strange problems

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by leif-amber, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Hi, me and my husband bought a house and have been redoing it. We replaced everything, new bathtub, new sinks, new toilet. The house is on a concrete slab, so we didn't mess with the drain lines, otherthan what we had to put in above the floor (traps etc). My husband does heat/ac so he sweated the water lines together. We didn't think we were having any problems with our drains because as we were putting everything in and checking for leaks everthing drained fine, the water would run out just as fast as it came from the taps, the toilet flushed fine. Yesterday we hooked the washer up, and it almost immediatly overflowed from the drain, so we assumed we had a clogged drain, so we bought a snake, but when we used it we didn't meet any resistance, but I heard a gurgeling coming from the bathroom, and when I went and looked, our toilet had water bubbeling up out of it, like water boiling thats how forceful it was. When we tried to flush the toilet, it was not draining well, so we filled the bathtub up and tried to drain it, it caused the same bubbles and didn't want to empty. So, we assumed maybe a bird had made a nest in our vent or something, so we bought a bigger snake, one that was flat with a large diameter weight at the end of it. We put it down the vent, and nothing, no resistance nothing. You can even look straight down it and see water in it.
    The area we live in is the mississippi delta, the land is really flat and sandy, and its been raining alot lately, is it possible that all the water flooding everything has backed up into my pipe? The neigbors say that when it rains like this their toilets will bubble and their pipes will gurgle. But not like my problems. Or, do I have a problem with tree roots or something like that?
    I really need some help.
  2. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Sounds like you have a blockage somewhere past all those fixtures that are not draining correctly. I recently had a service call with exact same symptoms. The whole system had no vents and no clean outs. I had to pull two toilets and run my drain snake down both before I got the blockage which appeared to be right at the neck of the septic tank inlet. The customer had just had the tank pumped so we knew it was not the tank or field lines. If it were the field lines then you would possibly have water surfacing above the tank.
  3. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Well, we have a vent but I can't find a cleanout anywhere. The things thats going on suggests that it has to be a clog, but why would the toilet have flushed fine before we got alot of rain? Where would a pro have to put his snake in at? He wouldn't have to pull up my toilet would he? Because I decided to grout it to level and seal it than to use caulk.
  4. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    If you can't get to it any other way...then it's the vent or toilet....not much else left to put a big snake down.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,623
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    stoppage

    IF you have a septic system, and IF it has been raining a lot, that will cause your symptoms and there is nothing you can do about it.
  6. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    We have city sewage, but their is a possibilty that the house did originally have a cess pool, the house across the street is a mirror image, and the woman who owns it got a big surprise about a month ago when she walked into her back yard, she had a HUGE hole there where it had collapsed.
    What would the cost be for someone to come out and clean the line? I guess since its past all the drains, its the main line right? What would be a reasonable price to pay for that, and how long would it take?
  7. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Depending on where you're at... most work strictly by the hour. You can expect to spend a minimum of $150 around here. Some jack legs will be half that and some serious companies will start at about twice that. Not long ago I would do quick jobs for $40-50... I haven't been on a job for less than $150 in over a year.... that's Alabama prices... California or D.C. prices might be 2 to 4 times that. Anything that is accessible should be done anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours max. BUT THEN AGAIN... sometimes this stuff is like hunting a needle in a hay stack.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  8. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    Doesn't sound as if you know if you have a septic tank or a city sewer.
    From the way I read your post, you may have a septic tank. You need to know before you do much snake work.
  9. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    I absolutly have city sewage, there just is a chance that when the house was built in 1975 city sewage didn't come out that far and wasn't on it. If so, it has been converted to city. I don't know if my house even has a septic tank, because I can't find any kind of vent for one in the yard.
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Call a plumber or a company that does drain cleaning and have them come out and clean the drain. If they tell you you have roots run a camera so you know the extent of the damage / problem. When was your home built?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  11. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    1975, and there is a med. size tree about 2 feet to the left of where the pipe is supposed to run through the yard.
  12. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Sounds like you need to knock out the blockage. If you have a pro do it then he should also run a camera down to see if there are roots or other problems. If you do it yourself you'll know if there is a problem with the pipes in a few days to couple of weeks... if the pipes have been compromised you will have another blockage.
  13. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Roto-rooter is coming out friday after noon, i hope it goes well.
  14. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    844
    Location:
    cold new york
    Has it stopped raining and if so what has happened?

    Molo
  15. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    844
    Location:
    cold new york
    Are you thinking that an old cess pool or septic might be tied into the city system? I s that why you developed the rain theory? Has it stopped raining?

    Molo
  16. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    No, i just don't know what that could have done to the lines. the rain thing is mostly geographic. the area I live in is in the mississippi delta, where its really flat, really sandy, and really close to sea level. The area does not drain well when it rains, the pumps the city uses for pumping sewage to the treatment plant are notourious for going down. Basicly, water runs down hill, my concern is that there's not much of a down hill for ours to go. if it rains a little bit, the streets flood, all the roads are built up around here and the ground stays satuarated for days even after a little rain. Its a big bowl that I live in. I think my problem is just a clog though, because the neighbors don't seem to be having as much difficulty as I am so I called roto rooter today.
  17. chas22

    chas22 New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Just wanted to put in my 2 cents. If you silicone or grout in the toilet leave a weep hole in the back and a small one on each side. Wax rings can fail. If you have a slab floor and its sealed around the base it can get real messy. If you have a wood floor you can have some serious rotting problems.
  18. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    we left a hole in a nonvisable part behind the base and the wall. we didn't do it as a weep hole though, we just left it so that if the toilet did need to come back up, we would have somewhere to get good leverage without scaring the glaze.
  19. leif-amber

    leif-amber New Member

    Messages:
    10
    it did stop raining and the ground has dried out alot, and the problem has stuck around.
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