Tub in basement condo backing up

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  #1  
Old 08-30-15, 01:42 PM
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Tub in basement condo backing up

Hello,

My toilet and sink are flushing/draining perfectly, so the fact that my basement tub gurgles and then backed up water deepens and sits there without draining is a mystery.

In reading other posts, there was discussion about opening or closing toilet or sink water knobs. Both of those are shut tight, as far as I can tell.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
 
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Old 08-30-15, 04:21 PM
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The main drain is clogged below where the sink and toilet and tub drains come together.

The tub being the lowest point, the waste water accumulated there.

The bottom of the toilet bowl is something like 6 inches above floor level. For the flush the waste water goes up and over a hump in back.that is something like 12 inches above floor leve. Water will not back up into the toilet unless the level in the drain system further on down backs up to the 12 inch height.

After the toilet tank has refilled, turning of the water knob (angle stop) underneath will not change the way the toilet flushes.
 
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Old 08-31-15, 05:08 AM
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I agree you have a clogged drain line. A tub or shower are usually to lowest point in the system so they are the first to have "water" back up. Since it's a condo are you renting? If so I'd call the landlord. If you own who is responsible for building or individual unit maintenance? If you're the one then post back if you want to try taking on drain clearing as a DIY. Whatever you do DO NOT try pour down the drain cleaners. They rarely work and their caustic chemicals make it hazardous for anyone trying to clear the line.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 05:43 PM
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Thanks so much for quick response. I have removed the overfill disk, and I have an antiquated, somewhat short, not more than 24 inches of snake. I'd be grateful to take your guidance of how best to proceed.
 
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Old 09-04-15, 05:38 AM
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If the tub drains then the problem is likely not with the tub. Water is backing up into the tub just because it happens to be the lowest point in your system. You may have a clog or partial clog somewhere in your main lines. A 24" long snake will probably be of little use.
 
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Old 09-04-15, 09:29 AM
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I appreciate the responses.
Are there instructions for the DIY drain clearing?
The water that had been sitting there day after day that prompted my original post finally disappeared. I ran the water briefly and the water just sat there. I replaced the overfill/ drain open/close cylinder gadget without screwing it back in, so I'm not 100% certain if the drain is open or closed, though there seems to be some movement in the sitting water as I flip the lever up and down. It would be nice to get to the root of the problem if there are instructions available somewhere.
 
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Old 09-04-15, 10:15 AM
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If you replaced the overflow cover did you re-connect the tub drain? Usually there is a metal linkage that you need to connect to the back side of the lever in the cover plate.

You can try snaking down from the tub overflow. That would allow you to get to the tubs trap and maybe a bit beyond. Other than that you'll have to do some investigating to determine if your plumbing is separate from the other units or where they all tie together. If they are shared drain lines you need to figure out who's responsibility they are.
 
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Old 09-08-15, 01:18 PM
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It took awhile for me to get back to this.
Yes, it appears the tub drain is correctly linked to the mechanism and responds to lever action while it's out of the overflow opening, anyway.

The snake hit an end at approx 17-20". If there is a pipe for it to travel through, it was not able to find the opening. There is an additional foot or two (plastic-covered near the handle) beyond the metal insertion part to push it through beyond the 24" of metal extension, but until I can navigate it past where it hit a wall, so to speak, it looks like that experiment ends here.

The snake did hit water inside that overflow opening, for whatever that is worth. The tip came out dripping.

I've been plunging the drain after plugging up the overflow the best I can with a twisted towel and plastic bag and removing the metal piece over the drain, so far to no avail.

Any thoughts about what affordable tool I might try?

Thank you, kindly.
 

Last edited by meadowlark2; 09-08-15 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 09-08-15, 05:35 PM
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Search online for pictures of a tub drain and it's trap. It can be difficult to get past all the bends. But, if water from other fixtures is backing up into the tub the clog is probably not right there at the tub. It's more likely in another more major drain line.

Are there any other plumbing problems that might be a clue? Do any toilets or sinks gurgle or drain slowly?
 
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Old 09-08-15, 06:22 PM
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I noticed the sink drain gurgled, but it doesn't seem to drain slowly that I can tell.

Before water backed up into the tub when I was nearby to witness it, I remember hearing a general gurgle. I don't know where the gurgle initiated. It happened a few times...

Toilet drains perfectly as does nearby kitchen sink.

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-09-15, 07:24 AM
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I would start by snaking the main drain line. Then the lateral or line that covers the trouble bathroom. How easy a job that could be will depend on how your place was plumbed. Are there any clean outs outside? Look for a large diameter pipe with a cap on it. They are also sometimes inside in basements. If you don't have any clean outs then you can remove the toilet and go down the line from there.

Of course this requires the proper tools. At the very minimum it would take a drain cleaning rod which starts at about $50 and go up in price. Then there are drain cleaning snake/auger which for a main line you need a reasonable size which is at least several hundred dollars for anything big enough. Both tools can be rented but considering that it takes some skill & experience not to mention the mess. Sometimes it's best left to a professional.
 
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Old 09-09-15, 09:33 AM
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Thank you.
Very helpful.
 
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