Sewage Backing Up Into Shower, But Basement Drains Are Clear

Page 1 of 2  
Hello. I own a tri-level home with a basement (4 separate levels) that was build in 1973.
Today is the FIRST time I have ever experienced this.
This morning I noticed that there was sewage (fecal matter and toilet paper) all over the inside of my downstairs shower and some on the floor. Whatever happened, it must have been explosive! I don't recall noticing this last night!
I worked on clearing this clog all day without any success, except getting more toilet paper to flow out of the shower drain and into the basin. It seems as if the drain will drain VERY SLOWLY over the course of many hours.
If I use the sink in this bathroom, it will back up into the shower. The toilet is also clogged, but if I plunge it, it seems to also come up into the shower. If I plunge the shower, the toilet will bubble and gurgle. The downstairs floor where this particular bathroom is located is on a concrete slab.
I do not believe that this is a main sewer line clog, because the BASEMENT, one floor beneath this bathroom, also on a concrete slab, drains perfectly from the wash tubs. I actually washed a load of clothes today while this clog was in effect and didn't have any backup into the wash tubs in the basement, in which the washing machine dumps into.
Also, the center floor kitchen sink is not clogged, and the upstairs bathroom toilet, tub/shower and sink are also not clogged.
It seems to be limited to this one bathroom.
I live alone, and I am not sure what would have caused this issue to erupt between last night and this morning. I NEVER use the downstairs shower, but I will occasionally use the toilet down there, but not very often. I recall using the downstairs toilet a few days ago without any issues.
Any suggestions or tips? I attempted to snake the shower drain, but my snakes are garbage and I threw them away. I need to upgrade my snaking equipment, but to be honest, I never had to snake a drain before! I also poured about 3/4 gallon of Draino into the tub drain with virtually no result.
I scooped out much of the toilet paper and fecal matter that backed up into the downstairs shower as well. It seems as if the flow of toilet paper is done. Now, only brown water backs up into the shower basis, no more toilet paper.
THANK YOU>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 02:44:01 +0000, SoloMan

Pull the toilet that is bad and snake from there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to gfretwell , SoloMan wrote:

I have called a plumber. All toilets, showers, and bathroom sinks all back up in the downstairs shower. The only drains that do not back up are the basement washtubs and the kitchen sink, which are located on the opposite side of the house.
I went to Walmart last night and purchased one of those 25' snakes with the hand crank. I couldn't get it to go into the shower drain more than approximately 12" no matter what I did. I also used my 12 gallon Shop Vac to suck the sewer line. I'm not sure how many times I carried that sucker into the basement to dump into the wash tubs, but I probably pulled out 100 gallons of water from the sewage system.
I don't think that the clog is anywhere near the downstairs shower or toilet, based on how much water it actually takes to fill up the sewage line to the point where it backs up in the shower. It takes awhile. Downstairs toilet is still clogged, but upstairs toilet dumps right into the downstairs shower regardless.
Out of options and I had to catch a plumber soon before the weekend prices began.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Friday, October 16, 2015 at 9:44:05 AM UTC-4, SoloMan wrote:

Make sure he knows where, when and how much Drano you used.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had similar situation once, with waste coming out of my basement tenant's shower stall, yet some of the other drains and even the main drain and tr ap was clear. Had to call a plumber at 11PM, who pulled the basement toile t and snaked (with the big 2" snake) from there. There was a clog along on e branch, but not affecting the other branch for the rest of the house. Co st a painful $500 but no way I could have done that on my own without the r ight tools.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to millinghill , SoloMan wrote:

--
Thank you for the comments. I am still waiting. I called a couple of local
plumbers, starting at 7am, and waiting a couple of hours, was told by various
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Let us know what the plumber finds.
Also, ask if you can look over his/her shoulder while he/she is working so you can learn what is happening. Most likely there is only one final drain to the city, so there is a merger somewhere in the house for all the different lines.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to hrhofmann , Soloman wrote: Roto Rooter large power snake device could not clear the clog. There is a sludge patch of about 5' in a 35' line running through the downstairs slab. it pokes through but then the sludge seals when pulling out.
Also had a supervisor with a camera come by and run a camera through the line to the sewer. There is really a heavy sludge in there that seals up after you poke through.
Tomorrow, another tech is going to come out to power flush it. That should take care of it.
From what they can see right now there is no damage to the line. There is a "belly" out in my backyard that is filled with water, but it is clean water so they doubt that is causing me any of these issues.
I personally blame the Charmin toilet paper! I think they did an exceptional job today and let me watch and view the camera inspection process. I can't wait to have running toilets again. Thankfully I have two sinks in the home that work and I can take a Tennessee shower in the basement. But no working toilets, going #2 is a problem! You never realize how much you depend on a luxury such as plumbing until it isn't functional.
No way in hell I could have accomplished this on my own with basic tools.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 17 Oct 2015 02:44:02 +0000, Soloman

I am surprised they could not clear that with a cutter head on the snake. I know sometimes the "rooter" companies just shove the cable down there without a head on it. There is just a hook of wire from the cable sticking out to snag tampons and such
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to gfretwell , SoloMan wrote: This head looked like a "C" with teeth on each half. A pretty good looking cutting head. He noticed that as he pushed further along, the water would receed, but then when he reversed to pull it back through, the water would pull back. That 5' section of muck is just too thick I guess.
The camera was able to poke through it to go through the entire line to the city sewer but it seems to form around any cable and seal itself.
Which is why a power flush is necessary, to push this all through into the city sewer.
Which should be accomplished in less than 12 hours, hopefully!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 17 Oct 2015 00:12:00 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

There's something else going on here. Like how did the sludge pile up there? The power flush should reveal it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to Vic Smith , SoloMan wrote: I personally put some blame on the Charmin toilet paper. I never clog toilets but no matter how little charmin toilet paper I used, the toilet clogged nearly every time.
However I stopped using Charmin about a month to month and a half ago and everything has been well since.
Funny thing I read a negative review about Charmin on Amazon and the user said they had to have their entire sewage system cleaned out due to clogs that they think were caused by Charmin.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/17/2015 9:44 AM, SoloMan wrote:

I quit using Charmin a few years ago because it kept clogging our toilet. The last straw was a humiliated visitor who apologized when she flushed/the toilet backed up. I told her it was the t.p., not her fault, and cleared it up. I've used the Costco/Kirkland t.p. since and haven't had a single clog.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Uncle Monster posted for all of us...

Don't you floss your teeth?
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to Vic Smith , SoloMan wrote: Also, I don't think the camera guy is going to come back today to check the lines after the flushing. Yesterday he was saying that he might or might not, depending on what the power flush guy told him.
So I don't know if I'll get a chance to see inside of the cleaned pipes. I doubt it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The plumber should be able to tell you of some chemical you could flush down the drain periodically to soften/prevent the sludge from building up(like liquid Drano/plumb-out/see your local plumbing hardware store).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to hrhofmann , SoloMan wrote: The sludge has been cleaned out. The ROTO ROOTER guy is leaving me with a gallon of some stuff to pour down the toilet to help prevent future issues.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 17 Oct 2015 16:44:01 +0000, SoloMan

Are these low flow toilets?
I found that if you don't flush twice or wash your hands, that 1.6 GPF is not enough water to move the load all the way down the pipe. That is particularly true if you have women who use a lot of paper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to gfretwell , Soloman wrote: The upstairs toilet is much older. It may be original from 1973. It is an American Standard "beast."
The downstairs toilet is somewhat newer, maybe ~20 years old. I believe that it is a Gerber.
Either way, everything is well now, and I was even able to have Stanley Steemer come out back-to-back since they were only a few blocks away doing another job in my town.
Still cleaning up the downstairs bathroom, though. I hate sewage!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
With low-flow toilets, you need to flush multiple toilets at the same time at least once a week to flush the lines if there is any roughness in the bo ttom of the lines to the street. And, of course, there are rough spots in every sewer line if there is even one joint in the line.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.