Basement toilet floods whenever main floor toilet is flushed

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by NGalaxyTimmyo, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. NGalaxyTimmyo

    NGalaxyTimmyo New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I recently bought a house about 3 weeks ago. I noticed that occasionally the basement toilet would gurgle, but didn't pay much attention to it. I had a housewarming party the other day and the basement toilet flooded over. We put a sign up saying out of order, and continued to use the toilet on the main floor (which is right above the basement one).

    Well, I was then notified that everytime someone flushed that toilet, it would back up downstairs, overflowing again. I've snaked both toilets with no results at all. The basement toilet will empty very slowly, but eventually.

    It will even back up if I use the sinks in either bathroom, or the biggest problem I've had, with the shower in the main floor bathroom.

    I have a plumber coming in the morning, but I would love to be able to fix it myself before he has a chance to get here. However, with what I have found searching around, Theres very little I will be able to do

    Any ideas?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    You have a clog further downstream from the basement toilet. If you were lucky, you could pull that toilet and snake the line, but it probably would take a pro sized snake to do it.
  3. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    I,ve seen this before, on House flippers

    Someone's brother law, I think His Name is AL ,Plumbed the downstairs bath.
    He works cheap ! The owners make big bucks and Folks are stuck with another
    Tar Baby! If You're lucky You have a blockage. Don't mind Me ,I'm tired of HACKERS :(
  4. NGalaxyTimmyo

    NGalaxyTimmyo New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I removed the toilet and snaked it already, but the snake I'm using is only 25ft, and I don't know how far I was able to get it
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Your problem is not unusual. Your main drain is clogged fairly big time and you're sending a boy to do a man's job. By that I mean the DIY snake isn't capable of doing what has to be done. Give up and get a plumber who has the man size auger that will get the job done. Don't try chemicals, that will only make a health hazard for the plumber when you finally call him. And, even if you can find a professional sized auger that you can rent, you are risking damage to your drain and injury to yourself because you don't have the know-how to use it. Sorry if this seems blunt, but your previous posts indicate you are committed to trying to do this yourself despite advice to the contrary.
  6. NGalaxyTimmyo

    NGalaxyTimmyo New Member

    Messages:
    5
    well, I haven't really tried much after my first post. I don't really have any experience, and although like you said, your post was blunt, it also was very clear on the message. I'm done messing around now, and will wait until the plumber gets here in the morning.
  7. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    Good Move.

    Tom
  8. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Please let Us know what the problem was. Best to look for a referenced plumber. The national folks can be gourgers!
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    That 25' snake you have is probably 1/4", so even if it reached the obstruction, it would not properly clean it out...too small.
  10. NGalaxyTimmyo

    NGalaxyTimmyo New Member

    Messages:
    5
    plumber just left. Ended up costing $290. Yea, I just had a 1/4 snake. He ended up pulling out some elastic, but that was it. Everything runs again though.

    Now enter in my own made problem. I removed the toilet and reinstalled it (saved $90 that way) and when I was tightening down the bolts, I cracked the porcelain good.... Didn't even have it that tight yet, at least I didn't think so....

    Theres nothing leaking from it yet, But I figure it's just a matter of time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now I'm pretty much broke after all thats happened now, and theres no way I'll be able to afford a toilet till after I get all my bills paid. How long do you think that it'll be good for, and where would you recommend the best toilet for my price range (very low :( )
  11. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    That must be an older toilet plus it looked like the floor sloped to the front of
    bowl .It might last forever or overnight.Mansfeild.Check the level of toilet
    set on flange called a dry fit (before wax ring)When you set set a new one.
  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Also, the flange bolts are not used to pull the toilet down into the wax ring. You use a little rock and roll with downward pressure from body weight to seat the toilet into the wax. The bolts should then be snugged down but not cinched tight. As I look at the photo, it appears to me that the broken piece is just decorative and should not leak. I think if it had broken into the trap way, it would leak now. As far a the best toilet, it's pretty hard to get quality for cheap and a poor quality toilet is the last thing you want to install. You will be forever, and I mean forever, unhappy with it. I'm sure there are many decent quality toilets on the market now, but the brand most folks that frequent this forum prefer is Toto. A Toto Drake would be one good choice. See Terry's Report on Low Flow Toilets on the home page.
  13. NGalaxyTimmyo

    NGalaxyTimmyo New Member

    Messages:
    5
    As long as it doesn't have to be changed right now, I can make sure all my other bills are paid, and now that the bulk of the tests for my Anatomy and physiology class are over, I can start picking up more overtime at work, plus with working Thanksgiving, I can really pick up some extra cash in about 2 weeks, but right now I'm scrapping it close.

    Regardless, I think I'll just shut off the water for now until I can have a day next week with nothing to do so I can keep an eye on it.

    I felt like such a fool after that happened. I was on the last 1/4 turn for that nut and I was gonna check the other side, then snap. The joys of having my own home....
  14. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ

    In the end, your "saving $90" probably ended up costing you a couple hundred...
    Next time, let the plumber do the plumbing - he was out there anyway - and save some money (in the long run)...
  15. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    You might have an uneven-floor problem, and it would be a good idea to take a close look at that possibility before replacing your toilet. Or, maybe there was something between the bottom of the back of the toilet and the floor when you set in back in place. Some toilets might be tougher than others, but they need to have flat bottoms and to sit on flat surfaces.
  16. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Everyone has given you good advise, but I will repeat what I said in my first answer. The flange bolts are not intended to pull the toilet down into place, just to secure it. Snug the nuts, but don't torque them.
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