Some things in our homes are meant to be kept well apart. Take your toilet and shower for instance. Having a backed-up toilet is bad, but when the toilet clog seeps into your shower, it can turn into a horrific nightmare. Now you’re probably aware that your toilet and shower system are connected and when there’s an issue with one of them, it usually affects the other.

Why Your Toilet is Overflowing into Your Shower

A working toilet system drains through your sewer line, carrying wastewater into the main sewer. However, if the wastewater drains into your shower, it means there’s an obstruction in your toilet system. Imagine your sewer system as a river with smaller streams of water. These smaller streams are your secondary drains and they make up the main drain line. If the river which is your main drain gets even partially blocked, it will cause obstructions in the smaller sewers like your bathroom and toilet systems.

Causes of Clogged Toilets

A lot of things can create blockages in your toilet line but here are some of the most common toilet blockers:

Tree roots

Trees love water as much as we do and your sewer line is an abundant water source especially if you have leaks. In the dry season, tree roots usually dig deeper into the ground searching for water. Your neighbor’s tree may just find its thirst quenched by your sewer line. However, the roots may break off which can cause an obstruction in the sewer line. 

Foreign objects

Things like female hygiene items, toilet paper, your kid’s toys, paper towels, and even the so-called flushable wipes can cause obstructions in your sewer. 

Water, biodegradable toilet paper, and human waste products are the only things that should be going into your toilet drain. Any other item will create clogs and may even lead to sewer damage.


Although it doesn’t occur rapidly, we do lose some strands of hair when we bathe. Don’t panic as it’s just a very little amount. However, it can be a huge problem for your drain when it accumulates. Hair plugs occur when strands of fallen hair form a net and trap other substances that would usually flow into the drain. As this plug accumulates in your sewer, it can reduce the flow of your drain and even block it completely.

Pipe scale

Scale is the calcium or magnesium composite that is found in our water. It usually forms on moist surfaces and can build up in your sewer lines, causing clogs. 


One of the nastiest causes of clogged drains is grease and oils. When you wash your dirty dishes, the grease and fats can enter through your kitchen drain to the toilet and shower drain. If the grease residues build up and block the main drain, it may affect your toilet drain. 

Other miscellaneous materials

Apart from these materials listed above, other things can block your drains such as soap buildup and laundry detergent. These and other materials can block your toilet and shower drains

How To Unclog Your Toilet Drains

Here are some effective methods you can use to unclog your drain:

Use a Plunger

You can start with a plunger to remove whatever might be causing the clogs. It’s best to use a toilet plunger that has a rubber flange, specially made for toilets. This will ensure that you get a good seal on the bottom of the toilet bowl. 

Use steady, rhythmic movements with the plunger. Ensure you check the toilet bowl for any material that shows that the blockage is dissolving.

Try a Plumber’s Snake

If plunging doesn’t work, try using a plumber’s snake. It’s a long wire or cable that has a corkscrew at one end. The plumber uses the handle to turn the corkscrew, removing the clogs and clearing the drain. Push the snake into the toilet as far as you can and check for blockages. Afterward, turn in the shower and see if the clogs have been cleared.

Remove the Toilet

This method allows you to have a better look at the drain and locate any potential blockages. Removing your toilet will also help you to insert your plumber’s snake farther into the sewer.

Many toilets are fitted with a pair of bolts on each side of the bowl, and the water feed lines. The pipeline is closed with a wax seal, which you will have to replace before re-installing your toilet. Push the snake as far into the drain as you can, and turn on the shower to see if there is a free flow.

Drain Clean Out

Nowadays, modern homes have a sewer line clean-out plug placed somewhere in their drain line. The plug looks like a large screw-in cap and can be found on the end of the drain in your basement, or outside your home. 

You can remove the plug to access your drain line. Afterward, feed a snake into the drain and unclog it. Make sure all the blockages have been cleared. However, if the blockage is deeper, you may need the assistance of a professional drain cleaning service to look at the sewer line.

If all the methods above fail, you have to seek the help of a professional drain cleaning service. Sometimes the cause of the blockage may be a small clog in the pipe from your house to the main drain. However, the distance may be too long for a simple snake. The clog might be stronger and need more force.

It could also be that some tree roots have dug into the drain from your house to the main line or your entire sewer line has collapsed. Either way, you will need the help of an expert drain cleaning service. 

Speak With Your Local Sewer Repair in Seattle

We are dedicated to serving all of our customers’ sewer-related requirements here at NW Sewer & Drain. You can reach out to us today at

We’re excited to help you sort out any drain issues you might be facing in your home or office building. Ideally, consulting an experienced local sewer and drain cleaning company should be your following line of action if you are experiencing slow-moving drains, foul odor, or clogged drains in your home and need help figuring out what else to do. 

At N.W. Sewer & Drain, we have a well-trained and ready-to-move team on standby. We serve the Seattle metropolitan area, including Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Renton, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Auburn, Everett, Marysville, Mount Vernon, and other surrounding areas. 

N.W. Sewer & Drain provides top-notch drain cleaning and sewer repair services in the greater Seattle area, and we’ve been in the business for 20 years. Contact us today at 206-931-7728 to schedule an inspection of your sewer line and pipes.


Skip to content