Water draining bad, backup in basement... (Pictures included)

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by mike04gt, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    This forum is intended to give DIYer advise and assistance in plumbing problems they are facing in their homes. Too often, a DIYer feels he should be able to fix any problem in his home if he can just get some pointers. Sadly, this is not true, and your problem is a good example of this fact. Your problem is serious and is not one that a inexperienced novice should even consider attempting. I think we are probably all guilty at one time or another in attempting something that we really don' know how to do, but we are reluctant to call a professional because of the cost. Often this reluctance ends up costing us more in the long term. Please quit trying to find a cheap DIY fix and call real professional.
  2. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario
    In my town there are parts of the city that have combined or partially separated storm and sanitary sewers. In these areas it is common for meltwater runoff or heavy rain to overwhelm the sanitary sewer and cause backups. The city has a program for subsidizing the installation of backwater valves -- as well as a somewhat larger program for tearing up and replacing the sewers themselves. They are quite responsive to reports of backups, 24x7 and will come out and assess whether the city drain is at fault and will arrange to clear it, if necessary.

    The flood pictures look like a city sewer backup to me. You have to get the city involved -- as well as a professional plumber.
  3. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Sewer back up

    yes this is what i meant in my earlier post,
    o.p. Said large amount of clear water backup after snow melt and heavy rain ! !
    Thats why it is more then a main sewer stoppage,
    i have seen this in low flood areas before where storm water over loads the sanitary sewer
  4. mike04gt

    mike04gt New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Just an update for those interested...

    Thanks for all the posts and thoughts guys, I've read them all and appreciate your time spent.

    Took the advice, had a plumber come out on Sunday morning instead of waiting till Monday to check out the house. He rodded out the bathtub, then went into the main line trap and rodded out the entire system. We banged on the cap and got it out luckily pretty quickly with a mallet and chisel, went to Ace and bought a 3 1/2" cap with a wingnut and tightened it in there.

    Ran the bath, kitchen sink, and washing machine and no water leaks from the main trap, and the floor drain is holding fine.

    He found alot of junk in the main line, and some in the bathtub line.

    I bleached the entire floor with a mop, twice and washed the walls with a clean rag and bleach with the windows/doors open airing out the basement.

    Thanks again for everything guys!
  5. I'd like to say that my cautionary tale persuaded you to fix the problem sooner than later, but you deserve the credit for doing the right thing.


    It is now out of sight, out of mind and no more worries.


    Should it happen again, rather quickly then you'd need possibly a camera inspection on the main line.
  6. sixlashes

    sixlashes Plumber in Previous Life

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Pensacola. FL
    Precautionary Move

    According to your last post, you still have not addressed the issue of all the sewage backing up into your basement. I did not get the idea you flushed all of this water down your waste lines into the basement and I don't think you have other units in your building (a house).

    When I lived in a similar house up north, I installed a very good quality wing-nut (test) plug in the basement floor drain. Here is my reasoning: The floor drain is there to evacuate any water draining into the basement. Unless you have extensive ground water coming in, the only water you should have in the basement is from the clothes washer and/or a laundry tub. While this would be an inconvenience, this water is not a health hazard.

    On the flip side, water backing up from the street into your basement is ..., well you experienced it. I only had to clean up the city's backwash once to come to this conclusion. :eek:

    I recommend eliminating the sewage problem and taking the chance on 10 gallons of suds. There may be a real good reason why this is not solid reasoning; if not please leave a post.
  7. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario
    A half way option might be a spring loaded one-way valve that installs into the floor drain. I know I've seen them on the shelves here.
  8. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Stand pipes are big here in Chicago for the 4" drains you put this adaptor in, then screw in a 3 foot tall pipe.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  9. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    I like that option sewer ratz. Glue that puppy in there... wait isn't the pipe cast... How do you secure that adapter in place¿

    As a sidenote isn't the customer really needing a backflow preventer on the mainline¿
  10. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario
    It's rubber. It snug fits, then when you tighten the screws, the rubber expands to grip the inside of the pipe.

    Yes.
  11. theplumber

    theplumber Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    CA
    lol. I'm sorry but it never stops being funny when I hear people say that they don't know what the water is that's coming out of the floor when they run showers and flush the toilet.

    Reminds me of when the sewer backed up on this popular bar at midnight and the bartenders were standing in 2 inches of sewage water. I was asked what that brown floating thing was on the floor and I responded, maybe it's a candy bar.
  12. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    It's situations like these where I see the upside to having a house w/o a basement in an area where nearly everyone has a basement. I won't have the same issue unless everyone's basement was FULL of backup water first. :D
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