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Thread: Main line problem?

  1. #1
    DIY Member Henry G's Avatar
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    Default Main line problem?

    I'm getting an intermittent draining of the toilet bowl water. Today as I was doing laundry, the water drained from the bowl, and started to bubble once and awhile. I've also noticed this lately with the shower drain bubbling. What is odd is most of the time I can flush the toilet without any problems, and no water will drain from the toilet for weeks. It seems after doing some laundry today the problem has gotten worse.

    How can I determine if this is the main line, or a possible vent clog? Unfortunately, it's raining at the moment or I'd get on the roof to check the vent pipes for an obstruction.

  2. #2
    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    You have one of two problems,
    #1 you said it was raining you might have overloaded your septic tank,
    when you do not run water in the house for a couple of hours then the septic tank drains down,
    when you run a load of laundry you fill the tank,
    you need to first check the outlet filter on your septic to see if clogged then if that's not it you need to have a plumber or septic pumper
    out to check tank !

    #2 if you are on a city sewer then you have a blockage in line see above about draining down works the same way on sewer line
    and you need to call a plumber / rooter cleaning company a. S. A. P. To clear before it backs up completely

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  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A vent likely wouldn't cause that...doing laundry can put many gallons of water down the drain...if you have a partial clog, then try to flush a toilet, there's no place for that water to go. Highly likely that you have a main line clog. If it was total, things would not let anything down, ever once it filled up.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    DIY Member Henry G's Avatar
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    I'm on a city sewer system.

    Is it possible to remove the toilet, and run a snake that way? The toilet drain, and the main line are very close.

  5. #5
    DIY Member Henry G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    A vent likely wouldn't cause that...doing laundry can put many gallons of water down the drain...if you have a partial clog, then try to flush a toilet, there's no place for that water to go. Highly likely that you have a main line clog. If it was total, things would not let anything down, ever once it filled up.
    Just took a shower and that causes the toilet to bubble, and drain. When I flushed the toilet it splashed up for a second before it filled. I have a toto drake, so it flushes and fills very quickly.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You need to clear the drain line. If you don't have a proper cleanout, one way often is to remove the toilet and use that pipe's access point. This is most often best left to a pro, as using one large enough to do a thorough job is dangerous wihtout training...it can rip fingers off and break bones if not handled properly.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Call Roto Rooter that's the name and away go troubles....down the drain. You have an obstruction in the waste line somewhere.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Well, I suggest you don't call those guys, but another professional. Any plumber worth his salt can do this job.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    what's wrong with roto rooter?
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  10. #10
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    what's wrong with roto rooter?
    Your kidding !!

    John

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Is it possible to remove the toilet, and run a snake that way?

    It IS POSSIBLE, but it is usually the most expensive and time consuming way to do it.
    As for RR, their policy is to extract as much money from your wallet as possible.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  12. #12
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Not in my area they don't. They are as competitive and honest as anybody around. Maybe it's a local thing. I find that a lot of plumbers like to dump on Roto Rooter, The Culligan Man, Ben Franklin et al. Mostly they dump on those guys because those guys have much larger and more sucessful companies than they do.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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