Why Is My Kitchen Sink Draining Into My Bathtub?

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
water backing up into bathtub plumbing repair Amarillo, Texas

Your kitchen sink and bathtub have separate drain lines, but they ultimately all connect to a single line that leads into the sewer. If your sink is draining into your bathtub, something has definitely gone wrong somewhere in the plumbing lines. If you begin to experience this issue, scheduling an expert to come and check the system is your best options for resolving it. It is important to know how your plumbing drains work and how your sink backs up into your bathtub before the problem happens.

How do plumbing drains work?

Plumbing drains for sinks and tubs are small. They combine into larger drainpipes that mix wastewater from several places in the home. Depending on the size of your house, the pipes can either end there or continue into even larger pipes. Eventually, all the drain pipes connect to a sewer line that drains into the mainline.

Blockages in your lines

If wastewater from your kitchen is bubbling up into your bathtub, that indicates there is a blockage somewhere in the drains. Depending on the size of your home, the clog could be at the first juncture, which combines your kitchen or tub, or further down the line. The blockage prevents water from draining into the sewer lines. Rather than bursting the pipes, the water moves along the path of least resistance and bubbles back up through another fixture. The reason the water backs up into your bathtub is because it sits lower than your sink, making it easier for the waste to reach.

Venting problems

Unfortunately, the problems do not necessarily end with a blockage. Your house is full of venting pipes that run along the side and up to the roof. The venting pipes fulfill two roles. They let fresh air into your waste lines to maintain air pressure and vent waste air to prevent it from pushing wastewater back into your house. The most likely place one of these pipes will clog is on the roof, which you may be able to see if you climb up there. However, professional plumbers can access these areas easily and more safely.

Sewer line obstruction

The larger drain lines connected throughout your house go to the main sewer line, even if you have a septic tank. Between your house and the sewer line, or in the street, you should see a small pipe with a cover on it. This is the access point to the sewer line and you can use it to help determine if and where there is a blockage. If you see water coming out of this small access point, that is a strong indication there is a clog in the drain line.

If you need to inspect the drain line, you can use a wrench to remove the cover. Once you can see inside, look for standing water or debris. If you don’t see an immediate clog, call a local plumbing company. Plumbers have tools with enough power to break up or dislodge most obstructions and clean the pipes.

Full septic tanks

If your house uses a septic tank, it can become full, leading to back-ups in the drain lines and in your house. The more water you put down the drain, the greater the pressure build-up becomes, forcing it back up into your home. Because the bathtub sits lower than your sink, the water will drain into that fixture first. Often times, you can drain the septic tank to fix this problem. If your kitchen sink continues to backup into the bathtub, contact a local plumbing company to help resolve the issue.

Need a plumber to help find or fix a clog?

There are many ways that your plumbing system can fail. If you are experiencing any blockages or back-ups, contact Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas today. Our team of experts provides professional Residential and Commercial services throughout the Texas Panhandle. Give us a call at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to see how we can help you. You can also visit us in person at 404 S. Hayden Street.