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Discuss Partial blockage - please advise on how I tackle this. in the Plumbing Forum area at

  1. peter lanky

    peter lanky Member

    I have an en suite bathroom with a shower sink and toilet that all appear to be connected. Every so often I get a blockage, but this clears itself usually before returning some months later. The symptoms are:
    When I drain either the shower or sink or flush the toilet, I get bubbles in the other two units.
    The toilet fills up more than usual on flushing before draining to normal level.
    The shower fails to drain at all, but does so on using a plunger, clearing quickly.
    If I fill the sink, it may fail to empty, but does so immediately on using the plunger in the shower. Same with shower/toilet.
    I have been trying to fill all three and empty simultaneously. If I do this, I get some upward leakage from the small (9" approx) manhole outside, with some paper visible but no smell.
    Sometimes the water in the toilet bowl discolours after not using for some time, starting at the back.
    At no time is there any sewage smell from the sink or shower.

    What is most likely to be the problem, and how do I approach this? Reading various forums has suggested to me that this may be a venting issue, but if it is, I've no idea how to tackle it.
  2. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Ground floor/ top floor, house or flats?
  3. Vicdiy

    Vicdiy Member

    Sounds like a blockage further down the drain, get some drain rods from Screwfix or Toolstation ( they don't cost much) throw plenty of buckets of water down and have a good old rod.Remember to turn the rods clockwise so they and the attachment don't unscrew.
  4. peter lanky

    peter lanky Member

    House first floor.
    I've got some rods.
    Does the advice above refer to the toilet or the drain outside?
  5. king of pipes

    king of pipes Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Get a drain company in its not pleasent working with human waste a blockage is the most likely cause , is there a external drain cover ? if so this would be the place to start making sure your drainage system is free flowing . Cheers kop
  6. Vicdiy

    Vicdiy Member

    Drain outside, take the lid off, throw a few buckets of water down, if the don't immediately flow away there is a blockage in the drain. If they flow nicely the problem is upstream.
  7. peter lanky

    peter lanky Member

    I have identified the problem which is that the outside drain is full of roots from the garden. I have cleared a small bucketful, which has probably helped, but there is still a large clump that I can reach but can't dislodge. Using drain rods isn't working.

    Is there a recognised way of removing or dissolving roots?
  8. oz-plumber

    oz-plumber Plumber

    High pressure water jetter and a camera behind it to make sure you clean all the roots. If the drain is clogged with roots, either find where the roots are coming in from and replace that section of drain.
    Depending on condition of drain it may be worthwhile replaceing the whole drain.
    A drain camera will tell you the full story
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Vicdiy

    Vicdiy Member

    Use the corkscrew type attachment and plenty of patience to keep turning pulling out then doing it again and again. I did it with roots and cleared it eventually.