04:21PM | 02/19/07
Member Since: 02/18/07
3 lifetime posts
I am a mother of five with an ongoing problem in our lower level bathroom putting 2 of 4 baths out of use...5 kids...we need our bathrooms working! Help! We think the problem is when mainfloor toilet is flushed or main shower is used. Causes lower toilet to bubble, sometimes overflowing and causes lower tub to fill up with sewage. If we try to plunge the over-flowing toilet, more water/sewage is pushed up into the tub. These two baths are built one over the other on one side of the house. Other main 1/2 bath is under 2nd story bath which we don't think is contributing to problem. RotoRooter guy was here twice. Said he couldn't find any problems after snaking a camera from the lower toilet to the water source and drain cap(short on the technical verbage here) at the outlet of the house. Suggested we just use only the one working shower and the working 1/2 bath. $300.00 to be told this? Husband did go on roof to push a hose into a sewage gas vent. If it helped, it didn't work well enough because the toilet and tub went from bubbling again to the tub backing up with sewage again. Any more suggestions of what we could try would be helpful. We're very frustrated. Thanks.


09:18AM | 02/20/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
I never understood why people do not call a "MASTER PLUMBER" when it comes to drainage problems.

We install the systems so we are familiar with the problems that occur

Plumbers install the piping so it would stand to reason to call a plumber not some cleaning company to find the cause of the drainage problems.

As you know water seeks its own level thus a plumber would know if you have proper pitch and a real plumber would find the obstruction not tell you forget about using the fixtures.

Think about the formal training a real plumber has compared to a drain cleaner.

There are master plumbers for a valid reason and there is an apprenticeship to become a journeyman plumber (normally 5 years) and that does not include the time required to become a master of the profession.

Taking a video inspection is like handing someone not trained to look at a set of X rays and asking them diagnose the problem.

Just because someone takes a video does not necessary mean they know to interpret what they are seeing.

I can't imagine how any of my accounts would react if I had the gall to tell them "you have 5 bathrooms you really do need to use them all So shut down two and save them as a spare"

They be out there . Reminds me of my uncle who had a pain in his shoulder and went to the doctor.

The doctor examined him and said did you ever have this pain before?

My uncle said years years ago the doctor said well you have again that will be $150

Makes as much sense as paying someone to tell you nothing can be found just don't use the fixtures


09:50AM | 02/20/07
Member Since: 11/18/98
187 lifetime posts

How about some ideas on what could cause this?


How about some additional information?

Was the basement build out an addition?

How long has this back-up been occurring?

Was there an event that triggered it?

Are these drains below sewer lines and must be pumped up?

Are you on septic or city sewers?

You will probably end up calling in a pro but you may get some ideas on the cause.


10:28AM | 02/20/07
Member Since: 02/18/07
3 lifetime posts
Actually, I did get the name of a reputable master plumber in our area from references. In speaking with him about the problem, he said he didn't want to charge me a service call to drive out and end up telling me to call rotor-rooter. His opinion, by our discussion, was that it was a job for a drain cleaner. I was posting this to get as much information I could to test things ourselves before paying anybody else to come check it out.


10:46AM | 02/20/07
Member Since: 02/18/07
3 lifetime posts
The house has no additions; this is part of the original foundation. We do not have a "lift station" outside with the township; we already checked that out. As for how long this has been going occurred in August for the first time, but did not overflow the tub and toilet to cause us to rip out all the carpet as we did this time. After that incident, someone suggested we check to see if the vent on the roof was clogged. My husband pushed a garden hose into the vent and said he felt initial resistance, as if something may have been partially lodged but broke free. We thought the problem was fixed since then, but it came back with a vengeance two weeks ago. We are on city sewer system. Last night I had my son flush my main floor toilet while I watched the bathroom downstairs. First flush caused the toilet to bubble and fill up (clear water)and sink to gurgle and spew water forcefully out. Second flush caused lower toilet to nearly overflow, but as water receded, tub began to fill with water and sewage. It looked like a mini fountain of water coming up the tub drain. Ended up with about 3 inches of water and sewage in tub. Liquid will settle and drain eventually leaving a disgusting residue of course that I continue to clean. With each of mine and my husband's showers last evening in upper bath, downstairs toilet, sink and tub all gurgled and spouted some water but I guess we cut them short enough to not cause major backups. I have zero education in plumbing, but being there are so many air bubbles and water spouting up drains, could it in fact still be a gas vent issue? (By the way, roto-rooter guy said camera showed a bend in pipes beneath basement foundation due to settling of house that consistently held a pocket of water. Not sure if that could contribute much being that we've lived here for nearly 6 years and the house is nearly 12 years old with no previous problems). Thanks for your help.


05:24AM | 02/21/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
A belly could very well cause the problem and since it started in august it could be a combination of roots and the dip in the piping.

You could have the lines water jetted to remove any debris in the dip but that is a temporary fix

Call your insurance company as you may need to have the piping dug up and replaced with proper pitch...

This situation will not improve by itself
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