Shower drain gurgles when toilet flushed

Discussion in 'Misc DIY' started by MAG, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. MAG

    MAG Guest

    Hi folks-

    A strange thing has been happening for a while, hasn't gone away on its
    own, and it's time to investigate. This started happening last winter.

    My upstairs bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower. When I flush the
    toilet, the shower drain gurgles. No toilet water backs up into the
    shower, and in fact as near as I can tell, the gurgling seems to be the
    result of a _suction_ on drain pipe, rather than a backup.

    The house has been prone to roots blocking the outgoing sewer drain in
    the past, but no problems with this recently. There's no reason to
    suspect any sewer line blockage at this time.

    My thought was maybe there is a blockage in the vent stack somewhere. In
    this scenario, when the toilet flushes, the rushing water causes a
    sympathetic suction on the associated drain pipes, including the shower
    drain. No gurgles in the sink drain, but it's farther away and maybe on
    a different vent.

    I guess I could call a plumber to investigate, but that gets expensive
    and the noise is only mildly irritating. Anything I can check on my
    own?

    Thanks in advance!

    Marc
     
    MAG, Aug 12, 2003
    #1
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  2. MAG

    RikC Guest

    Do you use the shower? You will get the gurgling sound from a dry trap
    because the shower/tub is never used.

    I have run into this more than a couple of times because people will use the
    toilet in the guest bathroom but never the shower.

    HTH

    rik

    --

    Padded room with a view
    RWC3
    "MAG" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi folks-
    >
    > A strange thing has been happening for a while, hasn't gone away on its
    > own, and it's time to investigate. This started happening last winter.
    >
    > My upstairs bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower. When I flush the
    > toilet, the shower drain gurgles. No toilet water backs up into the
    > shower, and in fact as near as I can tell, the gurgling seems to be the
    > result of a _suction_ on drain pipe, rather than a backup.
    >
    > The house has been prone to roots blocking the outgoing sewer drain in
    > the past, but no problems with this recently. There's no reason to
    > suspect any sewer line blockage at this time.
    >
    > My thought was maybe there is a blockage in the vent stack somewhere. In
    > this scenario, when the toilet flushes, the rushing water causes a
    > sympathetic suction on the associated drain pipes, including the shower
    > drain. No gurgles in the sink drain, but it's farther away and maybe on
    > a different vent.
    >
    > I guess I could call a plumber to investigate, but that gets expensive
    > and the noise is only mildly irritating. Anything I can check on my
    > own?
    >
    > Thanks in advance!
    >
    > Marc
     
    RikC, Aug 12, 2003
    #2
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  3. MAG

    Speedy Jim Guest

    MAG wrote:
    >
    > Hi folks-
    >
    > A strange thing has been happening for a while, hasn't gone away on its
    > own, and it's time to investigate. This started happening last winter.
    >
    > My upstairs bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower. When I flush the
    > toilet, the shower drain gurgles. No toilet water backs up into the
    > shower, and in fact as near as I can tell, the gurgling seems to be the
    > result of a _suction_ on drain pipe, rather than a backup.
    >
    > The house has been prone to roots blocking the outgoing sewer drain in
    > the past, but no problems with this recently. There's no reason to
    > suspect any sewer line blockage at this time.
    >
    > My thought was maybe there is a blockage in the vent stack somewhere. In
    > this scenario, when the toilet flushes, the rushing water causes a
    > sympathetic suction on the associated drain pipes, including the shower
    > drain. No gurgles in the sink drain, but it's farther away and maybe on
    > a different vent.
    >
    > I guess I could call a plumber to investigate, but that gets expensive
    > and the noise is only mildly irritating. Anything I can check on my
    > own?
    >
    > Thanks in advance!
    >
    > Marc


    I agree; you're on the right track.
    Shine a bright light down the shower drain so
    you can watch the water level when the toilet flushes.
    That will tell you if it is indeed "suction".

    Venting a shower drain is often problematic in that
    the drain has to run in a confined joist space.
    The vent take-off is often, at best, at a 45 degree angle.
    If they laid the take-off horizontal, great clumps of hair can get
    in the vent.

    You can't snake that unless you can access that portion of the
    vent system from above.

    Then again, perhaps the vent stack is blocked...

    Jim
     
    Speedy Jim, Aug 12, 2003
    #3
  4. MAG

    MAG Guest

    In article <qnXZa.2399$>,
    says...
    > Do you use the shower? You will get the gurgling sound from a dry trap
    > because the shower/tub is never used.
    >
    > I have run into this more than a couple of times because people will use the
    > toilet in the guest bathroom but never the shower.
    >
    > HTH
    >
    > rik
    >
    >

    The wife and I are squeaky clean; shower used several times per day.
     
    MAG, Aug 12, 2003
    #4
  5. MAG

    MAG Guest

    In article <>, says...
    > MAG wrote:

    (snip)
    > >
    > > My upstairs bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower. When I flush the
    > > toilet, the shower drain gurgles. No toilet water backs up into the
    > > shower, and in fact as near as I can tell, the gurgling seems to be the
    > > result of a _suction_ on drain pipe, rather than a backup.

    (snip)
    > > My thought was maybe there is a blockage in the vent stack somewhere. In
    > > this scenario, when the toilet flushes, the rushing water causes a
    > > sympathetic suction on the associated drain pipes, including the shower
    > > drain. No gurgles in the sink drain, but it's farther away and maybe on
    > > a different vent.


    (snip)
    >
    > I agree; you're on the right track.
    > Shine a bright light down the shower drain so
    > you can watch the water level when the toilet flushes.
    > That will tell you if it is indeed "suction".
    >
    > Venting a shower drain is often problematic in that
    > the drain has to run in a confined joist space.
    > The vent take-off is often, at best, at a 45 degree angle.
    > If they laid the take-off horizontal, great clumps of hair can get
    > in the vent.
    >
    > You can't snake that unless you can access that portion of the
    > vent system from above.
    >
    > Then again, perhaps the vent stack is blocked...
    >
    > Jim
    >


    Hmmm... a hair plug is definitely a reasonable possibility. Any
    suggestions for clearing it in the event that I can't get at it from the
    roof vent stack? Leave some liquid plumber in the drains for a weekend?
    Plunging?

    Marc
     
    MAG, Aug 12, 2003
    #5
  6. MAG

    Speedy Jim Guest

    MAG wrote:
    <SNIP>
    > Hmmm... a hair plug is definitely a reasonable possibility. Any
    > suggestions for clearing it in the event that I can't get at it from the
    > roof vent stack? Leave some liquid plumber in the drains for a weekend?
    > Plunging?


    Plunging will tend to force any clog *up* the vent.
    Hmmm. Maybe a shop vac sucking on the drain while the
    roof vent is closed off?
    I have a hunch it will take making access to that
    particular vent line...

    Jim
     
    Speedy Jim, Aug 12, 2003
    #6
  7. MAG

    MAG Guest

    In article <>, says...
    > MAG wrote:
    > <SNIP>
    > > Hmmm... a hair plug is definitely a reasonable possibility. Any
    > > suggestions for clearing it in the event that I can't get at it from the
    > > roof vent stack? Leave some liquid plumber in the drains for a weekend?
    > > Plunging?

    >
    > Plunging will tend to force any clog *up* the vent.
    > Hmmm. Maybe a shop vac sucking on the drain while the
    > roof vent is closed off?
    > I have a hunch it will take making access to that
    > particular vent line...
    >
    > Jim
    >

    In a few months I'll be doing a kitchen remodel. The shower, and
    presumably the vent for the shower drain, are on the other side of that
    wall, which will be temporarily losing its drywall.

    If that gives me access to the vent, is it OK to poke a hole in the vent
    stack, snake down the hole to clear the obstruction, then use a pipe
    clamp to patch over the hole? Or should I plan on cutting out a foot or
    so of vent pipe, snaking out the trap, then replacing the pipe?

    Marc
     
    MAG, Aug 12, 2003
    #7
  8. MAG

    Speedy Jim Guest

    MAG wrote:
    >
    > In article <>, says...
    > > MAG wrote:
    > > <SNIP>
    > > > Hmmm... a hair plug is definitely a reasonable possibility. Any
    > > > suggestions for clearing it in the event that I can't get at it from the
    > > > roof vent stack? Leave some liquid plumber in the drains for a weekend?
    > > > Plunging?

    > >
    > > Plunging will tend to force any clog *up* the vent.
    > > Hmmm. Maybe a shop vac sucking on the drain while the
    > > roof vent is closed off?
    > > I have a hunch it will take making access to that
    > > particular vent line...
    > >
    > > Jim
    > >

    > In a few months I'll be doing a kitchen remodel. The shower, and
    > presumably the vent for the shower drain, are on the other side of that
    > wall, which will be temporarily losing its drywall.
    >
    > If that gives me access to the vent, is it OK to poke a hole in the vent
    > stack, snake down the hole to clear the obstruction, then use a pipe
    > clamp to patch over the hole? Or should I plan on cutting out a foot or
    > so of vent pipe, snaking out the trap, then replacing the pipe?
    >
    > Marc


    See if you can just cut the pipe, move it aside to get the snake in
    and then re-connect with a "No-Hub" coupling.
    Jim
     
    Speedy Jim, Aug 12, 2003
    #8
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