Home>Discussions>BATHROOMS>clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?
8 posts / 0 new
Last post
clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?

a few weeks ago the toilet in one of the bathrooms was clogged and as much as i tried it wouldn't unclog until after a few days later. Everything was fine fine and then it clogged again and was fine the next morning. This past week the tub began to drain very slowly and i saw bubbles coming out of the tub drain while also hear bubbles out of the toilet. Now the tub is still draining really slowly and when i flushed the toilet last night the water level was way too high in the bowl (did not overflow thankfully) but we can't use it. Any ideas what could be wrong a toilet shouldn't be clogging up this much in a matter of weeks. i don't have the money to get a plumber so is there a DIY solution?

Background info, this all started after the initial clog a few weeks ago and its the only bathroom with any issues. there are two other toilets that work fine and draining in the other sinks/ tubs is fine as well.

MLB Construction
Re: clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?

the tub and toilet, i assume, are next to each other. chances are that there is a clog down stream from where they both join into the same waste pipe. it is something you can do yourself but it might be tough if you've never done it before. all you need to do is to purchase a snake from any hardware store, they range from about $10-$15 up to $50-$75 for a hand snake. you can snake the toilet and snake the tub (which is done by removing the plate at the water over flow). just make sure you get a snake that's a good 10' long or longer and go to town on it.

Re: clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?

Yes, you have a blockage situation, and snaking is the only solution. Don't use any chemicals down the drain.

If you are unfamiliar with unclogging drains, maybe now is the wrong time to experiment, just call a plumber and watch the show.

Re: clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?

I don't think snaking out the toilet and tub are a good idea. I would be OK with it if only one of them were slow, but when two or more things are draining slow, then I look to the main line.

Around the outside of your house, you should see some clean outs. They could be in the ground next to the house, they could be horizontal and sticking out the side of the foundation or even in the floor of a garage or carport. These are about 4" in diameter and have a cap with about a 1" square drive on top of them.

From your description, I would guess that the bathroom under question is at one end of your house and any other bathrooms and the kitchen are closer to the other end, and the other end is where the drains go to the sewer or septic tank. The clean out you need will be just outside this bathroom. Find it, remove the cap and use a good garden hose as a snake. Don't run any water through the hose, just push it dry down the line until you hit the clog. Then try to break it free by repeatedly hitting the clog with the end of the hose. A firehose type nozzle on the end of the hose might help.

Re: clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?

Keith, the OP reported that his other toilets and drains work fine, so it's not a main line issue, therefore snaking the clogged toilet and drain is something that has to be done.

Your garden hose idea is never as good as snaking, and just because it worked for you once or twice, that doesn't mean that it's a good suggestion.

BTW, Harbor freight sells an attachment to the garden hose , like a high pressure jet - but i don't think that it's as good as a snake.

Re: clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?

dj, the clog can be in the main line and only affect one bathroom, it really depends on the layout of the drain system, which is something neither your or I can see. If this bathroom is the farthest from the sewer line, then the clog could be downstream from this bathroom, but upstream from all the other bathrooms and the kitchen/laundry.

Since two items are backed up, I suspect a common clog, which would be in the main line. But it could be two separate clogs, which then would have to be snaked out separately. I would start with the main line as it is easier to do. I also suggest using a garden hose because most people have one of those already, saves having to buy something for a one time use.

Getting the snake past the P trap on the tub can be difficult. That is another reason that checking the main line first is a good idea. But again, it might be necessary.

I do have a large 25' snake, and I have had to use it on occasion, but I have found the garden hose easier and it does work quite often. If it doesn't work in this case, the OP will at least know where the problem is and then can go and get an appropriate size snake.

Re: clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?

If your toilet is bubbling, this means its not venting properly or theres a blockage somewhere in your toilet or sewer line. Vent stacks do not get clogged normally, I seriously doubt this is your problem. I would suggest you call plumber and have these issues evaluated.

Re: clogged toilet slow tub and bubbles?

MLB is correct in stating the stoppage is in the main line down stream past were the tub connects. But to get a snake through the tub trap would require to small of a snake to be of any use in the larger line. If you don't have a clean out plug up stream of the tub then your looking a pulling the toilet and using a large enough snake to clear the line. As far as a garden hose working, if that did work then many plumbers have wasted a lot of money on sewer cleaning equipment. Snaking a main line is no job for a DIY. Even a experienced plumber can get injured using large power snakes.


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.