefore I'd imagine it'd be very tough for leaves to squeak through. Remove the leaves then check back in a few days. If there are more, contact a plumber.

  • William William on Oct 03, 2020

    Somebody put them in thinking they would deodorize the tank or toilet water? What kind of leaves? Did they fall in from a plant? Shouldn't be in there. They could clog up the toilet rim ports when the toilet is flushed.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Oct 03, 2020

    Denise: I'm wondering if you are being pranked!! ...if so... think of even better "revenge!"

  • on Oct 03, 2020

    Does your toilet get it’s water from a cistern?

  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 03, 2020

    Ut oh, sounds like your getting some back flow..... I would call Roto Router to clean out your sewer line, probably a lot of roots. If that doesn't solve it, I would call the city to clean out your street sewer line.

  • Denise Sigmon Denise Sigmon on Oct 03, 2020

    Thanks everyone! I hope it's a prank but if not, I'll try your suggestions!

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Oct 04, 2020

    AHHH.....hopefully it is someone putting leaves in there. Do you have any sewage back-up anywhere else in another shower basin, bathtub? A lot of times, if there is an offset in the pipes, it can backup in any of the pipes (usually lowest level). Roto Rooter is what we used to camera inspect the pipes to see for sure. If roots have broken the pipes and created an offset, you might have to have a new waterline put in ... usually PVC is what they use now. It's expensive but worth it to get changed out. Nowadays they have methods where they don't have to dig up the entire yard anymore. Hopefully this isn't the problem but just wanted to give you the info so you know what to look for.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Oct 04, 2020

    Do you have a septic tank? Sometimes that's a sign of it backing up

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Oct 04, 2020

    Sounds like there coming. In the water supply you might have a broken pipe

  • Dee Dee on Oct 04, 2020

    Do you have a flow pipe on the roof where you can clean out the toilet. I had to put a mesh aluminum net on mine.

    1 Set an extension ladder against the side of the house and secure it to the fascia with hooks and ropes.


    Climb onto the roof and locate the vent opening. It's usually above the main bathroom. Inspect the opening and pull out any debris you find there. Birds and small animals are known to crawl into vents occasionally. They can create enough of an obstacle to block air flow.


    Bring a garden hose onto the roof and adjust the nozzle to the "jet" setting. Spray water into the vent opening. That may be enough to clear the vents, but if it isn't, water will fill them and begin to overflow from the opening. If this happens, you need a more aggressive approach.


    Insert a sewer auger into the vent opening and push the head down until it hits against the obstruction and you can't push it any farther. You need an auger that will reach all the way from the roof to the sewer. A 20-foot auger will work for most houses.


    Crank the auger through the blockage. You'll know you've cleared it when water begins to drain. Pull the auger out of the opening and clean debris from the head.


    Spray more water into the vents to make sure they are clear. Sometimes the obstruction will flow partially through the pipes and settle in a different place. Use the auger again if water overflows.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 05, 2020

    Long shot... but is there a vent fan in the bathroom? does it work or is it broken? also where the vent fan is does it have a cover on it where it exits??

  • Simple Nature Decor Simple Nature Decor on Oct 06, 2020

    Its probably coming from the pipes, check with your plumber

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 06, 2020

    Hi Denise,

    Do check out your roof where the tank is sited, you could have a tile down or a hole or even birds etc.........

  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 06, 2020

    Hi Denise: I agree, check the vent pipe. You can get a piece of screen and attach it to the pipe, once it's cleaned out (check with a flashlight to see if it's clogged), and secure with a piece of wire about 5 or 6 inches down. That will keep the critters and debris out. Wear tennis shoes on the roof, nothing with a slippery sole. I just went up on my roof from the side. I used the side because the neighbours fence is there and, if the ladder slipped, it's against the fence, so it couldn't go anywhere. Just make sure your ladder is taller than where you want to climb so that you have something to hang onto when you go up and down. Here's a site that might help:

    Good luck

  • I'd be worried a root from a tree in your yard might have caused plumbing damage, resulting in the leaves... but, yes I would remove them and see what happens. Hopefully the rest of the water is clear?

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Oct 08, 2020

    Best guess would be from the vent pipe and syphone action in plumbing system

  • Deb K Deb K on Oct 10, 2020

    Hello, do you have trees in the yard? You likely have root intrusion on the sewer pipe, you may need a camera to see if there are issues

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jul 31, 2021

    insultation problem .. check that first