What It Means If Your Tub Backs Up When You Flush Your Toilet

Having the things you flush down your toilet back up into your tub is a nightmare. It's not only unsanitary and smells bad, it may indicate that there's a serious problem with your pipes. If you're having this problem, this guide will explain some of the reasons why your toilet is backing up into your tub.

Pipe Blockage

One of the most common causes of this particular phenomenon is that you have a blockage in the pipe. However, don't break out the plunger - the blockage is most likely past the point of your toilet.

When you have a blockage in the pipe leading away from your toilet and try to flush it, the water doesn't go down, or it backs up into the toilet. However, if it's backing up into the tub or sink, that indicates that the blockage has gone past the toilet pipes. All bathroom pipes eventually converge into one larger pipe, so your sink, tub, and toilet all drain into one large pipe. If that pipe is blocked, and you flush the toilet, the pressure will build, forcing whatever went down the drain to come up wherever it can, like your tub or sink.

Yard Blockage

Another possibility is that the pipes leading from your home or apartment to the street sewers is blocked. While this can happen over time simply due to a build-up of flushed materials that manage to get past the pipes inside your home, it's more likely due to plant growth.

Trees, in particular, are prone to puncturing pipes and partially or fully blocking the flow with their roots. Worse still, trees tend to thrive off of the materials and water moving down the pipe, so the roots can rapidly grow thicker and longer, causing further damage. If you have an overflow access outdoors, and it's leaking in addition to the backup indoors, this is most likely your problem.

Broken Pipe

The final possibility is that you have a broken pipe either inside your home or outdoors. This can occur due to seismic shifts, earthquakes, or houses settling into the soil after heavy rainfall. This problem can manifest either indoors or outdoors, so it's worth having your pipes inspected by a professional to verify whether they're intact or if there's a break somewhere.

If you flush your toilet and your tub backs up, don't ignore the problem. There's a high likelihood that something's seriously wrong with your plumbing, and the longer you wait, the worse it will become.

For more information, contact ACC Drain & Sewer or a similar company.


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