Fixing a Toilet and Shower Backed Up: DIY Tips & When to Call Pros

Are you tired of dealing with the frustration and inconvenience of a toilet and shower backed up? If so, you’re not alone. Many homeowners face this common plumbing issue, and understanding the causes and solutions can help alleviate the problem.

In this article, we will explore the various reasons behind toilet and shower backups, as well as DIY fixes and professional solutions to consider. Whether you’re experiencing a minor clog or a more severe blockage, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover how to tackle this toilet and shower backed up issue head-on.

The most important findings at a glance

  • The main causes of toilet and shower backups include blocked sewer lines, invasion of tree roots, excessive use of toilet paper, and flushing foreign objects.
  • Common signs of a backed up toilet and shower include slow drainage, gurgling sounds, and foul odors.
  • DIY fixes for a backed up toilet and shower include using a plunger, applying a baking soda solution, using commercial drain cleaners, and employing a drain snake.

toilet and shower backed up

Blocked Sewer Lines

Navigating the Troubles of Blocked Sewer Lines In the midst of our daily routines, few things disrupt our lives quite like blocked sewer lines. But don’t despair, for I am here to guide you through this chaotic ordeal. Let us delve into the telltale signs, prevention techniques, and the significance of regular maintenance.

Be wary of these unmistakable signs: the slow drainage or pooling of water in your toilet or shower, the unpleasant stench emanating from your drains, and the peculiar gurgles or bubbles that accompany your flushing or showering. Should you encounter any of these warning signals, it is imperative to delve deeper. The prevention of blocked sewer lines is of utmost importance.

Stick to the simple rule of only flushing toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. Foreign objects such as paper towels or feminine hygiene products have a knack for obstructing the pipes, resulting in troublesome backups. Regular maintenance holds the key to avert blocked sewer lines.

By scheduling professional inspections and cleanings, you can catch potential issues before they escalate into major dilemmas. This proactive approach will save you precious time, money, and the torment of headaches in the long haul. To summarize, comprehending the signs, preventing blockages, and investing in routine maintenance play a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless functioning of your toilets and showers.

Through vigilance and a proactive mindset, you can steer clear of the frustration and inconvenience that accompany a backed-up sewer line.

If you’re dealing with the frustrating issue of water backing up into your shower, check out our article “Water Backing Up into Shower” for some helpful tips and solutions to fix the problem.

toilet and shower backed up

Invasion of Tree Roots

The stealthy tendrils of tree roots can wreak havoc on your plumbing, causing frustrating backups in your toilet and shower. Despite their seemingly innocent size, these roots possess the ability to infiltrate sewer lines, creating formidable blockages. However, fear not, for there are measures you can take to prevent this dreaded predicament.

One effective method is the implementation of root barriers around your sewer lines. Crafted from sturdy materials, these barriers act as a formidable shield, thwarting the advances of tree roots. Additionally, it is wise to exercise caution when planting trees or shrubs near your plumbing.

Keeping a safe distance between these green giants and your sewer lines can save you from future headaches. And if you find yourself already burdened with trees in close proximity to your plumbing, it is essential to enlist the expertise of a professional arborist. Regular inspections can unveil any potential damage caused by these wayward roots.

Should the unfortunate occur and tree roots have already infiltrated your sewer lines, it is crucial to seek the aid of a professional plumber. Armed with specialized tools such as root cutters and hydro-jetting equipment, they possess the skills necessary to eradicate the roots and clear the stubborn blockage. Attempting this arduous task on your own may exacerbate the damage, making it wiser to entrust the job to those well-versed in the art of plumbing.

Always remember, the key to avoiding the treacherous invasion of tree roots and the subsequent blockages lies in prevention. By taking proactive measures and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can ensure the uninterrupted flow of water in your toilets and showers, free from the clutches of unwanted root problems.

Excessive Use of Toilet Paper

Overindulging in the use of toilet paper can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. It has the potential to clog and obstruct your toilet and shower drains, causing a multitude of problems. This includes slow draining, stagnant water, and unwelcome odors that permeate your space.

Additionally, it places undue strain on your plumbing, leading to costly repairs. To circumvent these undesirable outcomes, it is wise to explore alternatives such as bidets or opting for thinner, more easily dissolvable toilet paper. Furthermore, it is essential to educate everyone in your household about proper toilet paper usage.

Encourage them to use only what is necessary and to refrain from flushing anything other than toilet paper and bodily waste. By implementing these simple measures, you can avoid backups and maintain a healthy plumbing system.

If you’re dealing with the frustrating problem of your toilet and bathtub backing up, check out our article “Toilet and Bathtub Backing Up” for some helpful tips and solutions.

toilet and shower backed up

If you’re experiencing the frustrating issue of a toilet and shower backing up, this video has the quick and easy fix you need. Watch now to learn how to resolve this common plumbing problem.

YouTube video

Flushing of Foreign Objects

When it comes to maintaining a smooth and trouble-free plumbing system, one must exercise caution and refrain from making the grave mistake of flushing foreign objects down the toilet. It is imperative to understand that certain items, such as baby wipes, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and dental floss, can wreak havoc on your pipes and lead to frustrating clogs. Rather than subjecting your plumbing to unnecessary strain, it is essential to dispose of these items in a trash can, thus safeguarding against blockages.

By imparting knowledge about proper waste disposal to every member of your household, you can avoid the inconvenience and expense of dealing with backups.

1/2 Common Signs of A Backed Up Toilet and Shower

A clogged toilet and shower can be a real hassle, but there are warning signs to watch out for. One indication is slow drainage or standing water in the toilet or shower. If water takes longer than usual to go down or refuses to drain at all, it may be a clog.

Another sign is unpleasant smells emanating from the drains. If you detect a foul odor coming from your toilet or shower, there could be a blockage in the pipes. Stagnant water can produce a potent stench that cannot be ignored.

Pay attention to strange gurgling or bubbling sounds when flushing the toilet or using the shower. Unusual noises from your plumbing fixtures might indicate a blockage in the pipes. These sounds occur when trapped air in the pipes struggles to flow past the obstruction.

Should you experience any of these signs, it is crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage. Neglecting a clogged toilet and shower can escalate into more significant plumbing problems. Contact a professional plumber to evaluate and resolve the issue.

Don’t let a clogged toilet and shower ruin your day – take action and restore your plumbing to its former glory.

toilet and shower backed up

Using a Plunger

In the realm of toilet and shower unclogging, the plunger reigns supreme as a trusty tool. But did you know that there’s an art to wielding it effectively? Let’s delve into the art of plunging and how it can save the day when your drains are in distress.

Selecting the perfect plunger is key. Two main types exist: the cup plunger for sinks and flat surfaces, and the flange plunger for those stubborn toilet clogs. The right choice sets the stage for success.

Now, let’s discuss technique. Position the plunger over the drain or toilet bowl, creating a firm seal with a powerful downward push. Then, with swift and forceful motions, vigorously plunge up and down.

This will dislodge the clog and restore the flow of water. But remember, precautions are necessary. Don protective gloves to shield yourself from bacteria and waste.

And exercise caution to avoid inflicting damage upon your plumbing system. If the clog persists, it’s wise to enlist the expertise of a professional plumber to prevent further harm. Using a plunger can be a DIY marvel for minor clogs.

Follow the proper technique and take necessary precautions to swiftly conquer your plumbing woes, allowing your bathroom to thrive once more.

If you’re dealing with the frustrating issue of your toilet and tub backing up, check out this informative article on toilet and tub backing up to find out what might be causing the problem and how to fix it.

How to Prevent and Resolve Toilet and Shower Backups

  • Blocked sewer lines are a common cause of toilet and shower backups. When the main sewer line becomes clogged, it can cause water to back up into your home’s plumbing fixtures.
  • Invasion of tree roots is another culprit behind toilet and shower backups. Tree roots can infiltrate sewer lines, causing blockages and restricting the flow of water.
  • Excessive use of toilet paper can also lead to backups. Flushing large amounts of toilet paper at once can overwhelm the plumbing system and cause clogs.
  • Flushing foreign objects down the toilet is a major cause of backups. Items like wipes, feminine hygiene products, and paper towels should never be flushed down the toilet.
  • Common signs of a backed up toilet and shower include slow draining, gurgling noises, foul odors, and water backing up into other fixtures.
  • Using a plunger can often resolve minor toilet and shower backups. Applying downward pressure and creating suction can help dislodge the clog.
  • Applying a baking soda solution can be a DIY fix for a backed up toilet and shower. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar, pour it down the drain, and let it sit for a while before flushing with hot water.
  • Using commercial drain cleaners can be effective in clearing minor clogs. However, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and avoid using them too frequently, as they can damage pipes.
  • Employing a drain snake is another option for clearing stubborn clogs. Insert the snake into the drain and twist it to break up the blockage and allow water to flow freely.
  • If you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own, it’s time to call in the professionals. They can identify severe blockages using specialized equipment and recommend appropriate solutions.
  • Hydro-jetting is a powerful method used by professionals to clear stubborn blockages. It involves using high-pressure water to remove debris and clean the inside of the pipes.
  • Trenchless sewer repair is a less invasive option for fixing damaged sewer lines. It involves using advanced technology to repair or replace pipes without digging up your yard.
  • Preventing future toilet and shower backups involves proper disposal of waste. Only flush toilet paper and human waste, and avoid flushing any other items.
  • Regular maintenance of your plumbing system can help prevent backups. This includes scheduling regular inspections and cleaning of sewer lines.
  • Investing in quality plumbing materials and fixtures can also help prevent backups. High-quality pipes and fixtures are less likely to develop clogs or leaks.

Applying a Baking Soda Solution

Experience the Wonders of Baking Soda in Unclogging Drains Discover the extraordinary power of baking soda as it effortlessly clears away stubborn drain blockages. This natural and eco-friendly solution not only spares your pipes from harsh chemicals but also offers numerous benefits for your plumbing system. Using baking soda is a breeze.

Simply pour half a cup down the drain, followed by a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and hot water. Watch as the fizzing action dissolves even the most stubborn clogs. After letting it sit for just 30 minutes, flush with hot water.

While this method is generally safe, exercise caution by avoiding boiling water, as it can potentially damage certain types of pipes. If you have a septic system, consult a professional before using baking soda to ensure it won’t disturb the delicate balance of your septic tank. The next time you encounter a clogged drain, bid farewell to harsh chemicals and embrace the effectiveness, safety, and environmental friendliness of baking soda.

toilet and shower backed up

Using Commercial Drain Cleaners

When faced with a clogged toilet or shower, our instinct is often to grab a commercial drain cleaner. However, these seemingly quick fixes can actually do more harm than good. The harsh chemicals in these products can corrode pipes and lead to costly repairs.

Not only that, but they also pose a threat to the environment by contaminating water sources. Thankfully, there are safer alternatives available. A simple solution of baking soda and vinegar can effectively break down clogs without causing any damage to your plumbing system.

Another option is to seek the expertise of a professional plumber who can assess the severity of the clog and provide the best solution. These experts have specialized tools like drain snakes and hydro-jetting, which can safely remove blockages. In conclusion, it’s crucial to exercise caution when it comes to commercial drain cleaners.

The risks and potential damage they pose are not worth it. Instead, opt for safer alternatives and consider consulting a professional. By doing so, you’ll not only protect your plumbing system but also contribute to a healthier environment.

Is your toilet giving you trouble and draining slowly? Check out our article on “Toilet Drains Slowly” to find out how to fix this common issue and get your toilet back to its normal functioning.

Easy Steps to Unclog a Backed-Up Toilet and Shower

  1. Use a plunger to try and unclog the toilet or shower drain.
  2. Create a baking soda solution by mixing baking soda and water, and pour it down the drain to break up any blockages.
  3. Consider using commercial drain cleaners to dissolve the clog.
  4. If all else fails, employ a drain snake to physically remove the obstruction from the pipes.

Employing a Drain Snake

Banishing Stubborn Clogs: The Power of a Drain Snake When faced with stubborn clogs that refuse to budge, a drain snake emerges as your mighty ally. Unlike plungers or chemical cleaners, this ingenious device delves deep into the pipes, eradicating clogs with remarkable precision. By dismantling or extracting the obstruction, the drain snake offers a lasting solution that promises uninterrupted serenity.

Using a drain snake is a breeze. Simply insert it into the drain, rotate it to dislodge or ensnare the clog, and gently withdraw. However, don’t forget to don gloves and handle it with care to prevent any unintended harm.

If uncertainty looms, seeking the expertise of a professional plumber is always wise. Say goodbye to the frustrations of stubborn clogs and revel in the resplendent flow of your toilets and showers once more. Just follow the instructions diligently and take the necessary precautions for a safe and efficacious endeavor.

toilet and shower backed up

Identifying Severe Blockages

Dealing with stubborn blockages in toilet and shower plumbing can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. It’s crucial to understand the signs and the importance of seeking expert help. A major indicator of a severe blockage is when water drains painfully slowly or doesn’t drain at all, leaving you standing ankle-deep in a pool of frustration.

The unpleasant odors wafting from the drains are another glaring red flag, signaling a buildup of debris or waste causing the clog. When faced with such stubborn blockages, it’s imperative to enlist the aid of a professional. A skilled plumber possesses the expertise and specialized tools necessary to accurately diagnose the issue and recommend the most effective solution.

They can employ various methods to clear the blockage and restore the plumbing system to its former glory. Thankfully, there are several effective solutions available for severe blockages in sewer lines. Hydro-jetting, a powerful technique that utilizes high-pressure water to eliminate debris and buildup, is one option.

Another non-invasive method is trenchless sewer repair, which utilizes cutting-edge technology to repair or replace damaged pipes without the need for extensive excavation. In conclusion, homeowners must familiarize themselves with the signs of severe blockages in toilet and shower plumbing. By promptly seeking professional assistance and utilizing effective solutions, they can resolve these issues and safeguard their plumbing system from further harm.

toilet and shower backed up

Understanding Hydro-Jetting

Begin your plumbing journey with the power of hydro-jetting. This incredible technique harnesses the might of high-pressure water streams to obliterate stubborn sewer line blockages. Say goodbye to clogs and hello to pristine pipes.

But remember, this is a task for the experts. Only a seasoned plumber can wield the right pressure and technique to conquer any obstruction, whether it be grease, tree roots, or pesky mineral deposits. Embrace the wonders of hydro-jetting and unleash the full potential of your plumbing system.

If you’re remodeling your bathroom and need to know the proper toilet drain rough-in measurements, check out our detailed guide on toilet drain rough-in to ensure a seamless installation.

DIY Fixes for Backed Up Toilet and Shower – Tabelle

DIY Fix for Backed Up Toilet and Shower Steps to Follow Materials Needed
Using a Plunger 1. Create a seal between the plunger and drain opening by positioning the plunger over the drain.
2. Apply firm pressure by pushing and pulling the plunger to create suction and dislodge the blockage.
3. Repeat the plunging motion several times until the blockage is cleared and the water begins to drain.
Applying a Baking Soda Solution 1. Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of vinegar in a bowl to create a foaming solution.
2. Carefully pour the solution into the toilet or shower drain, ensuring it reaches the blockage.
3. Let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the chemical reaction to break down the blockage.
4. Flush or rinse the drain with hot water to remove any remaining debris.
Baking soda, vinegar, hot water
Using Commercial Drain Cleaners 1. Read and follow the instructions provided on the selected drain cleaner product.
2. Pour the recommended amount of the drain cleaner into the blocked drain.
3. Allow the product to work for the specified time as indicated on the packaging.
4. Flush or rinse the drain with water to remove any residual cleaner and debris.
Commercial drain cleaner
Employing a Drain Snake 1. Insert the drain snake into the drain opening, pushing it in until it reaches the blockage.
2. Rotate or push the drain snake to break up or remove the blockage, applying gentle pressure as needed.
3. Continue manipulating the drain snake until the drain is clear and water can flow freely.
4. Flush or rinse the drain with water to ensure complete removal of any remaining debris.
Drain snake

Knowing About Trenchless Sewer Repair

Gone are the days of digging up yards and driveways to fix sewer line issues. Trenchless sewer repair is a groundbreaking technique that solves the problem without excavation. With the help of cutting-edge technology and specialized equipment, professionals can address cracks, leaks, and blockages underground.

The beauty of trenchless sewer repair lies in its ability to save time and minimize disruption. Unlike traditional methods, there’s no need to tear up your property, causing inconvenience and potential damage. This non-invasive approach allows for quicker repairs and minimal disturbance to your landscape.

Not only does trenchless sewer repair offer convenience, but it also provides a long-lasting solution. By using top-notch materials and advanced technology, the repaired or replaced pipes are built to withstand the test of time, reducing the chances of future issues. In a nutshell, trenchless sewer repair is an efficient and homeowner-friendly method for tackling sewer line problems.

Its non-invasive nature, cutting-edge technology, and time-saving benefits make it the ideal choice for those seeking a durable solution.

Proper Disposal of Waste

Safeguarding Your Plumbing: The Key to Proper Waste Disposal Mishandling waste can result in costly and unpleasant plumbing issues. Sewer line blockages can cause slow drainage and standing water in your bathroom. To ensure a well-functioning plumbing system, adhere to these waste disposal guidelines.

Only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Avoid flushing items like baby wipes, sanitary products, or facial tissues, as they can cause pipe blockages. Educate everyone in your household about the importance of proper waste disposal.

Teach them about the consequences of flushing non-flushable items and the significance of utilizing waste bins for items like dental floss, cotton swabs, and food scraps. By disposing of waste correctly, you can prevent blockages and backups in your plumbing system. This saves you from expensive repairs and helps preserve the environment.

Remember, a little knowledge and mindfulness can go a long way in maintaining a functional plumbing system and avoiding disruptions in your bathroom.

If you’re dealing with a cracked toilet tank, check out our article on toilet tank crack repair to learn how to fix it and prevent any further damage.

toilet and shower backed up

Did you know that the average American uses about 100 rolls of toilet paper per year? That’s a lot of paper!


My name is Warren and I am a professional plumber licensed and insured in the State of California. I have been in the business for over 10 years and have undertaken small and large projects including bathroom renovation, toilets, garbage disposals, faucets, sinks and kitchen plumbing jobs. This site is based on my experience with toilets. I have installed the best brands and models in all sizes and shapes. I hope this helps you with the unbiased information that you need to make the right decision.


Regular Maintenance

Ensuring the longevity and reliability of your plumbing systems requires consistent upkeep. By regularly examining and maintaining your toilet and shower plumbing, you can promptly address any issues and avoid expensive repairs. This proactive strategy not only prevents backups but also extends the lifespan of your plumbing.

Embrace the value of routine inspections and cleanings to enjoy a trouble-free and dependable plumbing experience.

If you’re dealing with the frustrating problem of your toilet backing up into your bathtub, check out our article on “Toilet Backing Up Into Bathtub” for solutions and tips on how to prevent this issue in the future.

Investing in Quality Plumbing

The Value of Quality Plumbing Choosing to invest in top-notch plumbing is a decision that will pay off in the long run. While cheaper options may seem tempting, the lasting benefits of quality plumbing are undeniable. One key advantage of quality plumbing is its durability and reliability.

By using high-quality materials, you can trust that your plumbing system will stand the test of time. This translates to fewer repairs and replacements, resulting in significant savings down the line. Not only does quality plumbing save you money, but it also promotes water efficiency.

With top-of-the-line fixtures and pipes, water waste is minimized, allowing you to conserve water and reduce your utility bills. This is not only advantageous for your wallet, but also for the planet. Investing in quality plumbing means investing in peace of mind.

By selecting reputable plumbers and sturdy materials, you can avoid the stress and expenses that come with frequent plumbing problems. So, whether you’re renovating your plumbing or constructing a new home, consider the value of investing in quality. It’s a wise choice that will reap financial and environmental rewards for years to come.

Don’t compromise on excellence when it comes to your plumbing – it’s an investment that will yield enduring benefits.

toilet and shower backed up


In conclusion, understanding the causes of toilet and shower backups is crucial in order to effectively address and prevent these issues. Whether it’s a blocked sewer line, invasive tree roots, excessive use of toilet paper, or the flushing of foreign objects, being aware of the potential culprits can help homeowners take proactive measures. The common signs of a backed-up toilet and shower should not be ignored, as addressing the problem early can prevent further damage.

DIY fixes such as using a plunger, applying a baking soda solution, using commercial drain cleaners, or employing a drain snake can be effective in minor cases. However, severe blockages require the expertise of professionals who can identify the root cause and utilize techniques like hydro-jetting or trenchless sewer repair. Preventing future backups involves proper waste disposal, regular maintenance , and investing in quality plumbing.

By following these guidelines, homeowners can maintain a smoothly functioning toilet and shower system. This article provides valuable information and solutions for readers who have experienced or want to prevent toilet and shower backups. For further insights on plumbing-related topics, we recommend exploring our other informative articles on home maintenance and repairs.


Why is my shower and toilet are backed up?

Water backup is often caused by a blockage in the sewer line, which can occur when inappropriate items like toys or feminine products are flushed down the toilet, or when a buildup of grease occurs. Additionally, invasive tree roots can also contribute to blocked pipes. It’s essential to be mindful of what is flushed down the toilet and to regularly maintain the sewer line to prevent water backup issues.

How do you fix a backed up shower and toilet?

To tackle stubborn clogs deep within the drain, you have the option of using either a drain snake or a toilet auger. A drain snake is equipped with a long cable that features a blade, corkscrew, or hook at one end. You simply insert this end into the toilet to effectively cut through or dislodge any obstructions. This method proves particularly useful for more severe clogs that are located further down the drain.

Does a clogged toilet affect the shower?

When someone flushes their toilet, a blocked sewer line can cause water to overflow from the shower.

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