What to do When Sewage Comes Through Your Bathtub

Oh no! You've got sewage coming out of your bathtub's drain! Outside of being just gross, this can be a very stressful situation for homeowners and it can allude to a much deeper problem going on in your plumbing system.

Here's what you need to do if you encounter this problem:

Turn off the water: At the first sign of a sewer line clog, turn off your main water supply. You won’t want extra water to flow into areas that are already backed up. Typically, the main shutoff valve is found in your basement. If your house has an outside sewer cleanout line, removing the cap will release the pressure in the line and force any sewage backup back down the drain.

Check your vent pipe: When vent pipes become blocked, it prevents your sewer line from draining properly. Head up to your roof and search for your vent pipe, which is likely over your bathroom. Shine a flashlight to scan for anything that might be blocking the pipe. Pull out any obstructions close to the top with a retrieval tool.

Snake the drain: Drain snakes can be very helpful when clearing clogs in your sewer line. Feed a toilet drain snake down the toilet, spinning clockwise on the way down, use caution with this method as you can cause permanent marking on the toilet finish. As you pull the snake out, cautiously twist counterclockwise. Next, remove the screws on the shower drain cover and pull it off. Using the same technique, push the drain snake down the tub drain. If your drain snaking is successful, the source of the clog will be broken by the snake, and both your toilet and tub will drain successfully.

Call in backup: If your toilet and bathtub remain blocked after attempting each of these strategies, you likely have a bigger problem on your hands. Clear Drain can locate the source of the clog.

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