View Full Version : Toilet Overflow

08-24-2011, 12:05 PM
Having a hard time finding a solution on this problem of a toilet overflow on a ground floor. I am not having sewage backup (which is the only overflow I am seeing discussed online) into the toilet but my toilet overflows during monsoon type rains.

My patio and roof downspout goes into the same drain outside. What appears to be happening is that the patio and roof is draining so quickly down the drain during heavy rains that on its way out to the front of the house to the sewer line it will cause my toilet to gurgle, sometimes siphon out, or worst case overflow. The toilet is on the ground floor in the middle of the house.

Is there any solutions or ideas to remedy this situation? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I thought about something like this http://www.sudsnfloodtamer.com/ but cannot find anything online with anyone using it.

08-24-2011, 12:54 PM
Take your downspouts out of the sewer and into a French drain. Most places it's illegal to send rainwater to the sewer.

Gary Swart
08-24-2011, 01:28 PM
I agree with LLigetfa. It's probably illegal to dump rainwater into the sewer, and even if it isn't where you are, it's wrong to do so. What's happening is the drain line is being overloaded with water during heavy rainfall.

08-24-2011, 02:02 PM
Way back when, (and still around in many places) they ran combined storm and sewer lines. For maybe as long as 30-years or so, there have been requirements to separate them, but the progress is slow as the cost is high. It is NOT good to run rainwater down a sewer line, as the waste treatment plants are NOT designed to handle that momentary potentially HUGE increase in flow. Today, you would likely NOT be able to run your gutters into the sewer, and it may even be illegal - it almost certainly would be if you tried to make an attachment today - you'd never get a permit to do so.

So, as mentioned, the best solution is to break that connection, run the gutters out to a cistern or drywell and eliminate the problem while helping your town. If you run it to a cistern, you might add a system and use that water to irrigate your lawn or garden without having to fight with any potential watering bans.

08-24-2011, 06:36 PM
If its not illegal to have your area drains tied into the sewer, you can put in a back water valve, but I would seperate them as earlier instructed.

08-24-2011, 07:25 PM
If its not illegal to have your area drains tied into the sewer, you can put in a back water valve, but I would seperate them as earlier instructed.

It really depends on where you live...

The EPA has been financing and pushing to separate them for ages.

08-26-2011, 06:38 AM
Thanks for the advice. It is legal still in Philly until the water dept separates the systems in the street. Living downtown I have no yard except a 15X15 patio to do a french drain solution to slow it up.

08-26-2011, 08:38 AM
Ask your local,www.phila.gov

Runs with bison
08-26-2011, 09:38 PM
Regardless of whether it is legal or not (depends on location.) Or whether it is bad in principle with respect to the waste treatment units (it is.) It is undoubtedly putting a large volume of liquid with a potentially high head (say 5, 10 or more feet potential above the toilet level) into your home's sewer. If there is any restriction in your lines from the house to the main you will experience back up at the lowest open point in your home's sewer openings. Since this is likely an older system, I suspect you have some roots or other things restricting your line to the street (this was common in older homes I've occupied) and this might require some annual cleanouts all the way to the street.

The device you mention might work, but before or in addition to that I suggest: 1. Clearing any debris from the gutters and flushing them thoroughly. 2. Having a plumber clear your sewer line to the street...and especially any attached to the home that are getting gutter runoff. 3. Put some sort of debris catching screen in the gutters to prevent leaves and sticks from entering your sewer line and getting stuck in any roots/etc. in your line to the street.

And of course, if you can get those drains out of the sewer altogether, that would be best. Rain barrels could only handle a fraction of the typical run off from a heavy rain.