Toilet Backed Up Into The Shower

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Dealing with a Plumbing Emergency: Toilet Backed Up Into Shower

Some things don’t go together, like the toilet and the shower in the bathroom. Even though having a clogged toilet is annoying, having it back up into the shower is even worse. You can go years without remembering that these two systems are connected and that a change in one could affect the other.

Why Is Your Toilet Backed Up into Shower?

Well-functioning toilets drain via the sewer line, which carries the wastewater away from the house and into the main sewage system. If, however, when you flush the toilet, water backs up into the shower, it’s because something is blocking the pipe. Drains can be compared to the branches of a river. An enormous river is formed when numerous smaller rivers (secondary sewage systems) join together (your main sewer line). To the extent that even a portion of your main sewer line becomes clogged, it will eventually back up into all your other smaller sewer lines, including those leading to your bathroom sinks and showers.

Causes For Toilets Backed Up Into Showers

An obstruction in your line could be caused by several factors; here is a short list of the most likely causes.

Toilet Backed Up Into The Shower

Foreign Objects Flushed:

Sewer line clogs can be caused by anything from children’s toys to sanitary napkins to thick toilet paper or paper towels to “flushable” wipes. Toilets are only meant for water, human waste, and biodegradable toilet paper. More than that, and you risk doing some significant harm. For more information on flushable materials, read 24/7 Plumber Near Me: What’s a Flushable Wipe? Costa Mesa

Tree Roots:

Trees need water, and if there are any cracks or breaks in your sewer pipes, the line provides an abundant supply. Extreme drought requires ingenious solutions, and tree roots can adapt. A tree on the next block could potentially tap into your plumbing system. Roots can eventually make their way into your sewer pipe and cause a clog.

Hair Clogs:

When we bathe, our hair often falls out slowly but surely. Even though it’s not a lot, it can become a problem over time, especially if it forms a net that traps other things that would normally drain well. As hair builds up in your drain, it can slow or stop the flow of water.

Grease Build-Up:

Letting oils, grease, and fats enter sewers is a terrible thing. These contaminants can enter the same sewer line that cleans your bathroom as they are washed off in the kitchen with dirty dishes. All the drains could be affected if grease accumulates to the point where it clogs the main line.

Built-Up Scale:

Scale is a mineral deposit typically made of calcium and magnesium that is found in all waters. Pipes and other water-contact surfaces are vulnerable to the formation of scale due to the residue left behind by the water. This coating can accumulate and cause a clog in your drainpipe or sewer system.

Other Materials:

Sometimes a clog in your sewer line isn’t caused by just one thing, but by several different objects and substances. A clog can be caused by laundry detergent, soap buildup, or other things. This could be why your shower and toilet drains don’t work.

toilet backed up into shower

Ways to Prevent Toilet from Backing Up into Your Toilet

Now that you know what could be making your toilet overflow into your shower, it’s time to find a solution. Before you reach for those nasty chemicals that promise to clear any clog, we urge you to read on.  No amount of drain cleaner will likely fix this problem. The drain cleaner is corrosive and could make the problem even worse. Instead, try these ways to clear a clog from your sewer line:

Turn Off Main Water Supply

Turning off the main water valve is probably the first thing you should do. A shower can quickly get flooded if a clog is big enough to prevent water from draining all the way. It’s common to find the main water shutdown valve in the basement or garage, or next to the water heater.

Use A Drain Snake

If you have a drain snake on hand, you could use it to clear the line. Start by carefully putting a toilet snake down the toilet. This method can leave permanent marks on the toilet finish, so be careful. As you put the snake into the drain, turn it clockwise. As you carefully pull it back out, turn it counterclockwise. Remove the screws from the drain cover and pull them off to fix the shower drain. Push the drain snake into the curved pipe below, turning it clockwise on the way in and counterclockwise on the way out. If you’re successful, you’ll find the clog, and as you spin it out, the snake will pull it up.

Unblock Vent Pipe

Water from the toilet will occasionally overflow into the shower if the vent pipe leading to the toilet is clogged. You need to locate your home’s vent pipe on the roof. (That hangs over your toilet.) To check if the pipe is clear of any blockages, shine a flashlight down it. If any obstructions are located towards the top of the pipe, a retrieval tool can be used to safely remove them. Use a drain snake or a garden hose to force any debris further down the pipe.

Call the Professionals at Rooter John

If these steps have been attempted without success, it is time to contact the plumbing experts in Orange County at Rooter John. An experienced and trained specialist will evaluate the clog and determine the best course of action or repair. Whether it’s due to tree roots or pipe scaling, our skilled plumbers are equipped with the tools and knowledge to resolve the issue.

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Rooter John: Help With the Toilet Backed Up into the Shower


Rooter John offers plumbing, drain cleaning, drainage line installation and repair, trenchless sewer repair and installation, and other services in and around Los Angeles. We serve residents in California cities like Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Fullerton, Torrance, and Westminster.

Call Rooter John Day or Night

Having your toilet backed up into your shower can feel overwhelming and cause you anxiety and stress.   Learning what causes drain clogs and how to take measures to avoid them in the future will help. But, if you ever have a plumbing emergency, you can relax knowing that Rooter John is just a phone call away. Our emergency hotline, 1 866 890 7283, is staffed around the clock so that you may reach us whenever you need us.