Picture this: You’re enjoying a relaxing night at your home when you hear a sinister bubbling noise accompanied by an awful smell of raw sewage coming from the bathroom. You run to the bathroom and see a terrifying sight: sewage coming out of the shower drain, threatening to overflow.

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As a homeowner, one of the scariest plumbing issues you can experience is having dirty water come up from your shower drain especially if it reeks of raw sewage or if it’s the toilet backing up into the shower. Yuck! Learn why water is coming up through your bathtub drain and what you should do about it, ahead in this blog.

Why Is Dirty Water Coming up Through My Bathtub Drain?


If you experience water backing up into the shower or sink, it is a surefire sign of a sewer drain clog. Sewer drain clogs can cause sewage and even the toilet to back up into your plumbing system and find its way into your shower drain.

A sewer drain clog is a serious issue and can even be considered a plumbing emergency in certain cases and could even get you to require sewer pipe relining in extreme cases.

Especially in such dire cases, trying to fix it yourself is hardly possible and you might need the help of a sewer drain professional.

What Causes a Sewer Clog?

The most common causes of sewer clogs are:

  • Accumulation of debris
  • Flushing inappropriate items
  • Grease buildup
  • Aging pipes
  • Pipe misalignment

If dirty water is backing up into shower drains, it’s crucial to address the issues promptly as ignoring it could worsen the clog and lead to expensive repairs.

Signs of a Clogged Sewer Drain

Besides water coming up from the shower drain, there are other signs you may have a sewer drain clog:

1. Numerous Clogged Fixtures in Your Home

While a sink or toilet can clog on their own, these are usually minor instances that can be remedied with a plunger. However, if there are numerous clogs in your home, it’s likely a sign the sewer drain is clogged.

2. Your Fixtures are Acting Up

If you’ve noticed your plumbing fixtures are acting up and functioning in an unusual manner, it could be a sign of a clogged sewer line rather than you needing simple fixture repairs. For example, if you flush your toilet and any amount of water comes back up into the toilet, sink, or shower, you likely have a clog.

3. Slow draining

Water drains slowly from skins, showers, and bathtubs with a clog. Water may even not evacuate at all in the case of a severe clog.

4. Foul Smells

If your sink, bathtub, or toilet smells like sewer, there is a good chance there’s a problem with it. Sewer gas escaping through drains can lead to such unpleasant odors in your home.

What Should I Do If I Have a Clogged Sewer Drain?

If you suspect you have a clogged sewer drain, it’s important to call a professional plumber as soon as possible. Clogged sewer drains are considered a plumbing emergency and if not addressed right away, can lead to severe damage to your pipes. This can, in turn, lead to very costly plumbing repairs.

In less serious cases, you may be able to remove the clog yourself with a drain snake, but only attempt to do this if you are confident in your skills and if the clog is more minor.

Depending on the seriousness of your drain clog, solutions may vary between:

  • Simple unclogging of the shower drain
  • Sewer line cleanout
  • Bathtub drain replacement
  • New bathtub drain pipe
  • Complete pipe relining
  • Shower drain replacement

If you are unsure how serious your case is, Performance AC can help you make the right decision for your bathtub drain plumbing.

Call Performance for Plumbing Service in Clearwater, FL or book your appointment online.