Flushing the toilet causes water to back up into the bath

Old 11-21-16, 08:32 AM
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Flushing the toilet causes water to back up into the bath

Hi guys,

I'm very sorry I am a complete rookie when it comes to plumbing so any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have lived in this house for about three years now, never had this problem before. The issue is that when a toilet is flushed, or a sink is used, occasionally the water will back up into the bathtub, and occasionally it has some very suspicious looking debris that comes up with it.

As I said this doesn't always happen, and the toilet and sink are not having any issues draining themselves (the toilet clears as normal, and the sink never backs up), but sometimes it will back up into the bath.

The bathtub itself drains VERY slowly, eventually it clears.

I'm sorry about the potential vagueness of the information that I am giving, I would be more than happy to answer any questions that could help me work out what is the problem.

(I would have called a plumber out by now but unfortunately money is tight so it is truly a worst case scenario type of thing.)
Old 11-21-16, 10:15 AM
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You've got a clogged drain line. You can hire a plumber or you can buy or rent a powered drain snake/auger. Either way money will be spent.

Don't bother with pour down the drain products. They rarely work and their caustic chemicals make it hazardous for the person clearing the drain.
Old 11-21-16, 11:53 AM
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I will just add that this might be a severe clog, so be prepared.
Usually when you see black water/raw sewage coming up that means your main sewer line is severely clogged or broken. The break or clog could be far away from your problem.

If you can't clear the clog with a regular snake, call in a plumber with a cutting snake.
The plumber will attempt to get a cutter through and then tell you the diameter that was able to pass through.
Old 11-21-16, 02:55 PM
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This specific problem reminds me of a house I once sold.

The South Carolina Owner rented the Vermont house out to someone who had never lived alone.

He was saving money by heating only the 1st floor living quarters with a wood stove.

Unfortunately, the basement was freezing, including the drain pipe to the the septic tank . . . . so when he flushed the toilet contents arose in the bathtub.

We got all that thawed out with some heat in the basement from an oil fired Forced Hot Air Furnace, and all worked fine again after a day of warming up.

The Tenant's comment to me was "Houses sho is complicated !"

I said "yes; but you've been living in them your whole life, no ?"

He says "But I never paid attention."
Old 11-21-16, 03:23 PM
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It could be a partial clog in your sewer line if it does not happen all the time.. Also if you are not on city sewer it can be septic tank related. More often then not a leach field issue...
Old 11-21-16, 04:26 PM
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Septic or city sewer?
If septic when's the last time the tank was pumped?

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