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Question DetailsAsked on 7/28/2016

shower slow going down tolet wont flush while shower on tolets gurgle

when taking shower it goes down slow and when someone flushes either toilet they wont go down husband took shower before bed the next morning the first bathroom toilet had no water also when doing 3 or more loads of laundry water comes up in tub and shower and toilets gurgle we also replaced the first toilet and now notice dampness around toilet what can we do before calling plumber ?

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Arghhhh - the angies list system is removing all the paragraph breaks again - to make this readable, copy and paste this text into a test or word processing program, and replace all the XXXX's with a couple of returns to reestablish the paragraph breaks.XXXXXThe dampness around the toilet - presuming it has not overflowed because of the backup situation (which would be unlikely unless at lowest level in house AND no lower elevation floor drain or tub/shower where it would back up first), is likely because of :
XXXXX1) a tank bolt not tightened or gasketed properly, in which case water would drip off the bolt(s) under the back o the toilet and land/pool on the floor behind the toilet, or sometimes run down the back face of the toilet to the floor. Wipe back and underside of tank in bolt area dry, then recheck with toilet paper after toilet use (sitting down) - if paper has a wet spot, bolts probably need new gaskets or tightening (avoid overtightening - can crack tank or toilet), or the toilet tank is touching the wall and when someone sits down the toilet tilts fore and back a bit, loosening the mounting bolts and letting a bit of a drip to occur. Toilet tank should not touch the wall - put in a shim between wall and tank while installing tank bolts, then remove it to leave a gap. XXXXX 2) toilet wax seal is leaking where the toilet meets up with the sewer pipe - sometimes just not lined up right, commonly if there is thick flooring under the toilet (not just up to the edge of it) or the sewer pipe was installed low, needs the thicker or "tile base" wax seal to make a good waterproof seal. XXXXX 3) toilet mounting bolts are really loose, allowing leakage around the wax seal as the toilet rocks back and forth. XXXXX 4) toilet was mounted using one of these rubber cone "seals" (which in my experience are an invitation to trouble) and it is either leaking by itself, or is not watrtight (a common problem) and during the backup in the lines is letting backed up water leak out under the toilet. XXXXX 5) VERY rarely - a cracked toilet base letting water leak out under the toilet.XXXXX ==== XXXXXOn the draining/backup thing - sounds like almost certainly a partial blockage in the sewer line. Small amounts of water or slow draining things might drain fine, but when dumping large amounts of water or a rapid discharge like washing machine and emptying full tub certainly, shower if a long one, the water cannot drain out as fasst as it is coming in so the amount of open space in the pipe upflow of the blockage fills with water. With a smaller amount of water (sink/basin/dishwahser use for example) the sewer line and the drain pipe "stack" inside the house might hold the excess water till it can drain away, but as the blockage becomes more complete or when dumping large amounts of water fairly quickly it fills up the pipe till it overflows at the lowest elevation drain - commonly lowest level or garage floor drain, lowest level tub/shower, basement lanndry tub are commonly first place it backs up. Usually starts with gurgling as the water filling the line backs up and pushes air in the line out of the traps (what you are hearing) and drains them out - might go days or weeks that way or might become a basically complete clogs with next toilet flush. XXXXX You need to get your drain line cleared out - because toilet can flush and shower can run without backup, and it takes 3 wash loads to back up, I am guessing the blockage is in the usual place - in the flat-lying sedgment of the sewer line wither under your slab, or somewhere in the outdoors run due to cracked line, tree roots, low spot in line, etc. Therefore, rather than snaking it (which does not clear out the blockage totally in many cases anyway), I recommend having the line routed or jetted out from the most upflow toilet all the way to the street. (Usually removes toilet and cleans from toilet flange to a cleanout right outside the house, then moves the machine and goes in the cleanout to do the run to the street. May use a smaller, more compact machine indoors, then the large router for the long run to the street in the outdoors line.) Septic tank systems close to the house he may do in one run from toilet to tank. XXXXX You can find a number of similar questions about backing up drains in the Home > Plumbing and Home > Sewer Cleaning (or something real close to that) links in Browse Projects at left, where I also explain my reasons for preferring full-diameter scraping rather than jetting unless clay pipe or badly corroded iron or asbestos pipe, and about having him bring a sewer camera in case it is needed because he detects heavy root buildup or dislocated/broken pipe or rocks/gravel in the pipe. XXXXX Note that while a long snake might partly clear the clog, if your lines have not been fully cleaned in the last 10 yesars or so, they are likely significantly clogged with built up grease and soap scum and paper fiber and such, which can reduce the pipe diameter down to almost nothing over the long run, and is commonly the cause of partial blockages like yours. XXXXX Some Plumbers, but not most, have the long-run drain cleaning machines - many just have snakes up to about 25-50 feet long which can break up a clog, but commonly it just reforms downflow and satarts backing up again in hours to weeks. Snakes are fairly good for the above-ground portion of in-house drain stack clogs, but for the flat-lying main line to the septic tank or sewer full-diameter scraping does the best job - or jetting if the line condition will not handle physical scraping. That usually calls for a Sewer and Drain Cleaning contractor (your Search the List category).

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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