You've just woken up and are ready to hit the shower, but first, you need to use the toilet. After flushing, you notice water backing up. That's frustrating, but that's one common issue. You hop into the shower; moments later, the water is pooling around your ankle. Now that's double trouble, and it can't get more frustrating than that. What's the problem? Why are my toilet and shower backing up?
Here's What's Happening When Your Toilet and Shower Clogged at the Same Time
If water can't go down the drain, it backs up. Had the problem been a clogged toilet alone, the problem would've been in the toilet's plumbing system. The same goes for only the shower clogging. But suppose you have the toilet and shower backing up. In that case, the obstruction is lodged somewhere deep into the sewer system, usually the point where the toilet and shower lines connect to the main sewer line – not the individual drain lines connected to the toilet or shower.
Ultimately meaning that the water that is supposed to go down comes up instead. Since the issue is occurring in the toilet and shower, the obstruction in the sewer main is quite deep in the pipes.
A clogged sewer mainline not only leads to toilet and shower backing up, but it can impact your home's overall plumbing and ruin the interior comfort and sanitary conditions. Sometimes, the sewer line might send up more than just water. Raw sewage backing up the drain is unhygienic and can cause odor.
Unclogging the sewer main is a complicated process, more complex than pulling a mass of hair from your shower drain or removing a wad of tissue paper from the toilet. Therefore, it would be best to contact a professional plumbing company to resolve the issue.
Causes of a Clogged Sewer Main
Your main sewer line can get clogged because of several reasons: They include:
- Debris buildup – Broken pipes beneath the ground release water into the surrounding soil. As a result, tree and shrub roots can grow into the old, damaged sewer pipes in search of water. That allows soil and debris to build up inside the pipes. With time, the accumulated debris blocks the flow of water "downstream."
- Invasive materials – Flushing down sanitary products, such as toilet paper, feminine sanitary products, facial tissues, or a tuft of hair can also clog the sewer main.
- A ruptured sewer line – Shifting soil or increased traffic on the ground above (especially heavy construction equipment) can cause the sewer line to rupture or lose its integrity, leading to clogging.
What to Do When Your Sewer Main is Clogged
Although unclogging a sewer line is a complicated process, you can take a DIY approach in an attempt to clear the obstruction. A connecting line can help rid the sewer's main obstruction and rule out a pressure problem.
Check the vent – Suppose you have the bathtub and toilet clogged by a rigid object or an organism (such as a dead rodent). The pressure can prevent water from flowing to the sewer mainline, and you'll need to clear the obstruction using the connecting line to release the pressure.
How Professional Plumbers Clear a Sewer Line Clog
If a DIY approach proves futile, it will help to contact a professional plumber. An expert plumber can inspect and diagnose the problem and provide proper plumbing maintenance to leave your draining flowing smoothly.
Based on the type of obstruction, a professional plumber will use one of the following techniques to clear the sewer line:
- Hydro-jetting – This technique involves using pressurized water jets. It's an effective solution when the toilet and shower are backing up. Hydro-jetting clears your sewer pipeline by removing tree roots, accumulated debris, and other unwanted materials like grease and pipe scales.
- Pipe bursting – The ground above (or frequent traffic) can cause the pipes to become oval-shaped or rupture. In such a situation, a plumber will use pipe-bursting hydraulics to break apart the old pipe before replacing it with a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. An HDPE pipe is environmentally sustainable and can withstand corrosion and chemicals for extended durability.
- Pipelining – This is a trenchless Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) clog removal process executed using advanced technology to enable a plumber to line the sewer main with a sleeve designed to seal off any leakages. Pipelining solves toilet and shower backing up by preventing water seepage into the surrounding soil, thus keeping invasive tree and shrub roots at bay. An advantage of trenchless sewer line repairs is that it doesn't require digging up your yard and ensures water flows down the drain smoothly for years.
Professional Sewer Line Clean-Out & Repair in Phoenix
At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Phoenix, we are dedicated to providing high-quality sewer line repairs. As part of a national plumbing company, we offer superior plumbing inspections, diagnoses, and repairs using advanced equipment. With our 24/7 emergency plumbing solutions, we can repair your plumbing system during the night and on holidays. Contact us or request a job estimate online today!