Main drain obstruction

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by Danc2315, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Danc2315

    Danc2315 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Downingtown, PA
    Hi everyone, I have a drain obstruction which is causing a back-up into both my downstairs shower and toilet. I had a plumber out after snaking the line myself did not solve the problem. He informed me that the pipe has broken, or been crushed. After he left I noticed a clean out in my closet connected to the drain line from the clothes washer. I ran the washer to make sure it would still back up. To my surprise the water drained properly with no ill effects in the house. I went outside and looked in the drain access coming up out of the lawn, and could see water flowing rapidly to the septic tank. I am wondering, does this indicate that I have a two drain lines? One for the washer, and another for my sinks/tubs/toilets? Also: I went up to the roof and found two vents, would this also indicate two drains?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It could indicate that you need a better plumber. It is possible that the washer drain goes to the tank independently, but it would be unusual. The number of vents on the roof has NOTHING to do with the "number of drains" you have.
  3. Danc2315

    Danc2315 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Downingtown, PA
    Thanks hj. I didn't think the number of vents had a relationship to the number of drains, just thought I would put it out there. I am going to use a track hoe to dig up the area to verify if there is a break in the line, or if there are in fact two drain lines. Thanks again, and wish me luck
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The two drains probably wye together at a point beyond the blockage. If you know where the pipes are, measuring where the snake stops should be a good indicator of where the problem lies.

    I would not start digging with a track-hoe until there was more evidence than what one guy said. If the liquid goes down slowly, a sewer camera could be used in the line to get a better look.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I would get a second opinion before I started digging things up, since I am not sure the original plumber was correct in his assessment. He might have just been trying to get this month's truck payment from your job.
  6. Hackneyplumbing

    Hackneyplumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Alabama
    It would be very common for a washing machine or kitchen sink to have a separate line to the septic tank in my area. It's common to have independent field lines for the washing machine. It's common here for a k-sink to pass through a grease trap before the septic tank. It's common in my area for the washing machine not to enter the septic tank at all and just have field lines dedicated to the washing machine.

    Saying the plumber is a cheat is a cheap shot taken from behind a keyboard.
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