August 14, 2011 3:25 PM Subscribe
Why does the toilet in my basement overflow when I use the dishwasher or take a shower?
posted by xbonesgt to home & garden (10 answers total)
Background: older New England colonial (1940s maybe) with no sewage problems for the past year+ I've owned it. There's a toilet in the basement that sits pretty close to the main drainpipe, and lately it's started overflowing whenever I do something that uses lots of water - run the dishwasher, take a shower, probably do a load of laundry though I haven't tried that yet.
Plunging and drain cleaning chemicals had no effect. Flushing the toilet backs it up immediately. I bought a 50' snake and used it on the toilet (if I have an indoor cleanout access point thing, it has to be behind a finished wall somewhere in the basement). I sent the snake in maybe 30 feet before it got stuck; when I pulled it out the bit had moderate amount of unidentifiable grey and stringy black goo on it; not the big huge gross hairball or whatever that I was expecting. Tried it again with the same results.
I don't quite get what's happening here. If the clog is 30' downstream, how come my toilet overflows immediately? Wherever the problem is, how do I fix it?