5 Ways to Unclog a Toilet Backing Up into the Bathtub

It’s not uncommon for all of the plumbing fixtures in a bathroom to empty into a single waste line, with the bathtub drain usually being the lowest of them all. As a result, if there is a blockage and water begins to back up, that is the first place it will emerge.

At the same time, you’ll probably notice the toilet flushing ineffectively. You should be able to clear it with a plunger But there can be blockages at other places that can hinder your work. Here is a list of all the things you must do to unclog a toilet backing up into the bathtub.

What does Water Backing Up Into The Shower mean?

When you flush the toilet, do you ever expect the waste to come bubbling back up? No that would be gross and if it happens then there is something wrong with your drain pipes or the main sewage line.

If a clog occurs in the toilet or immediately after it, the water just will not drain, and you must use a plunger, which typically works. But what if there’s a blockage further down the drainpipe, after both the toilet and the bathtub leave pipes?

When the main house drain or sewage line becomes clogged, waste cannot flow out to the city’s sewer systems and consequently backs up via the drain with the least amount of resistance.

This means, that when you flush the toilet, sewage water will surface back into the bathtub drain. Not only does it imply a disagreeable odor and harmful germs in abundance in sewage waters. It also means that typical flushing is impossible, thus you must take action as soon as possible.

Toilet Backing Up Into Your Shower: Probable causes

Your waste goes via your pipes into the main sewage line when you flush your toilet. If toilet water starts backing up into your shower or tub, it’s because something is clogging the main sewage line.

The trash has no choice except to seek refuge in the nearest drain, in this example, your shower. If your shower is the lone source of concern, the main sewer line may not be the source of the problem. The blockage might be near your bathroom and readily repaired. If all of your home’s fixtures are backing up, the issue is most likely with your main sewage line.

Here are some frequent causes of pipe clogging or failure:

Mild blockage

There can be a minor block just below the bowl because you flushed something that belongs in the trash bin.  Cooking oil, fats, and grease should not be poured down the drain. When the liquid fat dries, it hardens and sticks to your pipes.

Do not flush “flushable” wipes down the toilet. Flushable simply implies that the wipes may be flushed down the toilet. Toilet paper is designed to degrade within your sewage line, however, baby wipes remain intact and cause a blockage.

People also tend to flush sanitary napkins down the drain while it is specifically advised on the packet not to. Please read the instructions for disposing of any object. 99% of them should be thrown into the trash can and not flushed down the drain pipe.

While most of these blockages are mild and can be cleared by wearing gloves and getting handsy with the toilet. But sometimes they can travel down the drain stack and cause a big disruption in the flow of the water.

Drain stack blockage

If the water is backing up in the shower or bathtub, it is most likely due to clogged pipes. When you flush the toilet, the water does not go out as it should and instead surfaces back in the shower.

Worse, if you keep flushing the toilet, the water will soon overflow the bowl and toilet seat, spilling all over your bathroom floor. It can stink your bathtub and brings unwanted germs with it.

If you believe that this is the case, there is a short test you can perform. Fill a bucket halfway with water and place it in the toilet bowl. If the water in the toilet bowl does not drain, it is reasonable to presume you have a clog.

Sewer line blockage

Tree roots can enter your sewage line through joints or gaps in the pipe. Terracotta pipes were utilized by contractors because they were readily accessible. They are composed of ceramic clay which is extremely prone to roots and leaks.

Cast iron pipes were often used in homes built before the 1970s. Despite being a robust material, cast iron rusts and corrodes with time. Most drain cleaners include sulfuric acid, which can corrode metal pipes such as cast iron.

A soil failure can also lead to blockage of the sewer line. When your soil changes, pressure is applied to your sewage line, causing it to fracture, leak, and collapse. Rain, flooding, drought, cold temperatures, and other factors can cause soil to move.

Vent blockage

Vents in a well-operating plumbing system allow air in to maintain adequate pressure. When the vents get clogged, air cannot enter and water cannot flow correctly. When you flush another toilet in your home or drain the bathtub, your toilet will gurgle and sputter, indicating that your vents are clogged.

If this occurs, you might try going onto your roof and flushing your pipes with a garden hose. If this is a frequent issue in your house, maybe due to fallen leaves, it may be worth investing in a vent cover to avoid leaves or other detritus from blocking them in the future.

How to Unclog a Toilet Backing Up into the Bathtub

Let’s start with the milder methods and then move on to the ones that involve chemicals, something I won’t recommend unless it is the only option left.

Tools You Will Need

  • Duct tape
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket
  • Baking Soda
  • Plunger
  • Toilet auger
  • Wrench
  • Adjustable pliers

1. Try Remedies available at hand

  • Dish Soap: The slippery soap should lubricate the obstructed pipe and make it easier for the trapped material to glide down. If you’re short of dish soap, cut up a bar of hand soap and drop the pieces into the toilet.
  • Hot Water: If dish soap alone does not accomplish the work, adding water may help. Hot water is also useful for eliminating feces. Hot water might soften it inside the drain. Fill a bucket halfway with a hot bath and pour it into the toilet from waist level. The water’s force could dislodge whatever is creating the obstruction.
  • Baking Soda and Lemon Juice: I recommend that you pour a cup of baking soda into your clogged toilet and wait a few minutes. Next, slowly pour two cups of lemon juice into the toilet. You may need to repeat the procedure until the obstruction is removed.
  • Baking Soda & Vinegar: You’re probably aware that vinegar and baking soda are excellent cleaning agents, deodorizers, and aid in keeping our drains working properly.

2. Wire Coat Hanger

There is a well-known method to unclog a toilet backing up into the bathtub using a cotton hanger. Before inserting the hanger into the drain, consider the following points.

You must cover the metal with plastic or the porcelain will be damaged. Insert one end of the unwrapped hanger into the bowl and move it around to clear the clog.

3. If you have The Plunger, bring it to use

The most typical piece of advice for clearing a clogged toilet is to use a plunger. Wrap the bathtub trip lever in duct tape. This closes the overflow hole and seals the plumbing pipes. Cover the sink’s overflow holes in the same manner. If the bathroom has a shower, cover the drain with tape.

To get water out of the bathtub drain, flush the toilet or pour water into it. Insert the drain plug or close the drain stopper. Repeat in the bathroom sink. To unclog the toilet, create a suction in the open section of the bowl. Place the plunger in the toilet bowl and gently push it down.

Fit a plunger around the waste outlet of the toilet bowl and vigorously pump it several times. This may be sufficient to clear the clog. To see if the flush has improved, try flushing the toilet. If it hasn’t, take another plunge.

4. Use Toilet Auger if Pluging doesn’t help

If plunging does not work, use a toilet auger to clear the blockage. Insert the auger through the toilet while wearing rubber gloves and push it in until you encounter resistance. Turn the auger handle to move the head past the obstruction. Pull the auger out to clean the head on a regular basis.

If the auger cannot reach the obstruction from the toilet, insert it through a cleanout. Near the toilet, you should be able to find a cleanout. You might have to go into a closet in another room to get to it. It has a screw-on cap that requires a wrench to remove.

5. Time to Call in the Experts

You may not be able to unclog a toilet backing up into the bathtub or shower on your own, despite your best attempts. Calling a professional plumber will help you solve the problem fast, but it will be costly.

A plumber will have greater experience and more advanced tools. They may even need to flush a camera down the drain to determine what is obstructing it.

Most individuals will be tempted to open the sewer cleanout and try to remove the blockage from there. Don’t even think about it. If water is backing up from the bathtub, it signifies the vertical piece of pipe is full of raw sewage, which you don’t want to be the first thing to run out of the cleanout.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I dissolve toilet paper in a sewer line?

One of the most common chemicals used to dissolve solid stuff is bleach. It is beneficial in severe instances. Depending on the severity of the condition, up to 3 cups of bleach can be placed inside the toilet. It will disintegrate the toilet paper and make it easy to flush.

Does Coke unclog the blocked drain?

To clear the clog, you simply need 20l of Coca-Cola bottles. You must pour the beverage into the bowl. After that, wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for an hour. The pressure created by the foil and Coca-Cola will clean the drain. To complete the cleaning process, flush the toilet.

Will shampoo unclog a toilet?

If you want to clean your toilet without leaving your bathroom, you might use hot water and shampoo from the sink. To begin, pour the hot water into the dish. Pour in the shampoo. Depending on the circumstances, you will have to wait roughly 30 minutes. More hot water will undoubtedly be required to clear the obstruction.

Final Words

It’s an unpleasant feeling to discover your blocked toilet backing up into the tub. Knowing how to unclog a toilet backing up into the bathtub doesn’t mean you’ll be able to accomplish it on your own. If, on the other hand, you tried every way and discovered that you couldn’t, it’s time to get off the dead horse and contact a plumber.

If you have faced such a situation, please share your experience in the comments. And if you know of any other efficient method, you are invited to share it with us.

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