Fixing a toilet that keeps backing up is not an uncommon plumbing issue and thankfully, can usually be resolved with minimal effort. First, try plunging the toilet and if that does not work, you may need to try snaking the toilet with an auger.
An auger, sometimes referred to as a toilet snake, is a long and flexible metal device that is positioned in the toilet bowl and then rotated to clear the blockage.
In some cases, the blockage may be too large for the auger to reach, or the blockage may be located further down the pipe. In these instances, it may be best to call a professional, as more specialized tools may be needed to clear the blockage, such as a hydrojet.
Additionally, the blockage could be caused by an issue with the pipes themselves, such as tree roots. If this is the case, the issue will need to be addressed by a professional, who can inspect the pipe and determine the best course of action.
If left untreated, a backed-up toilet can become more serious, which is why it is important to address it right away. With the right tools and supplies, you can attempt to clear the blockage yourself, otherwise, be sure to call a certified plumber for help.
Why are both my toilets are backing up?
It’s possible that both of your toilets are backing up due to a blocked or damaged sewer line. The cause of the blockage could vary from tree roots growing into the line to an accumulation of waste and debris.
In some cases, the sewer line may be too small or out of date to handle the amount of waste accumulated in your home. If this is the case, you may need to consider replacing the line or upgrading it to a larger diameter.
It’s also possible that the venting system, which helps to expel air pressure, is damaged or blocked and needs to be serviced. Another cause could be a broken, cracked or collapsed pipe. This can occur over time due to shifting soil and foundation, or from an earthquake or other natural disaster.
In any event, it’s important to have a plumber inspect the sewer line with a camera to determine the exact cause of the back-up. The plumber can also look for any other problems that might be causing the evacuation of the waters from the toilets to be difficult.
Once the cause of the back-up is found, your plumber can suggest the best course of action to fix the issue.
Why are all the toilets in my house clogging?
If all of the toilets in your house are clogging, it is likely due to a larger plumbing issue. The likely culprits could be a blockage somewhere in the main sewer line, in the home’s lateral line to the street, or in the vent stack plumbing.
Clogs can form due to accumulation of debris, waste, dirt, scale or even tree roots. In some cases, the clogs form from a combination of all the possible causes. It is best to call a licensed plumber to diagnose the issue and take the appropriate steps for clearing out the blockage.
Additionally, some preventive measures may help minimize your risk of future clogs; such as never flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper, and having your plumber check for damage or corrosion in your pipes yearly.
How do you clear a main sewer line clog yourself?
The best way to clear a main sewer line clog yourself is to use a plunger. This is because a plunger can actually work to push the clog down the pipe and unclog the line without physically removing any material.
To properly use a plunger for this task, start by filling the sink or tub with enough water to cover the lower portion of the plunger’s cup. Next, place the plunger over the clogged drain, making sure it is completely sealed around the pipe.
Finally, pump the plunger several times in quick, shallow strokes. This will create suction and work to push the clog through the pipe. Note that if this does not work, you may need to use a plumbing snake as the next step.
If that fails, you may need to call a professional plumber.
How do I know if my main line is clogged?
One possible sign is water backing up through drains, toilets or sinks in other rooms. If those are filling up even though the drain isn’t being used, this could indicate a blockage in the main line.
You may also notice gurgling coming from a drain when it is not in use, this could be another sign of a clogged main line. You can also physically inspect the main drain line in your home, such as the one in your basement or crawlspace, to see if there is anything blocking it.
Lastly, a licensed plumber recommends using a camera to inspect the main line for any signs of obstructions, as this is the best way to determine if the line is indeed clogged.
How do plumbers unclog main line?
Plumbers use a variety of tools to unclog a main line. One of the most common tools used is a snake or auger. This tool is flexible and is used to reach clogs which are deep in the line. It is usually sent down the drain, and then spun in a circular motion to dig into and break up the clog.
A plunger is another tool plumbers often use to unclog main lines. To use the plunger, they will fill the drain with enough water to cover the suction cup at the end of the plunger. They then press the cup against the drain and use a back and forth motion to help loosen the clog.
Hydro jetting is another method plumbers can use to unclog main lines. This technique involves using a high-pressure hose to force a stream of water through the drain. The water is strong enough to cut through debris, tree roots, and other obstacles blocking the main line.
Plumbers may also use chemical drain cleaners to break up clogs in the main line. This method is often used when other tools are not successful.
How much does it cost to unclog a main sewer line?
The cost to unclog a main sewer line can vary greatly depending on the severity of the clog and the best methods available to unclog it. In most cases, unclogging a main sewer line will require the use of professional plumbing services.
On average, unclogging a main sewer line can cost anywhere from $185 to $500 or more, depending on the problem, the location of the clog, and the type of equipment needed to unclog it. For example, if the clog is located in a difficult-to-access area, the cost of unclogging it will be more expensive than if it was located in an easily-accessible area.
Additionally, special techniques or equipment may be required to access the clog, such as with industrial-duty tools and larger pipes, which would also add to the cost.
Can you pour Drano in main sewer line?
No, it is not advisable to pour Drano in a main sewer line. Drano is a line of chemical drain openers used to dissolve clogs in sinks, tubs, and showers, however it should not be used in pipes that are larger than 1 1/2 inches in diameter, as it can create a dangerous buildup of heat and pressure that can cause an explosion.
The main sewer line is much larger than 1 1/2 inches, meaning Drano would not only be ineffective, but also extremely dangerous. If you are having a problem with your main sewer line, it is important to contact a professional for help; pouring chemicals down it is not recommended and can damage your pipes.
How do you unclog a drain with a Clog deep in the line?
It can be difficult to unclog a drain when the clog is deep in the line. One of the first things you should try is to remove the drain cover and see if you can access the clog manually. If you can reach the clog simply remove it with pliers or your fingers.
If the clog is too deep, you can use a plunger to loosen the clog and a plumbing snake to break it apart. To use the plumbing snake, insert it down the drain and twist the lever until the clog is reached, then you can break it apart by turning the plumbing snake in a circular motion.
You can also try using an enzyme-based drain cleaner. These cleaners often take anywhere from 6 to 48 hours to work. After you’ve poured the cleaner in the drain, cover the drain tightly with duct tape to ensure the cleaner stays in the drain.
Boiling water can also be used to help break up clogs, but you need to be careful when using boiling water because it can damage the pipes if it’s too hot. You should also be careful not to pour the water too quickly or too much at once, as this could cause a blockage in the pipes.
If you’ve tried these solutions and you still can’t unclog your drain, it’s best to call a professional plumber to assess the issue and resolve it for you.
What acid do plumbers use to unclog drains?
Plumbers often use sulfuric acid to unclog drains. Sulfuric acid is a potent chemical compound that is capable of dissolving a variety of substances, including clogs in drains. When used with care to follow manufacturers instructions, sulfuric acid can be a safe and effective way to remove clogs from drains.
It is important to ensure proper safety measures are taken when using sulfuric acid and to be certain to wear appropriate safety equipment and protective clothing. The acid should also be diluted with water and poured slowly into the drain, then left to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
After this time has elapsed, the acid should be flushed away with hot and cold running water. If the clog is more stubborn, the procedure may need to be repeated. It is also important to be aware that in addition to burning skin and eyes, sulfuric acid can damage metals and many types of plastic, so it is important to take all safety precautions when using it.
What are signs of sewage backup?
Signs of sewage backup can vary, depending on the severity of the problem. Commonly, signs include a foul odor coming from plumbing fixtures, toilets having difficulty flushing, gurgling sounds coming from the drain, slow-draining sinks, showers full of water after flushing the toilet, and puddles of groundwater forming around the outside of your house or near the foundation drainage systems.
If these signs are observed, it is a good indication that there is a sewage backup in the home. Furthermore, some other signs that might occur in extreme cases would be a brown color or particles present in the toilet bowl water, standing water in the shower or bathtub, overflowing toilets, and toilet contents backing up into other drains or fixtures.
If a homeowner suspects a sewage backup, it is best to call a plumber immediately to assess the situation.
Can vinegar unclog a sewer line?
Yes, it is possible to use vinegar to unclog a sewer line. Vinegar’s acidic properties can help to break down and dissolve various types of blockages in your sewer line from grease and sludge build-up.
To unclog a sewer line using vinegar, start by pouring a full bottle of any type of vinegar, preferably distilled white vinegar, into the drain and let it sit for about an hour. After an hour, flush the vinegar down the line with a pot of boiling water.
Let the boiling water run for a few minutes before turning off the tap and allowing the vinegar-water mixture to sit in the drain overnight. For tougher clogs, try adding baking soda to the mixture before flushing it down the drain.
The combination of vinegar and baking soda can help to dissolve and dislodge large clogs and debris. Once the mixture is in the drain, wait until the next morning to run hot water through the line, which should remove any remaining clog.
Do I need a plumber to unclog a drain?
In most cases, it is best to call a plumber when you need your drain unclogged. Plumbers are experts in detecting and fixing clogs, leaky pipes, and other plumbing issues. If you try to unclog a drain yourself, you may end up wasting time and money if the clog is more difficult to fix than you thought.
A plumber will have the knowledge and the right tools to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Also, if the clog is due to a bigger plumbing issue, the plumber can take steps to repair the problem before it worsens.
It’s usually not worth the risk to try and unclog your drain yourself, so it’s best to contact a licensed plumber if you have a clogged drain.
How do you tell how far down a clog is?
The best way to tell how far down a clog is is to use a plumbing snake or a drain auger. Plumbing snakes come in a variety of different sizes and lengths, and are essentially a metal cable that is put down the drain.
This tool will help you get a good idea of how far down the clog is. If the clog is further down the sewer line, then you may need to use a drain auger, which is a handheld device that allows you to extend the cable further down the line.
Additionally, using a high pressure water jet can help push the clog further down the line and give you a better idea of its location. A plumbing professional can also be hired to help identify and remove the clog.
What can you put down a sewer drain to unclog it?
One of the simplest and most effective options is to use a store-bought drain cleaner. These are available in chemical and natural formulations, allowing you to choose which is best for your particular situation.
Another option is to use a plumbing snake. This is a specialized tool that is used to break through clogs. Finally, if the clog is severe, you can contact a licensed plumber who will be able to use specialized equipment, such as a high-pressure water jet, to break through the blockage.
In some cases, the plumber may need to come in and manually remove the clog itself. Whichever option you use, it is important to remember to follow any instructions that come with the product in order to ensure safe and effective use.