Basement drain clogged?

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by CyberScooby, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. CyberScooby

    CyberScooby New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Location:
    Ontario
    First a little background - We live in a house that is approximately 130 years old. The basement contains 3 "drains" and an unused cistern that is no longer hooked up to anything. One of the drains was doing nothing when we took on a bit of water a few years ago in the one corner of our basement. So I tried to unclog it and discovered that it is basically just a hole in the cement that goes down a very short amount before hitting a 90 degree turn, followed by another short section and then ends in dirt.

    The second drain definitely works as whenever there is a ton of water outside, we find that water will come shooting out of the drain in the basement. This typically only occurs once or twice a year. When it does happen, it usually only lasts for a number of hours and then will drain back out later that day or overnight. Luckily being such an old house the basement is unfinished so it doesn't cause a lot of harm, especially now that I know about it. During these times we have to minimize our water usage as it seems that all drains, including the toilets are routed through that one basement drain.

    On a side note, a few years ago everyone got letters from the town stating that any sump pumps that are hooked into the sewer system needs to be changed to dump the water on their own property, away from the house. We have no sump pump but others do and I suspect they didn't all follow the letter as I haven't noticed any differences.

    The final basement drain has never been needed and never has any water coming out of it so I suspect it is similar to the first "drain".

    The recent up and down weather that we have had locally has again saturated the outside and the storm drains are at max capacity. Unlike last year, we did not have any water shoot up into the basement. Instead the working drain (second one) has been filled with water, just not overflowing. Anytime that we run any water, it fills the basement drain and then floods into our basement. Then the basement drains water level will slowly decrease back to where it was beforehand.

    I have been monitoring it and the water level within the drain has been fluctuating a bit every day; usually seems to change overnight. It has now been days and the water level in the drain is much lower (all on its own) but it is only draining slowly at this point. The pipes water level is not quite as low as normal, but I believe it is close. Wish I had paid more attention to it when it was working normally.

    Initially I had tried to plunger the drain directly with no effect. It is hard to properly plunger the drain as the floor is anything but even, making a tight seal impossible. I also have an auger that the previous owners left behind but I can't get it around any of the corners in the drain. It is probably why they left it behind.

    It is hard to see far down the drain due to the water, but I do know that it is a metal tube going straight down (no cup at the top with a clearout plug). About 6 inches down (maybe more) is another pipe heading off at 90 degrees towards the middle of the house. I can't actually see this now but I have in the past and I believe that it is just below the current water level.

    The vertical pipe continues down a ways further. I tried putting a hose down there and it feels like it is hitting the bottom of the pipe and not a blockage. I suspect that there is another 90 degree bend in the opposite direction of the other offshoot. This one heads for the nearest outside wall where my driveway is. There are no clearout ports in my driveway but we do have one just before the pipe exits the house (see attached picture), at least I am assuming that is what those pipes are for. I can see where they had at some point filled cement back in from beside these exposed pipes all the way to the working drain.

    At this point I am looking for some advice on what is going on and what type of auger I should get if that is the correct route. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. CyberScooby

    CyberScooby New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Location:
    Ontario
    So I guess no one knows what that Y pipe is. I could try to get a better picture but this site only allows for very tiny ones. Perhaps I could do a closeup of any parts that people want to see better.

    Also do you have any tips on getting into the drain? It is 2 feet down (4" pipe) and then a sharp 90 bend. After that it appears to head for about 15 or 16 feet to that Y pipe that I took a picture of before leaving the house. I have read about shooting water down pipe. I could try putting my wet\dry vac in reverse if I can manager to get the end of the hose into the pipe.
     
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  4. CyberScooby

    CyberScooby New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Location:
    Ontario
    Never mind, I got the help I needed on another forum.
     

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