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  • Shower backup

    This is a duplex about 10 years old with a shower in a finnished basement. About once every 3 months tennent will notice a brown scum around shower drain which looks like drain has backed up but then goes down. No matter how much water I run down the drains I can't get it to repeat. I ran snake down bsmt. drain to road and I know it is clear. However there is a toilet 5ft. from shower drain and toilet always flushes with no problem. I ran all the water in the house at the same time and flushed the toilet but water in shower drain which is down about one ft. would not move up at all. Does it pay to pull toilet and snake that 5 ft. ? or is something else going on ? Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    Re: Shower backup

    Its either a venting issue, or someone needs to clean their shower alittle bit better. Have the pipes video inspected and see if the lines have grease in them. You can snake a line all you want that has grease buildup, and you will never know if you cleared it.

    Think of it as a sponge. You can fill a sponge awhile before it gets soaked and starts not absorbing water and it overflows. You stick a pencil in the middle of the sponge. The pencil goes thru the other side no problem, but when you pull the pencil out, the sponge closes back up. After letting the sponge sit, the water will dry out, and you will be able to fill it up again. If you run alittle water on the sponge, it will absorb it and not starting overflowing...

    That is your basic lesson on how a grease blockage works

    Maybe try some grease bacteria, or the now popular Dawn dishsoap
    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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    • #3
      Re: Shower backup

      If they are on a septic tank, could be septic issues. If its on a city sewer connection, the city sewer may have periodic backups. A lot of old, badly maintained sewers out there. That would explain why it only happens sometimes, but when you tested it nothing backed up. Sometimes city sewers get infiltrated by ground water after heavy rains, and some people get back ups from it, then it goes away mysteriously until the next heavy rain.
      Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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      • #4
        Re: Shower backup

        During your water test did you fill and drain the washing machine?...be sure to add soap to reproduce the problem

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        • #5
          Re: Shower backup

          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
          During your water test did you fill and drain the washing machine?...be sure to add soap to reproduce the problem

          sure bill, took the words right out of my mouth.

          along with that cherry last month

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            Re: Shower backup

            Thanks for all the good anaswers, it is on a city line and I did check the back flow valve which did seem to be hung up so I did fix that problem but it still showed up in the shower 2 months later but wasn't as bad as before. When I ran the water test I did use the washer at the same time but I didn't use the soap, good idea Plumberscrack. There is a floor drain 10 ft. from the shower and no backup their. Thats why I wonder if something is going on between the toilet and shower ? Still when I run the water test and flush the toilet no problem in the shower. Now when I flush the toilet it's only water but if it was a turd flush would that make a difference?

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            • #7
              Re: Shower backup

              Originally posted by wizzy View Post
              Thanks for all the good anaswers, it is on a city line and I did check the back flow valve which did seem to be hung up so I did fix that problem but it still showed up in the shower 2 months later but wasn't as bad as before. When I ran the water test I did use the washer at the same time but I didn't use the soap, good idea Plumberscrack. There is a floor drain 10 ft. from the shower and no backup their. Thats why I wonder if something is going on between the toilet and shower ? Still when I run the water test and flush the toilet no problem in the shower. Now when I flush the toilet it's only water but if it was a turd flush would that make a difference?
              Sounds to me like you have something "hard" partially blocking the line
              right after the toilet sweep and its periodically getting hung up with t.p..
              It's easy to pull and reset a toilet for any experienced drain cleaner.
              I'd check this out just for piece of mind. I think you may find a
              toothbrush or even a toy down there that got lodged in "just that spot".
              It's probably backing up into the shower because it's the
              closest low spot. Doesn't always have to be the lowest spot in the house
              for a back up. I'd also run the shower line while your at it.
              Running the shower line first may get a thin cable tangled up on whatever may be in there.
              Just my quick "analyzation".
              Last edited by simplicity; 03-05-2008, 04:11 AM.

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