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Bath & Faucets

Bathroom issues!

Ok here is a issue that we are having in our home. Tri level home no septic tank we are hooked up to sewer system. It started out with the downstairs bathroom would flush just fine but then it would fill up more then half the bowl and then slowly drain out over the coarse of 10-15 min. If you flushed twice in a row it would over flow and make a real mess in the bathroom depending on what was flushed. Then a few days ago we noticed if we ran the sink drain next to the toilet for 1-2 minutes the toilet would gargel/bubble air and it put some nasty stuff into the toilet. Then it would slowly fill the level of the toilet water. We snaked both drains and nothing. Shower is running just fine. I did adjust the float in the toilet to limit how much water is used but that is a temporary fix.
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Posted 2012-04-24T03:19:12+0000  by Lynx_Strife Lynx_Strife

Hello Lynx_Strife!


What a problem to diagnose!


Since you've snaked the line, I will assume it is clear.

Two other issues come immediately to mind: 1) Is the sewer line properly sloped downhill to the sewer, and 2) is the first floor toilet below grade?


If either of these is the case, they will cause slow flow and backup.


What is really peculiar ... you report the shower works "just fine." This leaves one other possibility: the vent stack on the toilet may be partially blocked, creating a vacuum on the toilet or sink drain as water travels down that tube. This is not too common, but it does happen.


NOTE: A friend's former home had a similar situation and they discovered the (original construction) toilet was lower than the sewer ... often causing minor disasters in the lower level of their home. It is possible you have a similar problem.


Follow-up when you resolve the problem. I'll be curious to learn your solution.

Posted 2012-04-24T11:43:16+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

I have a same strange issue with my plumbing.

I have a duplex and they are single story  however we have lived there for 30yrs (family occupied on both sides) we have upgraded the bathroom on both sides  but now  since we upgraded the bathrooms I seem to have a problem with the toilet on one side causing the other toilet to back up. And what a mess.  When it gets ready to go there's girgles and  the toilet backs up on the clogged side and the other side (where it drains to the sewer  get's the worst of it  with it backing up in the tub overflowing of the toilet etc.  That side never clogs. The side that seems to have the clogging problem drains down to the other side and then into the sewer system.  I have had the pipes video and although they are old they are in fair condition.  Cleaning the stacks clears the problem but only for about 6-mos.   It's a mystery.

Posted 2012-05-07T13:18:11+0000  by cindy7

Hello Cindy!


The only times I've seen events like this was when a septic tank was full or when the slope of the drain to the sewer was an issue as described in my earlier post in this thread.


Since you lived there for 30-years without difficulty and the problem only showed up with the renovation, it is difficult to understand your new problem.


I am curious, is the duplex on a septic tank or is it on a sewer?


If a septic tank, it is possible that the field lines have slowly quit functioning. The idea that, "Cleaning the stacks clears the problem, but only for about six-months," makes me think this might be your problem.


The only other time I've seen a recurring problem like this was when the drain tube leaving the building dipped below the surface of the fluid in the septic tank ... creating a "ventless" drain.


When any drain vent is clogged or airflow is diminished, fluid traveling down the drain creates a vacuum inside the tube and tends to back up.


This example creates one slightly less likely possibility ... your air vents above these drains may be clogged. You can check these with a snake run down through the roof vent (or in some cases you will find a studor vent built into the line).


I hope these options give you an idea that will help solve your problem.

Posted 2012-05-15T13:17:25+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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