Water Is Coming Up Through My Bathtub Drain. What’s Going On?

Just as being sucked down the bathtub drain is a little kid’s worst nightmare, a gurgling and back-flowing shower drain is a homeowner’s bad dream. Dirty water, or sewage water, coming through your bathtub drain is a sign of a clogged drain in your Philadelphia home, and a sewer drain pipe clog could be dangerous if left untreated. Let’s look at what causes water to come back up your bathtub drain and how you can fix this problem.

Why Water Is Coming Up Through Your Bathtub Drain

The scary sight (and stinky smell) of dirty water backing up into your bathtub is often caused by a blockage in your home plumbing system. If any of your drain pipes from your toilet, bathroom sink, dishwasher, or washing machine are clogged, water could be directed to your tub. You’ll need to find the main culprit and then have that line cleared.

Your water may also be backing up into your tub drain if there’s a clog in the plumbing vent, which allows sewage air to escape out of your home through the roof. If leaves, pine needles, branches, or other debris on your roof block this vent, the sewage air, and water may come up through your drains.

In some cases, your bathtub will collect dirty water when there is a blockage in the city’s sewer pipes. When this is the case, your neighbors may be having the same issue as you.

What Causes a Main Sewer Line to Clog?

Sewage backups can be caused by several things, such as:

  • Tree Roots: One of the main culprits of a clogged main sewer line is a tree root that has grown into the pipeline, blocking water flow.
  • Flushed Toys: Kids do strange things, and they sometimes flush their toys. When toys make it past the toilet, they can cause a blockage in the sewer line.
  • Flushed Wipes and Feminine Products: Baby wipes, flushable wipes, and tampons should not be flushed down the toilet because they clog up the sewer lines.
  • Grease Buildup: Grease may slip down your drain in liquid form, but it will eventually solidify and create a blockage.

How to Fix a Clogged Drain

When dirty sewer water is coming up through your tub’s drain, the plumbing issue is in your main sewer line. This means no amount of plunging the toilet will remove the clog. Instead, you’ll need to call a professional plumber to fix your plumbing problem.

Your plumber will do a video inspection of your sewage line to determine where the blockage is and how to best remove it. Then, they may use hydro-jetting, which is an environmentally safe way to clean drain lines, or they may use a drain cleaning snake, a metal cable used to clear small clogs such as toys. 

In extreme cases, such as when a tree root grows into the sewer line and cracks it, your plumber will need to do a main line replacement. They’ll dig up the old line and replace it with a new one.

Trust Express Drains to Clear Stubborn Drain Clogs

Keep your family safe and healthy by calling a local plumber as soon as you see water coming back up through your bathtub’s drain. Our certified plumbing technicians are ready to unclog your sewer line and repair any damages whenever you need them with our emergency drain cleaning services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to have your drains cleaned or repaired.

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