toilet water coming up thru shower?

Discussion in 'Homes and gardens' started by sinead76, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. sinead76

    sinead76 Guest

    I have a small plumbing problem in my ensuite. Whenever we flush the toilet, water starts gurgling and comes up through the shower and sink. recently, the shower has started to fill up when its being used, the water doesn't drain away quick enough. when the toilet is flushed, some shower water and some toilet water come up into the shower and then drain away. This morning i had to wash out the shower before i would get in it and when i was doing this the water didn't drain away for ages. when it did drain i got in and had my shower and had no problems, the shower tray didn't fill up with water. About half an hour later, i flushed the toilet and the toilet water came up through the shower and sink again. what could be causing this? I've tried washing soda and caustic soda and they've made no difference.
  2. legend99

    legend99 Guest


    The obvious answer of course is that there is a block in the drainage system.
    Are you a house in an estate....are you in the country side somewhere...are you on the mains for sewerage or do you have a septic tank etc.
    You can get special stuff to pour down the toilet and hope it unblocks it....but the best bet is drain rods will clear a pipe the best.

    Either way, the next step is to list the manhole cover for whereever the water is emptying into....i.e. where the main drain pipe from the toilet.ensuite is going to and see if that is blocked. Or see what rate the water comes into it when someone upstairs should come roaring down.

    Either way, lift the manhole for starters to check!
  3. sinead76

    sinead76 Guest


    house is a bungalow in the country with our own septic tank bio-environmental thingy. the ensuite is the only room in the house with the problem. Main bathroom has no problem, neither has the kitchen except for the fact that there's a gurgly noise in the sink when the dishwasher is emptying but nothing actually comes up. Will lift the manhole and have a look. What is the stuff that can be poured down the loo? I'll try some of the hardware shops
  4. legend99

    legend99 Guest


    Can't remember its name. get it in any place....might even have it in Tescos, Dunnes etc.
    It it were me, the first thing I would do is lift the manhole....and have someone upstairs flush and make sure the water comes tumbling out of the house. Do that and report back here...we had a similar problem...solved with the hiring of sewer rods for a tenner
  5. sinead76

    sinead76 Guest


    flushed loo last night had the same problem, then a few seconds later all the water in the toilet got sucked away with this gurgly noise that sounded like something out of a horror film. shower was covered in semi-disintegrated bog roll particles so i gave it a good wash out this morning and left it for about 10 minutes. used the shower and the tray didn't fill up, waited 10 minutes and then flushed the loo - no problems! flushed it again 10 minutes later and same again - no problems. Think the blockage might have cleared itself but other half is going at the manhole with the rods today anyway
  6. zag

    zag Guest

    Re: plumbing....


    I think there is a more basic problem here. I'm not entirely sure, but I thought that building regulations mean that the loo must discharge direct to the foul sewer and not connect in to anything on the way. In other words when you flush it should all go down the pipe and only emerge from that pipe underground.

    However sinks, showers and baths can all be connected up and feed into a single downpipe. This type of thing gives rise to the gurgling noise.

    The reasons for this are pretty obvious and are manifest in your case - to prevent foul waste coming back up anywhere other than the toilet (if it has to come back up at all).

    This problem could be cause if your main sewer was blocked *underground*, but this doesn't seem to be the case as your other sinks and drains don't have this problem.

    I would really be more concerned about the fact that your toilet outlet is connected to your shower outlet. The scenario from last night is not a pretty picture and is certainly very unhygenic. Imagine the situation if you were having a shower at the time . . .

    Can anyone confirm the building regulations ?

  7. cobalt

    cobalt Guest

  8. extopia

    extopia Guest

    Re: plumbing

    Had a somewhat similar problem with a new upstairs bathroom. We'd flush the jacks and the water would be sucked out of the trap under the shower. This would break the water seal and a bad smell would enter the room via the sewer. This sometimes happens when sink/shower waste pipes are connected to the same discharge pipe or stack that carries the toilet waste.

    Told the plumber about the problem and he came back and installed an anti-siphon vent (valve?) on the shower outlet. Problem solved.

    In your case it sounds like you had a blockage which cleared itself, but if flushing the toilet affects your other waste pipes in any way you should have one of these simple devices fitted.

    Good luck.
  9. sinead76

    sinead76 Guest


    probably couldn't get that thing installed easily as i live in a bungalow and a plumber would probably have to dig up the concrete (and my new tiles). Blockage cleared itself in the end and we only use the ensuite toilet at night anyway so it shouldn't reappear
  10. extopia

    extopia Guest

    Re: devices...

    The antisiphon device can be installed outside on the waste pipe. Hopefully not everything is underground?
  11. sinead76

    sinead76 Guest


    This problem came to a head last night. The manhole outside the ensuite overflowed onto the footpath so we lifted it and it was full to the top of water, toilet paper etc. and the smell was horrendous. The pair of us got down and dirty with the rods and rubber gloves and it started to mover, albeit very slowly. I went over to the main manhole at the back of the house, but nothing was coming through. After a lot of pushing and shoving and rods getting stuck etc. the source of the problem eventually emerged in the form of a 6inch long 3 inch thick lump of aeroboard (the kind covered in foil that they used for the insulation). I don't know how it got there but the plumbing is running smoothly now!
  12. Elderdog

    Elderdog Guest

    Well Done

    Long tradition in our house is that anyone working the rods gets a bottle of booze at the end of the job

    If no one else will treat you then I suggest you treat yourself. ( it will make it easier to get started, er, next time )

  13. James

    James Guest

    That hungry feeling

    Jaysus Sinead, what HAVE you been feeding your hubby ?
  14. Sinead C

    Sinead C Guest


    I feel your pain - when I started living in my BRAND NEW house the toilet in the ensuite wasn't flushing properly - turned out the plumber had put in an essential pipe upside down - they obviously neglected to tell him in plumbing school that water doesn't flow upwards, not often anyway. Also - when I turned on the shower it rained in the sitting room - he hadn't connected the pipe at all, just threw the shower tray in the ground and went off for tea. The foreman had the good grace to look embaressed when he came back though...
  15. harlen_james

    harlen_james Guest

    i have a similar problem with my washing machine. everytime i run it the toilet down stairs (within 20ft) starts to get close to over flowing. I have seen colored water and soap in the toilet while running the washer. do you think the problem is on the washer side? no water leaking anywhere around the toilet or washer.
  16. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

    Check the manholes around the house for blockages. Sounds like the waste water/sewage system is blocked somewhere.
  17. extopia

    extopia Frequent Poster

    Somehow the waste from the washing machine is being forced up the u-bend into your toilet. This is highly irregular.

    Describe the layout of your drains. The toilet should drain into a 100mm pipe going directly to your main sewer or septic tank. The washing machine should drain through a 50mm pipe into a gulley trap, connected to another (or possibly the same) 100mm pipe going to a main sewer, soak pit, or possibly septic tank or other wastewater treatment system.

    Sounds like the pressure of the washing machine outflow is somehow forcing it back up from the waste system into the toilet. This should not happen, but I suppose it's possible in a badly laid out (and/or blocked) system.

    Tell us more.
  18. sheena1

    sheena1 Frequent Poster

    I have the same problem with my en-suite as Sinead. Have tried caustic soda but to no avail. The manhole outside has been sealed with cement. Is there anything stronger than caustic soda that I can use on the blockage before I go digging up the footpath?
  19. extopia

    extopia Frequent Poster

    You probably just need an antisiphon valve put onto the shower waste pipe.
  20. sheena1

    sheena1 Frequent Poster

    Would I not put that on after I get the drain unblocked to prevent it happening again? First I think I need to unblock the shower/toilet. The rest of the drains in the house are ok. I am really looking for something stronger than caustic soda. Is there anything on the market?