We have two toilets at home. One doesn't flush well (does this gurgling/bubbling thing) and one used to work. The city flooded for a couple of days and now neither toilets work. The water still "drains", no actual flushing, just sits in bowl. It goes down VERY slowly.

We have recently (two weeks ago) cleaned the vent. Today, we asked a plumber to come in with a snake to clean the drain, there were bits of trees roots? He wasn't able to fully unclog the drain, says the machine is striking something that can't be pulled out. We have replaced the wax ring as well.

Yesterday, while doing laundry and washing dishes, there were resurgences of water from the shower drain.

We have no idea where to go from here. Please help! Any experiences welcomed and appreciated.

  • 1
    If you paid them, I hope at least they told you where the machine got stuck. Was it somewhere on your property or in the street? You'd need to call another (an actual) plumber, or the city, respectively.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 2:25
  • 1
    @Mazura The machine got stuck about 15 ft away from the house, into the backyard. Still on our property. We are getting another plumber tomorrow to see what he says. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 2:41
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    Do you have a septic system or a muni sewer connection? (tho' in either case you need to either replace the broken section or route out the blockage) Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


Get a plumber

It sounds like the flooding may have caused your sewer lateral to collapse in on itself, blocking all the drains in the house from ever reaching the city sewer system. Sadly, this is something that generally requires a professional to fix, and is also quite expensive to repair.

  • Hi thanks. Will get another opinion tomorrow. Do you have an estimated cost for it? Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 2:44
  • @probability -- other than $thousands as a rule of thumb, no (detailed estimates are too...detail-dependent to be on-topic on this Stack) Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 2:45
  • Why does replacing a sewer line in the open yard cost a lot? This would seem an easy repair. In my neighborhood the city seems to repair residential sewer lines at no cost to the homeowner if the failure is within 10 ft of the property line. The city then puts in another cleanout in the concrete sidewalk. What is costing a lot is the failure of cast iron drains under slab foundations. Luckily for me in our tract development of 300 homes the developer changed to ABS drains as development proceeded and we have ABS. In the cast iron section complete failures are occurring costing $20k. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 13:32
  • The OP does not appear to be complaining about any other slow drains, so I am a bit skeptical that there's a serious collapse in place. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 15:55
  • @CarlWitthoft -- really can't be anything else considering where the snake got stuck at (I've seen collapsed sewer laterals firsthand) Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 4:35

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