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Thread: toilet overflow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default toilet overflow

    Toilet overflowed and would not plunge so we called a handyman that specializes in plumbing. He attempted to snake the toilet but it didn't help. The water receded during the day and toilet flushed fine until next morning when it happened again. I noticed that both days we had been doing dishes, laundry, shower and then the toilet overflowed. When the handyman came back out he noticed that when you run the shower the water is backing up into the toilet. He checked the clean out and found nothing. We are on a slab and have just recently purchased this house so we know nothing never lived on a slab before. But my daughter also noticed that we had a wet sidewalk in the front of the house and it had not rained. What I need is direction and ideas. I don't have much money, not sure how to call, and not very knowledgeable since my husband used to do all the repairs but now it is my responsibility. The house was built in I think either 56 or 66.
    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: toilet overflow

    1. You have an obstruction in your sewer line. To determine where and what, you need to have a camera inspection. Not free, but it can save you a lot of unneccessary work.

    From what you are describing, the partial blockage is past the toilet, since it backs up when you use any or all other fixtures that are behind the toilet.

    2. You also mentioned the wet sidewalk, even though it hasn't rained. Well, this could be the main sewer line, a sprinkler line or main water line.

    All repairs by a professional plumber will cost some money, but at least make a payment only after you see positive results and you get some kind of a guaranty in writing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: toilet overflow

    Thank you for the advice this was the same thing my husband and I were just discussing. I suppose I will have to call a real plumber on Monday and watch the water usage over the weekend.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: toilet overflow

    Before going to the expense of a camera I would have the line snaked. It's much cheaper and it just may solve your problem. Before a camera can be used the line has to be free of water so you can see if there is a problem with the line.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    208

    Default Re: toilet overflow

    Phall02:

    I can't understand the TOP of the sidewalk being wet. Ask your daugthers where it was wet and check the ground in that area. I'd expect that the sidewalk concrete would sink into the ground if the situation were that bad.

    Are there any trees in the area? Normally tree roots are confined to the top 3 (or at most 4) feet of the ground, but if there's a small leak in a sewer line, a tree's roots will detect the higher moisture content and oxygen in the soil and grow toward that leak. It could just be tree roots clogging your sewer line.

    So, I agree with the poster that said to have the line snaked out.

    Also, I've found the price charged for clearing drains is highest for the companies with the biggest ads in the phone book and the most air time on the radio. If you phone a small company where the CEO of the corporation is the one clearing your drain, you can get the same job done for half the price or less than the larger companies charge.
    Last edited by Nestor; 06-19-2011 at 12:53 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    11

    Default Re: toilet overflow

    Handy men are handy and nothing more.... Hire some one specialized in the problem at hand, it will save you money in the long run.
    The wetness at he side walk is either a leaking irrigation valve, bleeding into its lowest sprinkler head or it could be a ground level clean out right below the service of your lawn next to the side walk, your sewer line would have to be awfully shallow and snapped in half to permeate up that far to the surface.
    I would not pay more than $75 to a $150 to have the plumber either pull the toilet and cable the line there or better if you can get your plumber to go the roof vent stack for that toilet and cable down from there.
    Hope this helps, Chris

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    3

    Default Re: toilet overflow

    I just want to thank you all for your help. It turned out to be the main line. I had a reputable plumber come out and they only charged me 135 to snake it so it wasn't bad. My main clean out was located under my porch, it is a deck so that was why we saw the water there. I am told that it will probably need to be done again and usually only holds up for 1 to 2 years, but since I don't want to replace the entire line it's a cheep enough fix. Also he did say to watch the toilet paper that I used that some were worse than others.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: toilet overflow

    Quote Originally Posted by phall02 View Post
    I just want to thank you all for your help. It turned out to be the main line. I had a reputable plumber come out and they only charged me 135 to snake it so it wasn't bad. My main clean out was located under my porch, it is a deck so that was why we saw the water there. I am told that it will probably need to be done again and usually only holds up for 1 to 2 years, but since I don't want to replace the entire line it's a cheep enough fix. Also he did say to watch the toilet paper that I used that some were worse than others.
    It sounds like he encountered roots in the main line. That says that the pipe is cracked or broken. Did he tell you how far down the line he found the problem? If so dig it up and make your repair. At some point in time you will have to do this. Hopefully it won't plug up again on a Sunday or holiday.

    John

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