Nicolette Forbes

By: Nicolette Forbes on May 30th, 2022

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Why Is My Entire Bathroom Backing-Up All At Once?

Plumbing | Drains

Having a toilet backup is common to have in your home. Even having the occasional clogged sink, tub or shower is normal as well. But what if your entire bathroom is backing up all at the same time? Sounds like a nightmare, right? 

Sadly, this does happen to some homeowners, but it doesn’t have to be you. If you know why it is happening, you can learn how to prevent it. That is where we come in. 

Since 2007, Monkey Wrench Plumbing has been dedicated to helping clients with all of their plumbing needs, including bathroom backups. We know that having your entire bathroom backed up at the same time can be frustrating, inconvenient, and often gross, so we are here to help. 

In this article, we are going to discuss:

  • What causes your entire bathroom to back up all at once
  • How to fix the issue
  • Costs involved with fixing an entirely backed-up bathroom
  • Ways to prevent future backups

By the end of this article you will know how to tackle bathroom backups and ways to prevent this issue from happening altogether. 


Bathroom ‘Back Ups’: Why Is This Happening?

Having your entire bathroom backup all at the same time sounds like a nightmare, right? As scary as that sounds, the truth is it does happen to homeowners. But why? 

When your entire bathroom is backing up at the same time, it is usually a sign that you have a main line blockage or a clogged mainline.


Sink Overflowing

What is a mainline blockage?

A mainline blockage is when your whole sewer system is backed up, and it affects your entire home. Your entire bathroom can be backed up all at once due to a blockage in the mainline. But is that the only way to tell you’re having one? The simple answer is no. 

With the mainline blockage, whatever fixture you are using will back up into the lowest point or drain in your home, which is your shower drain.

For example, if you decide to run your washing machine or flush your toilet, whatever waste is stuck in your mainline will appear in your shower. Because water/waste/sewage/items will be clogging your drains, you will have a hard time using any toilets, showers, or sinks until the issue is resolved.


What causes a mainline blockage? 

Sounds awful, right? So what causes a mainline blockage? While a build-up of products like wet wipes and feminine products can cause a mainline blockage, one of its biggest causes is roots

  • Roots - Tree roots growing within your pipes are one of the primary reasons behind the main stoppage, as they poke holes into your pipes until it completely clogs your sewer line. We go into detail about how tree roots affect your pipes here.

By Los Angeles city code, you are supposed to have an access point every hundred feet or change of direction of the pipe. The access point, also known as a clean out, is where you run the snake through your pipes to clear blockages. 

We recommend that you have an access point in your home to avoid having sewage in your bathtub or shower as it is the lowest point of the home. So in the event, you have a main line stoppage, instead of the waste coming back up into your home, it will go out towards your lawn.

If you do not have a clean out, the sewage will appear in your bathtub or shower.


How to Fix Your Whole Bathroom Backing Up

Having your entire bathroom backup can be fixed by repairing or replacing your mainline. To fix the mainline blockage, we recommend that you call a plumber. You do not want to do this yourself as you could cause some serious damage to your plumbing system. Your technician will use the main sewer machine through your access point. The machine will cut through the roots or build up and lead to the city connection. 

After the blockage is cleared, a camera is run through the pipes to determine the ultimate cause of the stoppage. Once the technician can see the condition of the pipes, they may suggest repiping some (or all) of the sewer line.

Calling a plumber for a backed up toilet

For a temporary fix to your main blockage, it could cost you anywhere from $295 to $325 to clear the blockage. If the problem continues to happen, you may want to consider replacing your main sewer line. 

A proper mainline repair can cost anywhere from $2,100 - $25,000 depending on the length of the pipe, depth, and service needed, such as trenching for an entirely new line or partial line replacement.

For more information about the different types of mainline repairs, check out these articles that take a deep dive into each type of repair:

- Three Ways To Fix a Broken Sewer Line

- Pipe Repair: Epoxy Liner

- Pipe Repair: Pipe Bursting

- Pipe Repair: Trench Repair


Preventing an Entire Bathroom Backup

Because a mainline blockage causes an entire bathroom to back up, it's important to know how to prevent future blockages. But how do you do that?  

With the main blockage, you must monitor what you put down your drains. Whether it's the kitchen sink, toilet, or shower, limiting what you put down your drains can help stop backups before they happen.

Read this article to learn more about what a main stoppage is and how it differs from a local stoppage in your plumbing.


Bye, Bye Bathroom Backups 

To recap, we learned that mainline blockages are the main cause of an entire bathroom backing up all at once. We also discussed what a mainline blockage is, what causes it, how to fix it, and how to prevent a mainline blockage. Having your entire bathroom backed up all at once can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be if you know how to address it. 

Understanding your plumbing system can be a complicated process, but we here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing are dedicated to not only fix your plumbing problems but also helping you better understand the plumbing in your household.

Read the articles below to learn more about what to do if your toilet is backing up and what a main sewer line is as they both will help you continue your journey in understanding your plumbing system better. 

Why is My Toilet Backing-Up/Overflowing?

What is a Main Sewer Line? 

If you continue to experience blockages, that could be a sign that there is a bigger problem with your drains. If you are having frequent stoppages, calling a plumber to clear the line and perform a camera inspection can help you identify any issues and what solutions are available. 

If you live in the Los Angeles area, call us at (310) 853-8690  to speak with one of our customer service representatives or click the “Book’ button below to schedule your appointment today.