Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your loofahs and plungers, because we’re about to dive into the murky world of bathroom plumbing. Let’s talk about the two most important fixtures in your bathroom: the throne and the shower.
It’s a well-known fact that a shower and a toilet should always keep their distance. I mean, they’re like the Ross and Rachel of bathroom appliances – better off apart. Because if something goes wrong with the connection between them, you’re going to have a stinky situation on your hands.
Normally, when you flush the toilet, the waste gets transported from your porcelain palace to the sewer main, and that’s the end of it. But if something goes awry with the main line, things can get real messy. Imagine stepping into your shower, ready to lather up and get squeaky clean, only to find out that the water coming out of the showerhead is…brown. Yikes! That’s enough to make you want to move to a different zip code.
Causes of Toilet Backup
If you’re experiencing a backup in your shower or toilet, the main sewer line is likely to blame. Clogs, no matter how small, can cause backups in all the connected sewer lines. So what’s causing the clog?
Here are five common culprits:
Trees need water, and during dry spells, their roots can reach out and invade your sewer line. Even a tree in your neighbor’s yard could be responsible for the clog if there’s a weakness or leak in your pipes. Over time, the roots can break through the pipes and create a blockage.
We all lose hair in the shower, but did you know that it can cause clogs? After enough hair builds up, it creates a net that catches other debris and slows down the drainage.
People flush all kinds of things down the toilet, but only water, biodegradable toilet paper, and waste should go down there. Flushed objects like paper towels, toys, and feminine hygiene products can easily create a blockage. And those so-called “flushable” wipes? Not so flushable after all.
Water naturally contains minerals like magnesium and calcium, which can build up over time and create a blockage in your pipes. This scale can form on any surface that meets water, so don’t be surprised if your pipes are affected.
Oils, fats, and grease are nasty when they enter your drainage system. They often come from dirty dishes and can build up in your pipes over time, leading to backups in all your drains.
How to Fix the Backup
Now that you know what’s causing the backup, it’s time to take action. We don’t recommend harsh chemicals, as they rarely solve the issue.
Instead, try some of these methods:
Head Above Water
If the clog is causing flooding, you’ll want to shut off the main water supply. The shutoff is likely located in your garage, basement, or near the water heater.
Snake It Up
A drain snake is a handy tool for breaking down stubborn clogs. To use it, carefully lower it into the toilet and start spinning it clockwise until you reach the clog. Then, spin the snake counterclockwise and pull it out. You can also use the snake on your shower drain after removing the cover.
Clear The Air
If the vent pipe is blocked, your toilet and shower can back up. Check for obstructions with a flashlight and remove any clogs you find. If the blockage is too far down the pipe, use a garden hose or drain snake to clear it out.
When your toilet is backing up into the shower, it’s time to take action. Use our expert tips to figure out what’s causing the backup and how to fix it. If you’re not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, call a professional plumber. But remember, we’re here to help, and with a little bit of humor and a lot of expertise, we’ll get you back to flushing and showering in no time!
A shower and a toilet are the two things that should always be kept separately. If anything happens to that connection, you could start having problems with both systems.
Normally, when you flush the toilet, it transports the waste from your house to the sewer main. But, if there is something wrong with the main line, the water could come up through the drain in the shower.
Let’s dive into the reasons and solutions below.
Toilet Backup Causes (Main Line)
If the main sewer line gets clogged, it could start backing up in all the smaller lines. Even the partial clogs can cause noticeable backups in all the sewer lines connected to your shower or your toilet. There are numerous things that could cause the clog.
Here are five causes why your toilet is backing up into your shower.
1. Tree Roots
As we all know trees need water, and during dry periods tree roots will try to reach your sewer line. Even a tree at your neighbor’s house could reach your sewer line during the dry periods, especially if there is any type of leak or weakness in your pipes. After some time, the roots can break through the pipes, get into the sewer line and clog it up.
Our hair falls out while we are bathing. Although it happens quite slowly and we may not even notice it, after some time it could become an issue. The hair will start forming a net which will most likely catch other things that would, under normal conditions, drain properly. This can eventually slow down or even stop the drainage.
3. Flushed Objects
Many foreign objects are often the cause for clogs. Some of them are paper towels, children’s toys, thick toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, etc. That is why water, biodegradable toilet paper, and waste are the only things that should be flushed down the toilet. Even the flushable wipes can sometimes clog up the toilet.
4. Pipe Scale
This mineral layer consists of magnesium and calcium. It naturally occurs in water and can form on literally any surface that meets water. This layer can eventually build up, as these elements are left behind in your pipes. If this happens it could be the cause of the blockage.
When allowed into the drainage systems, oils, fats, and grease can be pretty nasty. These substances are mostly washed off dirty dishes. If your systems are connected, they will travel into the same sewer line as your toilet and shower. If they eventually build up you could start seeing repercussions in all your drains.
Fix the Backup (Take Action)
Now that you have figured out the cause, it is time to fix it.
Now, the first thing that many people do when they find themselves in this situation is buy some harsh chemicals to break the clog. There are numerous chemical products promising to break down and clear up any type of clog.
However, there are no chemicals that can solve this type of issue. Instead of wasting time and money on useless products, try some of the methods listed below.
#1. Head Above Water
Before you start thinking about the ideal solution to your problem, you might want to shut off the main water supply. The main reason is that if the clog is large enough it could cause flooding. The shutoff is most likely in your garage, basement, or somewhere near the water heater.
#2. Snake It Up
A drain snake is a tool known for being quite effective when it comes to breaking down stubborn clogs. Therefore, if you have a drain snake, carefully lower it in the toilet as it could scratch the porcelain. Once it is inside the toilet start spinning it clockwise until you reach the clog. After you have reached the clog start spinning the snake counterclockwise and pull it out. You can try the same with the shower drain but, in order to do that, you must remove the drain cover first.
#3. Clear The Air
Another reason could be related to a blocked vent pipe. The vent pipe will run from the back of your toilet to the roof. Grab a flashlight and check if there are any obstructions in the pipe. If you se something, then remove the clog. If the blockage is far down the pipe, then use a garden hose to spray water down it. A drain snake can also come in handy too.
If your toilet backs up into the shower there is some type of clog that is preventing both systems from working properly. As you can see numerous things can clog up the pipes. In order to solve this issue, figuring out what caused the clog is essential. After that, use some of the methods listed above to get rid of it. Still, if you don’t feel comfortable fixing this problem on your own, you should hire a professional plumber.