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I have a house bulit in 1959 and the original bathroom/toilet keeps backing up. Not sure how old the toilet is.

The plumber says its a 3" steel line running out to the yard and he installed 4" pvc out to the street.

He has put the machine down the hole and it still backs up.

Could age of the toilet be an issue or is it the pipe from toilet to edge of house?

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Is it just a single toilet that backs up, or other fixtures in your house? Do you have a floor drain in your basement - has anything come up there? If the answer is no to these questions then likely it is just that toilet or associated drain that is plugged and not your main sewar –  Steven Jan 7 '12 at 15:43
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2 Answers

The problem is probably in one of these places:

  1. Between the toilet and the house's sewer pipe. This is the most common place for stoppages, and can usually be fixed with a plunger. If a plunger won't do it, then a flexible cable or spring can be run down to clear it out. A foreign object, such as a child's toy that has been flushed, can cause recurrent stoppages here.

  2. The sewer line between the house and the sewer or septic system. Sometimes tree roots grow into this pipe, which collect toilet paper, etc. can cause a blockage. This can be cleared out with a roto rooter or similar device. Also, this can freeze if the weather conditions are right. For example, if there is less snow than usual (for insulation) and unusually cold temperatures, this can allow it to freeze.

  3. The local sewer system. Sometimes the local sewer can have back pressure, either from a storm sewer leaking into the septic sewer or other problems. This is more likely if the house is in a low area. There should be a valve to prevent the sewage from backing up to the house, but this valve will also prevent sewage from leaving the house when it is closed.

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Age is not an issue. In fact, many older toilets are more reliable because they don't bother to conserve water.

My last house was 1950, original toilet worked fine, although it wanted 6 gallons per flush!

It woulda been fine another 50 years if my son didn't flush a toy. A plumber's snake partially cleared it, but to completely fix it we had to pull the toilet and pull the toy out the bottom.

We also had a root problem under the front yard. The evidence was the washing machine water came up in the bathtub. The plumber ran 150' of snake down the drain to clear the roots. In your case, because the plumber has recently snaked and replaced part of the drain line, you're probably fine here.

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