Well, I could start this with "It was a dark and stormy night....", but it isn't. It's just gloomy.....
I just returned to my home after a 5 month absence, working on renovating the old family home in a different state. During that time I left all utilities on and paid all monthly bills so that when I came back home the house would be ready for occupancy.
Now, for the first time since I bought the house in 1994, I have what appears to be a plugged main sewer line. Here are the symptoms:
It all started when I noticed that the tub in the bathroom on the west side of the house was draining slowly enough to build up water when I took a shower. I bought some foaming drain cleaner and tried to relieve the problem.
Then the toilet on the west end of the house refused to flush. When that happened I noticed that water would back up into the tub in the bathroom on the east side of the house. After that, the toilet on the east side started backing up. Obviously a clogged up main sewer line.....
A few applications of a liquid "main line cleaner" had things working well again, until today. The problem didn't begin as before, I had no problems with the shower on the west side of the house, but the toilet there wouldn't drain. I poured some of the "main line cleaner" down the tub drain, hoping to disolve whatever might be clogging the drain line for the toilet, with perhaps some success. The toilet in the bathroom on the east side of the house flushes, although it does seem to be slow.
Now, when I poured water into the toilet bowl on the west side of the house to get some of that "main line cleaner" into the toilet's sewer drain, I hear "gurgling" noises coming from the area where the toilet mates to the flange.
I know that means a new wax gasket, no problem I can do that....but this whole drainage issue has me worried. As long as I have that toilet off, I'd like to address the main sewer line issue.
If it makes any difference, I don't know whether the house's main sewer line, the one leading to the town's sewer system, is on the east side or the west....can I find out at one of the city's offices? The house was built in 1976, perhaps they keep permits on file for that long?
Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated. I don't mind renting a "rooter" type machine if one is available, just don't want to have to pay somebody to do what I can do for myself! I mean, after all, DIY is what we're all here for, eh