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Question DetailsAsked on 10/16/2016

Just the other day my washing machine was draining and it backed thru my shower and toilet. Next day shower clogged

When shower was clogging it backed up thru toilet. I have never had any clogs or drainage problems before this

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2 Answers


Assuming your septic tank is not full (if on septic) and that your sewage lift pump works right (if you have one-most houses don't), likely you have a partial clog in the sewer line that needs to be routed or jetted out. LOTS of recent previous similar questions with answers in the Home > Plumbing link in Browse Projects, at lower left - and a half dozen or so of them right under this response if yuou are logged in as a member or registered user.

Yours is the normal case - running sink, even flushing toilet or shower might not back up because between the limited flow capacity of a partial clog and the amount of open space in the pipe between the clog and the first lowest-level drain it backs up to, you might not get any actual backup with that amount of water - or maybe some gurgling of the water in the lowest elevation drain (usually floor drain or shower/tub on lowest level that has gravity drains). However, emptying full tub or washer emptying causes backup because those are the largest water volume discharges in a normal house - and sometimes water treatment system flush cycle. As the clog gets worse, backup will start with tub, toilet, shower, etc as well.

Sometimes a clog like this will continue the same for months - but can also go to full clog and backup at any time, so you should be a Drain Cleaning contractor out there to clean your pipes ASAP because once it becomes near a full clog usually your entire house is out of action as far as any water usage.

And if your main sewer run to the street or septic tank has not been cleaned in the last 10 years or more (commonly 10-20 year cycle for that depending on how much garbage disposal gunk and grease go down the drain, more frequent if root intrusion issues) I recommend getting a full-diameter routing all the way to the street or septic tank, as applicable in your case. Jetting is safer in clay tile, asbestos or fiber pipe, or very deteriorated metal pipe to avoid damage to the pipe.

Jetting works OK in others as well, though not my preference if it can safely be mechanically scraped clean with a sewer router. If jetted, I recommend requiring it have an on-board camera (many or most do), so after the cleaning jetting pass through the pipe, as it is pulled back you can see if there were any missed spots and redo them, because many of the cheaper jetting tools do not provide uniform cleaning of the line if the head bounces around or it is fed in too fast, so the camera provides a check on the job.

Mechanical jaw scrapers basically can't fail to do a good job unless it is fed way too quickly, or they get jammed because of a broken pipe. Mechanical type can also be fitted with root cutters to remove root intrusions - jetters cannot clear significant size roots without pressuring up so much it cuts into plastic or fiber pipe as well.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD



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Answered 4 years ago by Member Services

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