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Question DetailsAsked on 12/17/2015

why does my toilet still girgle whan I shower and back up to the top of rim even after my sewer pipe was snaked

It lasted about a week after the cleanout. The plumber said something about the sewer pipe belly has possible moved? maybe to catch the paper and clog.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------> pipe to road
The pipe under house from the tub to outside the house is approx. 20- 24 feet The pipe under the house built in 1958 is cast iron. All new PVC from house to sewer hook up

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1 Answer


Don't know if this situation ever got solved, but the problem would have been a partial blockage - either due to excessive debris caught somewhere in the pipe, a low spot (a "belly") that accumulates solids and builds up a blockage, a dislocated or broken pipe (with or without inflow of soil material), roots, or occasionally a blockage or overfull septic tank or main sewer line in the street causing backup into your line.

His mention of the "belly" moving is pretty much urban legend - a "belly" is a low spot in the sewer line - a bad thing because it can accumulate debris (line should have continuous slope down to the outlet), but commonly happens because most contractors do not compact the fill in the trench so loose fill under the pipe can settle as the trench fill naturally compacts and pushes down on the pipe, causing a belly. Urban legend part - belly locations will only "move around" if your trench backfill is basically mud or the line is unacceptably shallow (within a foot or two of the surface) - once buried the line pretty much stays where it was buried.

The probable reason the gurgling continued (which is air being displaced from inside the pipe up through the drain trap as the pipe "upstream" of the blockage fills up with liquid due to the blockage) is he broke through the clog, and it either was not totally removed (very common with snaking as opposed to with routing or jetting), or he broke it up and quit there, not chasing it to the street, so it reclogged further down the line - and eventually after the week or so biodegraded and broke up by itself or washed the rest of the way down by itself.

Could also indicate that you have a broken line (if the clog was underground) and dirt is getting in which caused a partial blockage which the snake broke up, but the dirt or rocks stayed pretty much in place - eventually washing away (maybe because of the backed up water pressure) enough to at least not cause the backup gurgling any more. If this happens again, I would have the line routed out (full-diameter scraping) or jetted all the way to the street sewer next time - not just snaked. [Snaking commonly just pokes a hole through the clog, especially if advancing it down the pipe rapidly, commonly leaving some or most of the clog in place].

Most drain/sewer cleaning services will bring their sewer camera (commonly do not have one for each truck because they are pricey) at no charge if not used, so if in the course of the cleaning he detects an offset pipe or rocks or heavy roots or such, he can then run the camera to see what the problem was and locate the exact position (most cameras have a radio transmitter that, with a handheld detector, lets you determine fairly accurately where its head is). In my opinion jetting tool, if used instead of full-diameter router scraper tool, should have an onboard cameara or the camera should be run afterwards as part of job cost to ensure it is actually cleaned, because many brands (mostly the cheaper ones) do not do a thorough cleaning job, leaving areas of heavy soap scum, grease, and fiber buildup on the pipe walls which promotes premature clogging again. A properly cleaned residential sewer line should run probably 10-20 years before it needs cleaning out again unless you dump a lot of grease down it or have a real root problem, a significant belly, or badly deteriorated pipes.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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