Homeowners often face the unfortunate circumstances caused by an overflowing toilet. When this happens, you must act fast and remove or dry up the water as quickly as possible to avoid the potential damage to your bathroom flooring, cabinetry and baseboard. While excessive bathroom tissue or foreign objects being inadvertently flushed down the commode often cause the problem, sometimes the cause can be a serious one that is hidden within the sewage line. The post below will identify the less common, but serious causes of a toilet overflow.
A Restricted Sewage Line
A restriction in the pipe will affect its ability to handle the amount of wastewater for which it was designed. When this happens, the volume of wastewater traveling through the pipe is reduced significantly, which can cause a toilet backup. If ignored, the restriction will act as a catchall, trapping debris and growing larger as time passes until it becomes completely blocked.
An Obstructed Sewage Line
An obstruction within the sewer line renders the pipe useless as wastewater and solids cannot pass. Once the length of pipe fills with wastewater, you could experience a toilet overflow or slow drains. Flushing a toilet under these circumstances can cause a back up as the rushing toilet water is pushed back towards the fixture due to the blockage.
A Collapsed or Damaged Sewage Line
A collapsed or damaged sewage line will experience reduced flow or a complete blockage depending on the severity of the collapse. In most of these cases, your plumbing contractor must replace the damaged section to restore service.
Tree Root Invasion
A common problem with older sewage line—Orangeburg Pipe, clay or cast iron pipe—systems is tree root invasion. Often, as time passes and the material ages, the seams that connect the sections of sewage pipe fail, allowing roots to penetrate the sewage line. Trees, shrubs and other foliage naturally seek out water and are quick to take advantage of a compromised sewage line. While your plumber can buy you some time and restore service by clearing the line with a snake and cutting auger, the roots will eventually return.
If you are experiencing an unusually high volume of toilet overflows, you must contact your plumbing contractor immediately. They can identify the cause and attack the problem at its source, often with a simple drain cleaning or snaking. Keep in mind, sewage line problems will not fix themselves and can often lead to additional home repairs when ignored.