How To Unclog A Toilet That’s Backing Up Into the Bathtub

Is Your Toilet Backing Up Into Your Bathtub?

If you’ve noticed that flushing your toilet is causing water to come out of the drain in the bathtub, then you’re going to need to know how to unclog a toilet that’s backing up into the bathtub.

The plumbing for your tub, sink, and toilet usually connects to one main drain line. Since the tub’s waste opening is the lowest point of the waste line, if there’s a clog in the line before the toilet, it will most times backup in the bathtub drain. 

If you’ve tried to use a plunger in the toilet to get rid of the clog and find that the backup is still affecting the bathtub, then you might have a clog located in the main drain line.

To remove the blockage, you should have a few supplies:

Sewer rods and augers are used to either push-down or fish out whatever debris may be trapped in the pipes.

The first thing you need to do is find the right place to rod or auger. This can prove to be difficult sometimes because plumbing and building codes, as well as home styles, have changed over the years. If you live in a house with a basement having access to the waste piping shouldn’t be too difficult. Hopefully, your home is equipped with a cleanout at each battery of plumbing fixtures or at the end of each waste run. If so use your adjustable wrench to take the plug off. You can catch any water that may leak out of the plug when you pull out the clog with your bucket.

If you can’t find a cleanout to rod from you can rod from your fixtures but it can be difficult. If there are no cleanouts provided and you have access to your waste piping via the basement you can cut in an access point.

If you’re using a sewer rod, push the rod into the clean-out until you hit the clog. Push the rod back and forth until you feel it’s breaking the clog apart.

If you need to use an auger to locate the blockage, insert and push until you feel it come up against resistance. That will usually indicate that you’ve reached the source of the clog. Rotate the handle clockwise to hook the auger’s tip into the blockage. Once you feel it has connected, pull the cable to help dissolve the clog.

Whether you use the rod or auger, make sure you work them down the drain line towards and away from the house to eliminate any other possible issues.

Following these directions should take you step-by-step on how to unclog a toilet that’s backing up into the bathtub. If you want to reduce your chances of dealing with clogs, make sure you are only flushing down products made to break down in water. Feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, grease, a whole roll of toilet paper and children’s toys are not meant to be flushed although we see it all the time. 


  1. I live in a duplex apartment complex and my toilet is baking up into my tub.. the manager sent some to fix the issue but four days later it’s happening again.

    1. You have a blockage that is down stream from your toilet. Does the toilet still flush or is it slow? If they used a rodder to clear the blockage and it’s still happening you should remove the toilet and put a camera down the waste line to see if there is a piping issue. Maybe you have a dip in the pipe, maybe they punched a hole in the clog and didn’t completely remove the blockage.

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