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-   -   Toilet keeps overflowing and backing up into tub. Help! (https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/plumbing/toilet-keeps-overflowing-backing-up-into-tub-help-597029.html)

  • Sep 12, 2011, 08:30 PM
    SnowPea0813
    Toilet keeps overflowing and backing up into tub. Help!
    Our plumbing situation has been plaguing us for too long now. Back in May 2011 the main sewer line had a massive clog and resulted in it backing up into our bathtub and toilet and basically coating our entire bathroom in city sewer filth. After that mishap things seemed to be fine but then we started to notice that whenever we would run the water for too long i.e. washing dishes, taking a bath and or flush the toilet you could hear the bathtub making a very loud gurgling sound from the pipes and the toilet would sometimes bubble. We also had standing water sitting in our kitchen sink pipe that finally went away but now our toilet refuses to flush properly and keeps overflowing with water or making it very close to the rim. When we attempt to plunge the toilet all it seems to do is back up into our tub with fecal matter/urine everything you name it. Usually the toilet water will get down to a very low level after not flushing it for a while and then we will attempt to plunge it some more but now our bathtub has fecal matter/urine/toilet water in it and refuses to go down and our toilet water level won't go down either. I'm at my breaking point with my patience level as far as the plumbing is concerned. Please help!
  • Sep 12, 2011, 08:46 PM
    ballengerb1
    That main is clogged again, maybe the same spot as before. When we get repeated clogs we start using a camera to see what's up. A camera will help detect bellies, cracks and tree roots. To make sure the problem isn't inside the home please answer a few questions. Is that bathtub the very lowest level plumbing fixture you have, meaning the drain is closest to the ground. When you drain other fixture elsewhere in the home does the shower slowly back up too. If not the clog is inside, not far downstream from where the toilet and tun come together
  • Sep 12, 2011, 08:47 PM
    twinkiedooter
    The clog is way too far down the line for any kind of plunging to be of any use. You will have to either rent an electric snake to properly snake out the drain or call a rotorooter type service to properly clear this clog. Sounds like a clog I had once when living in a 100+ year old house out West. Flush the toilet and the bathtub would fill up. But wait 10 hours and I could flush the toilet. Then if I took a bath it would overflow like before. Problem solved after I had a professional come and clear the line of the clog that was caused by the medical facility next door using the toilet to dispose of non flushable items. During your intense backup who knows what got clogged in your line. My clog was about 50' from the house itself so hard telling where your clog could be.
  • Sep 12, 2011, 09:10 PM
    SnowPea0813
    I'm pretty sure that the tub/toilet are at the same level which would explain why they keep backing up into each other. I honestly have no idea because the house that we are living in is my boyfriend's dad's house that he grew up in and even then when his dad was living here, his family wasn't the first family to live in the house. This house is indeed ancient. It's over 100 years old and it doesn't help that our main line is one of the older city sewers. What was actually quite ridiculous was the fact that when we had that massive main sewer issue back in May 2011 was that when the city came out to snake it they didn't even snake the right city line at first and my boyfriend had to point out the sewer line that our house actually ran to.

    They didn't even have that main line on their city maps! Talk about not being up to date. Ugh just frustrating. When we check the clean out pipes outside of our house, my boyfriend says that the main line is clear so he's convinced that the problem is inside the house, the only question is where. I'm so fed up with this plumbing issue which we've been dealing with for over a week and a half now and now we're on a time crunch because my family is coming to town and will be staying with us. We need this problem to be fixed and fast.
  • Sep 13, 2011, 07:26 AM
    speedball1
    1 Attachment(s)
    First a few questions. Look under the kitchen sink and the bathroom vanity. Do the drain lines go into the wall or the floor? A lot of these older houses weren't vented and had "S" traps installed. Do you have a basement? A second floor? Where is your bathroom located? There's no doubt in my mind that you have a clog downstream from the tub in the branch drain line.
    This can be snaked from one of two p[laces:
    1. Pull the toilet and snake from there, **OR**
    2. Remove the tub overflow plate and snake from there. (see image) Once you have the line cleared your backups should go away. If you have more problems or concerns then click back back and tell us about them, Good luck, Tom
  • Sep 13, 2011, 07:32 AM
    ballengerb1
    Please try to answer this question from my initial response "When you drain other fixture elsewhere in the home does the shower slowly back up too. If not the the clog is inside, not far downstream from where the toilet and tub come together
    "
  • Sep 13, 2011, 10:07 AM
    SpringtimeHomes
    With that old of a house and the symptoms, my main suspect would be roots. Are you sure that there is no root activity between the inside and cleanout? If a tree is nearby, you could have quite a battle to snake out the root mass.
  • Sep 13, 2011, 04:33 PM
    mygirlsdad77
    I agree that pulling the toilet and snaking from there will be your best bet now, unless there is a full size cleanout inside the home (at least big enough to get a 2 1/2 inch bit down). You could snake from a sink drain, or tub overflow, but you are not going to get a big enough cable and bit down there to do much good. You have a clog, and it is definitely in a three or four inch pipe (otherwise it would not be affecting your toilet). So you need to get a big bit in there and clean that sucker out. Snaking the drain with a 1/4 inch cable with a one inch bit may clear blockage temporarily, but not for long. First big turd to go down the toilet will have you plugged up again..
  • Sep 13, 2011, 04:45 PM
    ballengerb1
    Not s sure as you guys, look at Tom's post #5, looks abit easier than pulling the toilet. I can reach 25' with a drum auger like that one in Tom's post.
  • Sep 13, 2011, 05:57 PM
    massplumber2008
    Hi Guys...

    Personally, I'm not a fan of using a hand-held snake machine through the tub waste and overflow when there's an issue with a large drain line involving a toilet like this. Goodness forbid this is an issue like a diaper or a rag... could easily wrap around the small 1/4" snake and could really mess things up in terms of removing that snake... ;) Ask me how I found out about that... LOL!

    As MGD77 said, pull the toilet and snake from there or perhaps even better, check the main drain line cleanout for clogging and if present, snake from there.

    Thanks...

    Mark
  • Sep 14, 2011, 07:16 AM
    speedball1
    Mark makes sense with his concerns But When I go down a tub overflown I use a Redgid K-30 machine. To me pulling the toilet would be the last resort.
    If I'm going to have a mess to clean up after I pull the cable I would a lot rather confine it in the tub rather then all over the bathroom floor. Having said that Mark has a point. I would just try the easiest way myself. Good luck, Tom
  • Nov 8, 2011, 11:51 PM
    caitlinb
    HAHA! Oh man. This is AWFUL! I live in a three level condo, with two tenants above me, and two tenants in front of me (same level). I'm in the back of the building and the plumbing runs down toward the street away from my unit- a week ago I woke up and went into my sons' bathroom and AH! I suddenly knew my neighbors more than I wanted to know! The tub was full of **** water. So the plumber came- and snaked the tub- then took the toilet off and snake it- and pulled out 3 baby wipes.. (I didn't do it, I swear- it was my 2 year old, I'm convinced) Anyway- the drain was still clogged- so the plumber went to the front of the building and snaked the line from the guy's sink (mind you, both tenants in front of me had the same issue with **** water in their tubs and back-up toilets). That seemed to do the trick. Then two days later, same thing (minus pulling out any foreign objects/material), then two days later, same thing again. Tonight- after finally cleaning the bathroom that I've had on lockdown since the start of the **** water- the tenant above me flushes their toilet- and what do I hear? Air bubbles coming up from the toilet- then glup glup glup- the tub fills with (what I assume) his ****. Aw man. Too late to call the plumber again- 20 minutes later- the tenant above me flushes again after peeing (yes I can hear it all), and again- air bubbles from the toilet, and more **** and toilet paper floods the tub. Is this still really all happening because of the baby wipes? Or is there something ELSE going on here. Because I've already had to shell out a substantial amount of cash to pay the plumber for the work in the whole building since he pulled the wipes from my drain making me responsible for the whole thing... crap.
  • Nov 9, 2011, 07:21 PM
    mygirlsdad77
    Them wiper were pulled from the main sewer, not just yours. They could have been put down any one of the other apartments. Snaking from the sink, or the tub is not going to cure this. Toilet should have done it, but didn't. Sounds like they need to find a large cleanout, or pull the toilet again, and run a bigger snake all the way to the city sewer. I see no reason why this should fall strictly on you. Time to raise some hell with the condo association, and in my opinion, get in a different plumber. Crap is right. This sucks for you. Good luck and please let us know how things work out.

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