bubbling and overflowing basement toilet

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    • #279126
      Avatar photoBrianSh

        This may be a bit of a long post, but I am desperate and am hoping that all the details may help solve the problem…….

        About a month ago the toilet in our basement washroom began to bubble and subsequently overflowed when the toilet on the second floor was flushed. I tried the plunger for a while and was able to get the water level back to normal but when it happened again that day I called in the professionals.

        The plumber suspected a main line blockage and used a power auger to clear the line. As I have a finished basement with no cleanout visible the plumber had to remove the toilet in order to use the auger.

        All went well for about 3 weeks until the bubbling returned one night and was quickly followed by another overflow from the basement toilet. Judging by the soapy water all over the floor this time, the washing machine which is located in the basement as well, was the source of the water.

        Plumber returned next day and suggests another power auger session this time using a cutting head on the end. “Sure”, I say, just fix the problem please.

        2 and half weeks later same situation. Plumber suggests they run the auger one more time to mark a spot where they should start digging if it plugs again.

        3 weeks later….yep you guessed it. This time plumber says that it is time to start digging as the main line must be decayed. Front lawn is subsequently dug up. What is found is the nicest, strongest piece of pipe one could expect. (House was built 43 years ago…we have been in it for 7 without any backups) The plumber suggested that maybe the joint next to the foundation was not tight and dirt was washing in periodically. They replaced that section of pipe and added a cleanout line which stands where my shrubery use to. They ran a snake from the opening in the pipe out to the street and said it seemed fine. They did the same from the pipe back into the house.

        Later that same night I hear that old familar bubbling from the basement as the washer is emptying. The water level in the toilet did not rise but bubbled for a minute or so. The next night (tonight) the shower upstairs causes the basement toilet to bubble and overflow!

        So….to summarize a very long post….After about $2,000 in bills and a wrecked front lawn I am no closer to solving this problem.

        I have been reading some posts on this site over the last couple of days and have a couple of questions:
        1. What the heck do you think the problem could be?
        2. I have read about possible venting issues causing overflows. Could this be the case? The level of water can stay high for many hours before it gradually subsides, can this be caused by a blocked vent? This has not be checked to date.
        3. Has my plumber proceeded in a sensible manner? (he is a professional, largest firm in the city)Should the vents have been checked first etc.(don’t know if this is the problem anyways)

        Any help/suggestions anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated.

      • #300089
        Avatar photoRobert Stephen Morton

          waynetrain. Has the Plumber got a Drainage plan “As Constructed”? Has he allowed for jump ups? has he used a “sond” to pinpoint the position? Has the plumber access to a Sewer Camera?
          It is true that if the initial sewer cleaning is unsuccessful & the problem persists, then further investigation is necessary.
          Recently I had a job where my son worked from plans obtained from the owner of a set of flats.
          These plans showed a drtainage system designed by a Engineer, However the drainage had been laid by a “Plumber”. Plumbers as part of the Licencing exam are required to “carry out the design in the cheapest manner for the customer”
          The drainage cut from one corner & went straight to the Sewer Junction.
          He put the Machine down & according to the “Plan” the obstruction was under the Concrete.
          I obtained a “As Constructed Plan” & put a camera down. We found a broken square Junction at the top of a jump up & pinpionted it from the “as constructed”
          A 1m1m hole was all that was necessary to repair the drainage that others couldnt fix.

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