What To Do If Sewage Starts Backing Up Into the Shower

It's a scene straight out of a movie homeowner's nightmare; when you see sewage coming out of the shower drain, it starts creating a stomach-turning mess.

It's not just gross; it's also a health risk: sewage contains high amounts of harmful bacteria and microorganisms that can make you and your family very ill. Also, leaving you to do deep cleaning – but first, you need to figure out why your sewer system is backed up and how to fix it.

Sewage Coming Up Through Bathtub Drain? Here are Potential Reasons Why

With sewage coming out of shower drain pipes, you're probably panicking. But the good news is that there are a few common causes, and pinpointing what you're dealing with is the first step to remedying this icky issue.

Clogged Sewer Line

A clogged sewer line is easily the most common reason for sewage coming out of your shower drain.

All of the sinks, tubs, and toilets in your home are connected to a single drain pipe. This pipe leads to the main sewer line beneath your home, which carries all sewage and wastewater to your local sewer system.

If that line becomes clogged, the wastewater has nowhere to go. So, it will simply come back up the line and out of your drains. In many cases, the shower or tub drain is the first place the wastewater appears.

Many things can cause a clogged sewer line, such as:

  • Hair
  • Soap particle buildup
  • Food waste and grease
  • Toys
  • Jewelry
  • Non-flushable items, such as baby wipes
  • Rocks
  • Rodents

How to Fix a Clogged Sewer Line

The first step in fixing a clogged sewer line is contacting a professional like Mr. Rooter of Phoenix. Clearing a clogged sewer line isn't a task to attempt DIY, especially not for the average homeowner without plumbing expertise. Trying to fix it yourself can cause more damage.

If you know something (like a child's toy) is creating a blockage, there are a few steps you can safely take.

Don't Try to Use a Plunger.

You might instinctively reach for a plunger, but that only works if you have an obstruction right at the head of the toilet or drain. A plunger can't get something that's clogging the sewer line itself.

Turn Off the Water.

Turn off the water at the main valve to prevent any more water from filling up the already backed-up pipes. Turning off the water is also the best way to stop sewage from coming up the shower drain.

Find Out if Your Home Has Ground Level Clean Outs

If you don't see any in your front yard, it may only be on the roof. If that is the case, you will want to call a professional.

Snake the Toilet and Shower Drain

Sometimes, using a drain snake can effectively break up whatever is causing the blockage. Snake the toilet and the shower drain; if the wastewater drains out of the tub, your effort was successful.

While pulling out hair from your drains is the most common problem, it may not fix your problem.

Contact a Plumbing Professional

If those easy tips don't work, it's time to call in a professional. Our plumbers at Mr. Rooter of Phoenix will use a specialized camera to perform a sewer line inspection to find the source of the problem and determine the ideal approach for removal. Our plumbers also have the right equipment to safely remove blockages without causing damage, which is something most homeowners don't have lying around.

Early Warning Signs of a Blocked Sewer Line

Before sewage starts pouring out of your bathtub drain and into the bottom of your shower, look for these red flags that an issue is developing:

Slow-draining water: Does the water seem like it's taking longer than usual to drain? A clogged sewer line will affect your lowest drains (like a shower floor drain on the first floor), so keep an eye on those.

A gurgling sound while water is draining: consider requesting an inspection if you notice a gurgling noise coming from the sink or shower drain.

Frequent drain clogs: Contact a plumber if your drains or toilet are clogged repeatedly – even if you can eventually get the water to drain.

Get Help with a Clogged Sewer Line from Mr. Rooter

Don't wait until a crisis occurs to contact our Phoenix Mr. Rooter plumbers – but when an emergency strikes, call us when you first notice, and we will be here to help!

If you're concerned about a potentially clogged sewer line or have another plumbing problem you need to have assessed, Mr. Rooter has a team of professionals you can trust. We provide a vast range of plumbing services in Phoenix and the surrounding area, including sewer line repair and more. Request a job estimate or get more information when you contact us now!