Is there an obstruction in my line?

I have a 2 bathroom house, and the master bathroom is the most "upstream", further downstream is the 2nd bathroom, then further down is the laundry room tie in, then the kitchen tie in, then out the street to the city sewer.
All the toilet seems to flush normally. But when my master shower is on, draining a lot of water into the line, the 2nd bathroom toilet water level drops slowly, then it does the bubble burping thing. Once the master shower stops running, wait a little while and the 2nd bathroom toilet flushes normal again, at least as far as I can tell.
I understand when the master shower runs, it dumps a lot of water into the line, and pushes some air down the line too. This air as it goes through the 2nd bathroom tie in, will go up that line and normally escapes through their vents. But instead it chooses to bubbles throught the toilet.
Does it mean there is full or partial obstruction in the line downsteam from the 2nd bathroom?
My kitchen sink seems to drain well, but that is not a lot of water when I use it.
So I go to the 2nd bathroom and there is a sink, a shower and the bubbling toilet. I turned on that shower in there, it does not make the toilet bubble. Tried the sink too, only the toilet seem to bubble, nothing else. Wouldn't the shower and sink also make the toilet bubble? Unless they are both upstream of it, but I cannot tell since the last owner did some major remodeling.
Where should I begin my diagnostic to know what to do? Could it be a blocked vent stack to the 2nd bathroom toilet? Could that be the cause? or is partial obstuction be most likely the case.
I would have called a plumber but I like to know more what is going on first before making decisions. A few years ago I had a clogged line and I called a plumber and they came, removed my toilet and send an electric snake down, it cleared the clog, but in the process splashed what my wife called a "shit storm" on all the walls, ceiling, medicine cabinets, shower doors, tooth brushes, towels, linens etc... and she almost made me move because of it. Later she found out that they could have done the snaking from the outside cleanout or from the vent down...it was trouble for me.
Thanks for any advise.
S
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orangetrader wrote:

<SNIP>
This doesn't add up. Is this house all on one level? Both baths same floor? Is there a basement where you can follow the run of the drain piping?
First, the shower actually produces only a small trickle in the drain. It may look like a lot from the shower head, but flow-wise it's small. Not enough to even fill the drain pipe and "push air" ahead.
Second, all the fixtures flush/drain properly, with no sign at all of backup.
I think this may the tipoff: "the last owner did some major remodeling." I would start by following the shower drain line to see where he tied this in. Is it related to where the other toilet connects? Did he dump the shower into the vent?
Do some detective work. Something's not right here...
Jim
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House is one level, monolithic slab, no way to really inspect the pipe run short of sending a video camera down.
I don't know how things are connected down below, but this problem is new, in other words, it was not happening yesterday, or last year, or the year before. So if this is a pre-existing problem something else triggered it?
S

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orangetrader wrote:

Ah! Well, if it just began, I guess we can't blame the previous owner...
May be a venting problem (blocked), although I would expect the toilet to self-siphon when flushed. (Maybe it does, and the bowl refills so you don't notice it...) Jim

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I opened the cleanout plug (located 24" from ground where it exits the building and come up the exterior wall) along the vent of the master bathroom, no difference, so it is not a blockage there.
However there is a new development, the burping 2nd bathroom's toilet now no longer flush right. The water comes from the tank and just fills it up and then it slowly drains and goes all the way to the bottom, the burp burp burp. If I wait 15 minutes and flush, it will flush fine, but if I flush again about 4 times as soon as the tank fills, it will not flush again.
I can't figure out if this is a vent or line blockage problem. Any suggestions?
I also went outside and inspected the cleanout where the line exits the house, with a flash light I can see the line is clear, and water trickling by. I placed a toilet paper in the burping toilet, flushed it, went outside and never saw that toilet paper go by.
Puzzled. Probably line blockage down the line from 2nd bathroom?
S

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orangetrader wrote:

<SNIP>
Yes, now it sounds like a blockage in the drain. And it is not right at the toilet- the fact that you have to flush 4 times for it to back says it is a ways down.
If there is no other access and you have to remove the toilet, suggest covering the entire bathroom in plastic sheet this time. <g> Jim
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Jim:
Thanks. One more question. Is there any way to test to know if the blockage is before or after the kitchen tie in (which is the last tie in and then it runs another 15 feet before it exits the house. There is a laundry line tie in a few feet before the kitchen tie in.
The distance between the 2nd bathroom and kitchen is about 20 feet.
I was wondering if it is a partial blockage after the kitchen, running a load of laundry now will it push enough water at a high enough flow rate to "bust" open the clog?
If I can flush a few times and it burps and I can wait about 15 minutes for it to work again, does it mean the water is getting (seeping) through but solid is not?
Can I ask the drain cleaner to snake from the outside cleanout of the master bathroom? Can the snake negotiate like 100 feet of line?
Thanks,
S

now no

and
flush
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orangetrader wrote:

Remote chance it will; try it.

Yes, that's what I picture/

You can get a snake to go 100 Ft, but it's not easy. Also, since you're snaking "backward" it's not always sure where the snake will go (off a branch or to a vent).
Since this is buried in slab, don't overlook the possibility that the buried drain has shifted/cracked/crushed. If so, you'll have repeat episodes after it's snaked. A video cam will disclose problems. Jim

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What kind of pipe ? PVC or Cast ?
I had a house that had cast drians. The kitchen tie end was just a few feet down from the laundry drain which was at the end. The laundry would get clogged every year, seemed like grease build up from teh kithen sink. Although I tried not to dump grease down the drain not sure about the previous owner.
A snake woudl always unclogg it for a while but would happen again.
Plumber said most likely grease down line from where the kithchen tied in was causing lint from washing machine to stick and start clogging the line.
He tried to clean it out with several methods but he also did not like the way the tie in was done and wanted to redo the pumbing. Said that the cast could also be rusted/corroded and grabbing lint.
after he tried to clean the lines it seemed to do better but not sure if fixed as I ended up moving anyway.

the
toilet
up
burp
again.
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PVC in my case.

exits
master
it
I
right
back
<g>
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You have a vent problem in the uphill bathroom. The water flowing downstream creates suction, if it can't get air from the vent stack, it will pull on all the traps. The easy ones to see and notice are toilets. You may have a bird nest, insect mud ball, or other blockage in the vent for the master bath. A running garden hose down the roof vent should clear it out.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

"upstream",
laundry
city sewer.

shower is on,

water level

master shower

flushes
water into the

goes through

escapes through

toilet.
downsteam from

water when I

the bubbling

toilet
nothing else.

they are

some major

be a

the cause? or

going on first

and I called

snake down,

called a "shit

doors, tooth

because of it.

the outside

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But if this is the case, shouldn't the master bathroom toilet also bubble? It does not. Only the 2nd bathroom toilet, which ties in like 20 feet from the master bathroom, is bubbling.
S

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kinda depends on whether the shower is tied in before or after the crapper. You could have already tried the garden hose remedy. No cost. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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My master bathroom's main vent (most uphill) actually goes outside the house along the exterior wall, and there is a plug there before the vent shoots up to the roof. I went outside and opened that plug up, and theoretically that should solve the blockage in the vent further up. It did not. I seriously doubt the blockage could be downstream from that vent, because where the plug is located there are two more bents before it goes up to the roof (making it unlikely if something dropped into it, that it will negotiate through two bents and rest further down.
So that leaves the vent of the 2nd bathroom further downstream. That vent went up the roof and cannot be inspected without getting up there so may be this will be my next move.
However there is a new development, my 2nd bathroom's toilet now no longer flush right. The water comes from the tank and just fills it up and then it slowly drains and goes all the way to the bottom, the burp burp burp. If I wait 15 minutes and flush, it will flush fine, but if I flush again about 4 times as soon as the tank fills, it will not flush again.
I can't figure out if this is a vent or line blockage problem.
S

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