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Old 12-11-2008, 10:23 PM   #1
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


Please help. It's late and I have to figure out if I need to call in sick and get a plumber or if this is something I can do, or can wait for 5 days.
I am out of town a lot. I came home and the toilet water wasn't refilling fast as normal. It did re-fill and I was fine. Then I noticed green gunk in my tub, but I hadn't used it. Tonight, I washed some dishes in the sink and dishwasher and gurgling started. It was coming from the toilet, it was bubbling. There was yellow,stinky water coming out from the overflow spout( I am guessing what this is called from other posts. The metal plate above the drain). Now I'm wondering if it's pouring into my walls to. I see nothing in the main level bedroom (3 levels) but I go down to the basement and there is water dripping from under the sink pipe. I have a snake somewhere in the garage and I have some sulferic acid. Is there anything I can do right now? I am worried my basement might have more damage as some drywall (not put up) fell down and looks damp. Long post, but if you have any advice please let me know. I will stay up tonight trying to fix it if it's possible.Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:38 PM   #2
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


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Please help. It's late and I have to figure out if I need to call in sick and get a plumber or if this is something I can do, or can wait for 5 days.
I am out of town a lot. I came home and the toilet water wasn't refilling fast as normal. It did re-fill and I was fine. Then I noticed green gunk in my tub, but I hadn't used it. Tonight, I washed some dishes in the sink and dishwasher and gurgling started. It was coming from the toilet, it was bubbling. There was yellow,stinky water coming out from the overflow spout( I am guessing what this is called from other posts. The metal plate above the drain). Now I'm wondering if it's pouring into my walls to. I see nothing in the main level bedroom (3 levels) but I go down to the basement and there is water dripping from under the sink pipe. I have a snake somewhere in the garage and I have some sulferic acid. Is there anything I can do right now? I am worried my basement might have more damage as some drywall (not put up) fell down and looks damp. Long post, but if you have any advice please let me know. I will stay up tonight trying to fix it if it's possible.Thanks!
DO NOT use the sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid and water creates a highly exothermic reaction. Sulfuric poured into your drain may also end up releasing hydrogen gas. I could go on,,, but bottom line using or even thinking about sulfuric acid for this situation is just wrong as well as being VERY DANGEROUS and POSSIBLY LIFE THREATENING.

Jamie
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:49 PM   #3
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


Thanks Jamie,
I just had gotten the bottle out and it says virgin suluric acid . I know I used it once on my sink and the bubbling and smoke freaked me out enough that I haven't looked at it in 2 years. So, I guess I'll skip that tonight. I don't need anymore issues right now.
I tried plunging the tub drain and no luck. I shoved a long knife into the drain and it feels like mushed up paper towels. My neices used a lot for makeup and just threw them in the toilet. I'm hoping that's what the clog is.
Now I just have to figure out how to get the drain cover out. The water is gross! I think I have a shop vac too, I'll have to go look.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:02 PM   #4
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


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Thanks Jamie,
I just had gotten the bottle out and it says virgin suluric acid . I know I used it once on my sink and the bubbling and smoke freaked me out enough that I haven't looked at it in 2 years. So, I guess I'll skip that tonight. I don't need anymore issues right now.
I tried plunging the tub drain and no luck. I shoved a long knife into the drain and it feels like mushed up paper towels. My neices used a lot for makeup and just threw them in the toilet. I'm hoping that's what the clog is.
Now I just have to figure out how to get the drain cover out. The water is gross! I think I have a shop vac too, I'll have to go look.
I bet there is a clog further down in your drain line since you seeing the signs of a back up at multiple locations. Stop using the drains until you get this cleaned out. You will likely need to rent a power reamer to really get the drains cleaned out. A quick snaking might knock enough loose to get stuff moving again, but it won't really fix the problem.

The problem with drain cleaners is 2 fold, if they do work, they rarely solve the problem, they just clear enough just to get some water flowing again. The second problem is when they don't clear the drain, then you have a sink / toilet full of water that is now mixed with a strong acid or base.

Upon searching,I see that there is a sulfuric acid based product that is designed for drains, they claim there are inhibitors added to prevent it from reacting with the metal drain pipes. So if this is what you have, it may be a little safer than regular sulfuric acid, but I still am not a fan.

A physical cleaning of the insides of the pipes is likely going to be the ultimate solution, a snaking of the drains right now might solve the problem long enough to let you get through the night.

Jamie
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:04 PM   #5
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


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Originally Posted by gingerspace View Post
Thanks Jamie,
I just had gotten the bottle out and it says virgin suluric acid . I know I used it once on my sink and the bubbling and smoke freaked me out enough that I haven't looked at it in 2 years. So, I guess I'll skip that tonight. I don't need anymore issues right now.
I tried plunging the tub drain and no luck. I shoved a long knife into the drain and it feels like mushed up paper towels. My neices used a lot for makeup and just threw them in the toilet. I'm hoping that's what the clog is.
Now I just have to figure out how to get the drain cover out. The water is gross! I think I have a shop vac too, I'll have to go look.
Take the filter out of the shop vac first and use it with just the foam sleeve thing. Most filters clog right up when you vacuum water. Also clean out the vacuum before you use it for water, so it is easy to dump outside, otherwise you will have a tub of gunk to dump somewhere (which you may have anyway if you have tissue in the line you suck out)

Jamie
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:12 PM   #6
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


Thanks again. I actually like my Plumber, so hopefully he isn't out on vacation yet.
I have snaked a toilet and the washer tube,but not a bathtub drain. I am going to do a search on it, but if anyone can at least tell me if I need to snake down the drain and behind the plate (where the water is coming from). I know these are silly questions to some. I am not naturally handy with all the issues that a house brings, but i am persistant.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:39 PM   #7
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


Was that toilet that was "bubbling" a basement toilet that was added after the house was built? If so, then I agree with Jamie that this sounds like a clogged main drain line from your house.

Water dripping from under the sink could be anything. If water is coming UP the sink drain, that could also be due to a main drain line being clogged IF that sink is on the lowest level of your house.

I think your best plan of action would be to leave a house key under your back door mat (or hidden in your yard somewhere). Phone your plumber tomorrow morning from work and ask him to take a look to see what's happening. Most likely you simply need to clear the main drain line from your house. Some plumbing companies will want $100 or more to do that, but if you phone around to the smaller companies that can't afford a full page ad in the phone book, you can get the job done for a lot less.

The bathtub that backed up... is it on the bottom level of your house too? Are all the plumbing fixtures that backed up on the bottom level of the house?

You can save 90 percent of the cost of maintaining your home by doing the simple stuff yourself. This is one of the other 10 percent. The problem to me sounds like a backed up main drain line, and you can't clear that yourself with a small hand operated snake. Stand in your basement under where the toilet is on the main or upper floor, and you should see a large (3 or 4 inch) pipe running vertically down into the concrete floor. That will be the soil stack. Within a few feet of the soil stack you should see a "clean out", either right at the base of the soil stack or in the concrete a foot or two away. It's through that clean out that you need to run a snake to clear the main drain line from your house.

Those main drain lines gradually clog up by themselves, so it's a good idea to have them cleared once every 10 or 15 years or so.

The bubbling in your toilet could very well be air trapped in the drain piping to the toilet. If your dishwasher pumps a bunch of water into the drain piping of your house, and it can't flow away fast enough because of a partial clog in the main drain line from your house, the water in the drain piping will back up, compressing the air in the toilet drain pipe, causing air to come up that drain pipe and causing large bubbles to come up in the toilet bowl. Is that what you saw?

Don't start removing the overflow plate from your bathtub yet. Me thinks the clog is far away in the main drain line from your house, and you certainly won't clear the clog in the 4 inch main drain line 50 feet away with a 5 foot snake that fits through the small holes in the tub overflow drain.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 12-11-2008 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:53 PM   #8
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


Thankyou for all the info. I guess weadeating,painting,mowing ,sanding,appliances aren't enough. I have to figure out the pipes too. Thank you for all the advice.
At this moment , I am finaly resting for a moment. I couldn't figure out if the drain barrier screwed out or pried out, but I gave it a great plunge with a bigger ,manly plunger. The water started flowing! The bathtub is now empty and the toilet flushes. I realize I have to deal with the basement now, but for a moment I am pleased. I keep wondering how far down I plunged the clog though. I hope I didn't make it worse downstairs. I'll find out in a minute.
I wish I had found this site 3 years ago when I started ignorantly trying to fix things and ended up spending more at Home Depot than a professional would have costed. Live and learn!
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


Also, the main drain line from your house won't be COMPLETELY clogged. It's almost certainly only partially clogged. So, treat it accordingly.

If you have a bath, drain the water out a little at a time. If you flush any of your toilets, allow plenty of time for the water that backs up in the piping to drain away before draining more water (or using the dish washer or the washing machine). The drain piping from a house will hold a fair bit of water, so until you get your main drain pipe cleared, the name of the game is to understand that the water will back up in the drain piping and not to drain too much water too quickly. Basically, just allow time for water to drain before putting any more waste water in your drain piping.

PS: The slow refilling of the toilet tank had nothing to do with your drain piping. The slow refilling of the tank was probably just due to dirt in the fill valve inside your toilet tank.

You should look to see what's leaking under the sink, and for the time being put a bucket under it to catch the water.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 12-11-2008 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:11 AM   #10
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


Treat it accordingly? I'm thinking on that one. I will do as you say and not run any washes or baths tonight.
I looked for my drainpipe and it was easy to locate as it's not finished down there.
Does having a septic make any difference in the main line clog? I try to be careful with food going down the sink, but other than that I can't think of much to clog it. My plumber did find a hairbrush from the former owners lodged way down the upstairs toilet. Since I have been here, I think there would be less build up or clogs,
No standing water tonight! Hopefully tomorrow will go smooth. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:16 AM   #11
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


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Treat it accordingly? I'm thinking on that one. I will do as you say and not run any washes or baths tonight.
I looked for my drainpipe and it was easy to locate as it's not finished down there.
Does having a septic make any difference in the main line clog? I try to be careful with food going down the sink, but other than that I can't think of much to clog it. My plumber did find a hairbrush from the former owners lodged way down the upstairs toilet. Since I have been here, I think there would be less build up or clogs,
No standing water tonight! Hopefully tomorrow will go smooth. Thanks!
Has your septic system been properly maintained? It could be a clog going out to the tank / septic field or the tank could be overfull. Has it been pumped out recently?

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Old 12-13-2008, 10:47 PM   #12
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


My septic was pumped before I moved in and I use rid-x (I think that's it) and I'm only there 10 days a month and hadn't had any issues.
I thought I had moved the clog only to find that the problem has gunked up my basement toilet. The water has been turned off on it and it's not used. But, it's filled with junk (looks like paper towels) . So, the problem is lower and most likely a plumber will be needed. I am out of town now but when I get back I will have to clean out the stuff before the plumber gets there. He'd probably charge me triple for that! Iam going to try to plunge it from there after it's cleaned out. It's right next to the main pipe and I'm hoping I can clear it and not have any damage.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:00 PM   #13
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


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My septic was pumped before I moved in and I use rid-x (I think that's it) and I'm only there 10 days a month and hadn't had any issues.
I thought I had moved the clog only to find that the problem has gunked up my basement toilet. The water has been turned off on it and it's not used. But, it's filled with junk (looks like paper towels) . So, the problem is lower and most likely a plumber will be needed. I am out of town now but when I get back I will have to clean out the stuff before the plumber gets there. He'd probably charge me triple for that! Iam going to try to plunge it from there after it's cleaned out. It's right next to the main pipe and I'm hoping I can clear it and not have any damage.
I doubt it is a very long run to the septic system from the drains in the basement of the house, so it should be pretty quick for the plumber to get a drain reamer down there and get it cleaned out.
Good Luck
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:02 PM   #14
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


Save your money on Rid-X you do not need it.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:18 PM   #15
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Help! The water is pouring into my tub and toilet!


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Save your money on Rid-X you do not need it.
Is Rid-x an enzyme product?

Is Rid-x a waste in all septic systems?

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