Please tell me this isn't a major plumbing issue

Old 07-28-13, 06:32 AM
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Please tell me this isn't a major plumbing issue

My house is about 60 years old. One previous owner/tenant for the 60 years, then was vacant while it was "flipped" and I purchased it 2 years ago.

We are on a septic system that was checked and certified when we moved in.

About a year ago I had a plumber come in and snake the drain because the bathroom sink was taking forever to drain. He pulled out what looked like a really old nasty sock and a lot of hair (that was clearly from the previous owner based on color and texture.)

Things were fine for about a year and about 3 weeks ago I noticed that the bathroom and kitchen sinks were taking forever to drain. Even with the water turned on very low, the sink would fill 3/4 of the way up before I'd turn the water off. It would take forever to empty.

Then I noticed a week ago that when the hallway bathroom toilet was flushed, the guest bathroom toilet would make a bubbling/gurgling noise.

I'm going to have the drains snaked again and I read about having the vents checked so I'm going to go up on the roof and look into it to see if there are any obvious issues at the top...

If the drains get snaked and we don't find anything then I'll have a company come out and pump the septic tank (they said every 3-5 years and it's only been 2)...

I'm just praying this isn't a more major issue like the septic tank or field being destroyed or roots in the pipes and they'll all need to be replaced - because I'm a single parent with 2 kids and one paycheck :/
Old 07-28-13, 06:40 AM
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Slow drains and gurgling toilets can be caused by clogs downstream, but are also symptoms of clogged vents. Take a peak in the attic crawl, do all the vents go straight up, or do some turn and run horizontal for a time before they exit the roof?. Sometimes the vent that run horizontal sag a little and fill with rain water. This prevents proper venting of the drains below. Drains need air and thus pull from nearby areas. In your case, the toilet is supplying the air to allow the drains to work.
Old 07-28-13, 08:26 AM
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vents are really never an issue... In my 30 years plumbing I never say a vent get blocked...

No although it sounds that way, its because of standing water in the pipe blocking the vent... Gurggle gurggle...

With that are on a septic... First thing to do is have the tank pumped ... When the pumper comes he will tell if water comes back into the tank from the field... If so you have a field issue. if not then when the tank is empty he will have you run water and flush toilets....

If water backs up then and the tank is empty then you need to snake the line and have an obstruction somewhere from the tank to the home...

Now if its the field it could be simply a toilet was running because of a faulty flapper, or overload from too many showers, laundry and the like... So the field gets water locked...

Now if its a biomat issue that the field is past its years this will be major money... 6k-15k in some instances...

The septic pumper is your friend and that should be the first course of action here...

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