sinks gurgle when tub is drained

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Old 07-02-03, 12:25 AM
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sinks gurgle when tub is drained

Hello,

I am having some plumbing troubles that are strange, to me at least.

Not long ago, my toilet acted like it was going to overflow, but it finally went down some, never really flushing well. I plunged it and it went right down and worked well for a few weeks. Now there are other strange problems...When the bathtub drains, the water level in the toilet bowl goes down and the sinks make gurgling noises. How would draining the tub have anything to do with the water level in the toilet? Is it an air problem? We have had lots of rain lately, and I noticed the vent caps on the roof are missing. Could this all be related?

I am on a septic system, if that matters. I know where the drain field is because one time the toilet kept running all night long and it filled the septic tank, and I was able to see where the water was running out of the ground at the end of the drain field. I don't see anything like that now, so I'm inclined to think that the tank is not full of water from the rain or anything.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
 
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Old 07-02-03, 03:33 AM
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cheese,
You need to go up on the roof and check your vent pipes to see if there is a birdnest, leaves, debris, etc. partially blocking them.
Clean out what you can reach by hand, and flush the vent(s) down with a water hose sprayer.
If the problem persists, open a clean-out plug and snake the drain lines. You could have a partial blockage there.
A drain/waste/vent system is all interconnected and partial clogs will cause what you're describing.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 07-02-03, 05:22 AM
carguy
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sinks gurgle

I am having the same problem with both of my toilets and all my sinks. I live in Alabama, and "Cheese" lives in Georgia. Both states have been receiving a tremendous amount of rain lately, still raining here! I too had the same problem a few weeks ago, with the sinks. Is it possible that the ground could be so saturated that a septic system won't work properly?
 
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Old 07-02-03, 09:37 AM
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All of the rain in the Eastern US has created problems with septic systems and ground saturation in certain places this year.
If your drains won't function at all and are backing up due to a flooded septic system, you can get temporary relief by having the tank pumped out.
Good Luck!
 
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Old 07-04-03, 01:10 AM
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Thanks Old Guy! I'll check out the things you mentioned. Right now the plumbing is behaving, and hopefully it will continue to. My tank hasn't been pumped in a long time (don't know how long really, never have done it). But I did have the lid off a few months ago to break off the tee that was causing a blockage where the line enters. I don't know how to tell if it needs pumping by looking at it, and I wanted to get the lid back on soooo baaad, so I didn't pay a whole lot of attention, lol!
 
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Old 07-04-03, 04:58 AM
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Cheese,
You shouldn't have broken off that T. It is a baffle to keep floating grease and sludge from clogging the line.
It is recommended that a septic system tank be pumped out at least every five years ($135 here). That is basically the only maintenance required for a septic system.
Those bacteria additives are a rip. Normal usage will provide all of the bacteria necessary to keep it functioning properly, according to extensive State of NC studies.
Also, if you have trees or shrubbery over the drainfield lines, you can flush a cup or two of copper sulphate crystals (about $8 bucks for a 3-lb bag) down about three times a year to kill roots out of the lines.
Hope this helps.
Good luck!
Mike
 
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