What to Do When Toilet Backs Up into Tub

Reading this blog should leave you with the following information:

  • Why this may be happening.
  • The emergency steps to take.
  • Steps to take to keep this from happening again.

Your bathroom is your sanctuary, and your tub is a big part of that. Taking a relaxing bath may be the only quiet time you have in your day. You want to know that it is clean and ready for your soak whenever you need some TLC. Nothing can ruin that feeling faster than seeing your toilet has backed up into the tub.

It is bad enough to know your toilet isn’t flushing properly. Unfortunately, the situation goes from bad to worse when the toilet becomes clogged. However, nothing sends shivers down a homeowners spine like seeing the toilet back up into the shower or tub. After all, that’s the place you go to get clean!

If you live in Phoenix, AZ, and surrounding valley areas, Day & Night is here to help. We know that when unexpected and unwelcome situations happen, you need a quick resolution. That’s why we want you to understand what to do when the toilet backs up into the tub, why it happens, and how to keep it from happening again. 

What Causes Toilet Back Up?

While you may not like to think about it, your toilet and tub have something in common: the sewer main. When everything is working as designed, your bathtub and toilet drain through separate pipes and into the main sewer line. When something goes wrong and the main sewer line is blocked, all the wastewater that should flow away gets backed up. Unfortunately, that may end up in your sink, tub, or shower. 

Your plumbing is a network of pipes. A problem in one can manifest itself somewhere else. Depending on the age of your plumbing, your pipes could be made from a variety of materials. That means older lines could be subject to issues newer ones may not experience. 

Some common causes of clogs include:

  • Flushed foreign objects – There is a good reason that nothing but toilet paper should be flushed. Feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and even flushable wipes can cause a clog in the pipes. Another culprit in homes with small children is toys dropped into the toilet and flushed into the plumbing, creating a roadblock. 
  • Grease - If too much fat, grease, and oil are washed down the sink into the drainage system, it can solidify and cause a really nasty clog. 
  • Hair - Losing hair is something that happens naturally over time as we shed old strands and grow new ones. You may not notice it, but over time, your drains might. Particularly in homes where someone has long hair, it can build up and cause drainage problems. 
  • Other miscellaneous materials - You might be surprised to learn all the common household materials that can cause a blockage in your sewer line. For example, soap residue, laundry detergent, and other materials can build up in pipes and combine with other factors to create a clog. 
  • Pipe scale - When the naturally occurring minerals in water stay behind and coat the inside of the pipes, it is called scale. It is usually formed from calcium or magnesium and can occur on any surface. However, when it happens inside your plumbing, the rough surface can attract even more residue, eventually creating a blockage. 
  • Tree roots - Tree roots naturally seek water. One place that always has water, even in droughts, is the sewer line. Even if you don’t have trees in your yard, a nearby tree can grow very long roots that could break into your sewer line and cause the pipes to quit draining.

What To Do: Short-Term SOS

When you have standing sewage in your tub, you need to take some quick action. What you do not need to do is use chemicals marketed to bust clogs and clear drains. They will not fix the problem, nor will it help. In fact, it could do more damage.

Before you call the professionals for a long-term solution, you can try to simply keep the situation from getting worse. Turning off your main water supply will prevent any new water from entering the drains from sinks, toilets, or other sources until help can arrive. Make sure that everyone in the house knows not to flush any toilets in the interim. Though it won’t help drain your tub, it could help prevent the sewage from filling up the tub and overflowing, causing an even bigger problem.

What To Do: Long-Term Fix

When your Phoenix area home’s plumbing is no longer draining, and you have sewage backed up into the tub, you have a problem that needs an experienced professional. Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing has the expertise, equipment, and experience you need. When we arrive, we’ll first make sure the main water line is turned off. Then we’ll get to work finding the source of the problem using our many diagnostic tools and techniques:

  • Cameras - The first step in correcting the problem is understanding what the obstruction is. That requires threading a camera on a flexible cable through the pipes to look at the problem. Depending on what we find, we’ll know which tool to use next. 
  • Snake - A drain snake is a long cable with a device on the end that looks like a corkscrew. There are manual and motorized versions. Your plumbing technician will either manually crank or start the motor to begin threading the snake through the pipes until it dislodges the obstruction.
  • Auger - An auger is like a snake but used for smaller jobs like sinks or drains. 
  • Hydro-Jet - When the blockage resists other techniques or involves a lot of buildup inside the pipes, the hydro-jet is effective. It uses pressured water to clean buildup off the inside of pipes or blast apart the toughest blockages. 
  • Cable cleaning - These cables have spinning blades on the end to cut through stubborn obstructions.

We know that having plumbing problems is an inconvenience. That’s why we do our best to diagnose and treat the problem as quickly as possible. Our team will use their experience and expertise to provide you with the best results so you can rest easy. Ensuring your health, safety, and comfort is our top priority. 

Phoenix Plumbers

For over 40 years, Day & Night has been the one all your friends and neighbors in Phoenix, AZ, and surrounding valley areas call when they have plumbing issues. Our talented team invests time in continuing education on the latest tools and technologies to ensure you get the best service and results. Our goal is to find the cause of your drain problems to prevent them from happening again in the future. When you need us, we’ll be there. Contact us today for quick, efficient, and friendly service for your most pressing problems.

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