Why Is There Sewage Coming Up Through the Bathtub?

If you’ve been looking forward to a nice, relaxing hot shower or bath after a long day of work, the last thing you want to see (or smell) is sewage backing up in your Grand Rapids, MN bathtub. Not only is it gross, it means that there’s something seriously wrong with your plumbing. Here’s what you need to know about why it happens and what you can do to fix it.

Why does sewage back up in my bathtub?

Usually, when a toilet clogs, that indicates there’s something wrong with the toilet line itself. However, when the toilet clogs and sewage backs up in your bathtub, that indicates there’s a problem with the main sewer line. This is much more serious.

Your toilet and your bathtub both drain down separate pipes, which connect to the main sewer line. In normal circumstances, your toilet and bathtub never connect to each other. However, if there’s an obstruction in your main sewer line, that can cause sewage to back up in the bathtub or other areas of your home.

You might not see actual sewage when this happens, although that is fairly common. Instead, you might notice sewage odors, gurgling drains and slow flushing. If you notice these signs, you’ll probably need to call a plumber sooner rather than later.

What causes sewer line clogs?

There are a number of reasons your sewer line might be clogged. The most common is that someone is putting items down the drain that shouldn’t be there, like food scraps, cooking oil and grease, “flushable” wipes or kitty litter, hair, feminine hygiene products and more.

However, nature can find a way to interfere with your sewer line, too. Tree roots are notorious for intruding into sewer lines, which can cause leaks and obstructions. If you notice suspiciously green patches in your yard or outdoor sewage odors at the same time you notice problems with your drains, it might be a sewer line problem.

How to fix a sewer line clog

Depending on how severe your issues are, it’s usually best to call a plumber right away. However, there are a few things you can try before you pick up the phone.

First, you should turn off your water at the main valve. If your home has a sewer cleanout valve, taking off the cap can release the pressure and send the sewage back down the drain.

Next, snake the toilet and bathtub drain with a plumbing snake, following the directions carefully. With any luck, this will break up the clog and your sewer line will be able to function normally again. If that doesn’t work, however, find your toilet vent and see if anything is obstructing it.

If none of these solutions work, make sure to call a plumber. It’s not safe to have sewage backing up in your bathtub in Grand Rapids, MN.

When you suspect there are problems with your main sewer line, be sure to call Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc. to schedule an appointment.