My toilet is possessed

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I just took a shower and the drain is very slow.
    I heard gurgling in the toilet. I flushed it. The water level rose to the top. Eek!
    Thinking there was a connection, I closed the shower drain.
    The toilet gurgling stopped.
    I waited until the toilet water was completely gone, then opened the shower drain.
    Glug, glug, went the toilet. Up, up, up went the water level. (Fun children's horror story, eh?)


    Why are they connected? I imagine that instead of each drain going down through the ceiling and walls separately, they connect in the center of the bathroom or something. NOT a good design.
    Any thoughts?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Not all that unusual, actually.
    At our house, the sink is connected to the toilet, rather than the shower/tub.

    First you have to solve the reason for the slow drain on the shower.... and I'm not a plumber, so I know what "they" would tell you but not sure if your systems work like ours.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Call a plumber. This could get messy.

    Chances are tehre is some blockage between the place where they connect and the shower. If nothing else, the line is clogged but not all the way blocked, which is most probable. If you use something like Liquid Plumber you will make the gunk that has built up on the sides of the pipes to become harder and mroe solid. At some point it will either block it shut or it will come off of the pipes in big pieces which will block up the pipes. A plumber may be able to use a snake to cut through the gunk/block, or they may have to tear a bunch of stuff out and replace it. You MIGHT have luck wtih getting a pipe snake at Lowes or wherever, and trying that, but chances are you will need a plumber.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Terry, the headline of your post made me laugh. It reminded me of a day way back in high school when I had just finished doing my business and was washing my hands. All of a sudden (and nobody else was in the bathroom) t he first toilet flushed on it's own, then the second one, then the third one, etc. Let me tell you, I ran out of there FAST!

    What kind of freaky spook would possess a toilet???? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I second the snake. Or the plumber. Get on it today or on his schedule for tomorrow.
  6. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Definitely a snake. You can rent them at Rent A Centers. Don't snake the toilet. You will damage the porcelain. Snake the bathtub drain. If it doesn't work, go back to the Rent A Center. They have this thing that builds up and then, rushes air pressure through the pipe, blasting the clog away.

    Or, call the plumber.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Do you have a septic tank? My brother used to have a really big house with 3-1/2 bathrooms, one of which was added on when they converted their garage in to a fourth bedroom. Wasn't long before they started having problems. Every time they used the dishwasher, when it drained, the water would come flying up out of the closest two toilets just like Old Faithful! There was no blockage - the original septic tank was just overloaded and couldn't handle that much water on that end of the house. They ended up having to install a second septic tank on that side of the house and no more toilet "Old Faithfuls"!
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yikes. I can think of lots of other places if want haunted!
  9. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I also recommend a plumber. This has happened to us twice in the last year and resulted in horrid backups. It was because a pipe was clogged and then came loose. We had all kind of sewage back-up. YUCK! Luckily (as far as this one matter) we live in an apartment and we didn't have to pay for repairs or clean-up. I think getting the plumber there ASAP will save you money and time in cleanup.
  10. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    Could be the main drain where it all goes. Call a plumber.
  11. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    If you are on city water/sewer, call the city to check outside at your connection---it could be a root grown into the line. Had it happen in an old house I rented. They fixed it.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Yikes! Are any other drains in the house backing up? If so I'd check with the city as stated above. If not, get the plumber in there.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ahhh, yes, we are on septic.
    I will check our folder to see when they were last here. I may do that first.
    Thank you all!
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    It's the main line that runs out to the street or septic tank. You need a plumber out to rod that out from the outside/basement trap. Warning! it's not cheap.

    I had this happen twice in a year in my place. Problem was solved by re-routing the main line under my house.
  15. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    We had the same issue in our basement bathroom, but in our case, after flushing the toilet, poop (sorry!) and toilet paper came rushing up thru the shower drain. It was hideous.
    The rooter guy came right away, and because we don't have a trap in that bathroom, he would have to remove the toilet, or break thru the wall to get to a possible clog. He said there was one thing we could try while he was there - it was a last ditch effort. He said to go upstairs and flush, one at a time, each toilet in all the other bathrooms in the house. When the toilet tanks filled up, flush them again. Sometimes, the whoosh of the water helps to move the clog along. It actually worked. We called it toilet CPR. I wouldn't try this without the plumber there, though, because if things went wrong, he could hopefully do something!
    He said to stop using premium toilet paper, like Charmin, etc., and to switch to the 1-ply Marcal brand, because the premium toilet papers don't break down, even though when you flush, the whole bowl is emptied, and you think there's no problem, but the clog occurs somewhere down the line. The only problem is no one likes the cheap toilet paper, and they always complain, but it's better than ripping out the toilet.
  16. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Moaning Myrtle, of course!

  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We had this happen. If we had called a plumber before it got worse (which of course it did), we could've avoided the poop in the shower downstairs... And all over the FLOOR...
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    When cleaning up after the septic system problems, remember that you do NOT need a lot of bleach to disinfect. Rinse so that visible solids are gone, spray a mixture of one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water on the area, let it sit for five minutes, then wipe down everything and rinse.

    Using more bleach will NOT mean things are cleaner, and using more bleach and not letting it sit for five minutes, or using other disinfecting chemicals and not letting it sit for five minutes before the final wipe out and rinse will mean you are not disinfecting. That five minutes is what kills the germs and what most people forget. Often the most effective clean uses the least elbow grease because you let the properly mixed solution kill the germs before you put the effort in. If what you have is full of grease, add a tablespoon of Dawn or other dishwashing liquid to the gallon of water/tablespoon of bleach.

    Septic systems are not fun when they need to be cleaned. Sorry.
  19. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Ooh, septic. That's what I have to deal with.

    This time of year in most of the US for example, it's Tree Root Time. I am the Septic Manager on the farm, and I have to dig everything up this spring to deal with the roots and the bad design (as I've commented on in the past. :))

    If you care to at least try yourself, you know where the pipe line access ports are AND you aren't too concerned about poopie on your hands, the tool you want to look for is The Cobra. It comes in 50' and 100' lengths, uses a steel strap instead of that coiled springy thing a standard snake uses, and is much better for thicker blockages. I have to use ours in every port about once a month, until I get the lines dug up.

    Also, what was said about Liquid Plumr is very true. Our previous owners used it often and not very wisely, and when I first had to fix the septic a year after we got here, a standard snake didn't work, and I hadn't heard about The Cobra yet - so I was actually using a length of garden hose with the snake cable fed through, and had to ram daily for a solid week until I knocked a softball-sized lump of mineral and Liquid Plumr acretion loose from the pipe. That's exactly how bad it was.

    If you can, seriously consider re-routing your washing machine water to a part of the lawn that or yard that can handle the water. It's a touchy thing legally, but a good many farms around here just water their non-visible lawn or drain field from the top without adding the water to the septic system. Some kind of greywater system for handling washing machine and shower/bath tub will also reduce the water load. Once again, if it's legit - lots of places cast a real stink-eye on non-conventional grey water processes.