Sewer back-up confusion

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    • #278577

      I’m confused. Why would my drain back up when it rains hard but, be fine every other day? Wouldn’t that signify a problem on the City side of the sewer, not my side?

      It NEVER backs up unless it rains very hard.

    • #298784

      Great Question SERIOUSLY (I love this kind of question). There are several logical possibilities.

      1- The internal piping diameter of your sewer line has become encrusted with either grease deposits from soap scum or cooking grease and thus reducing the actual piping diameter from a full flow.

      Remedy try water jetting it to get the internal walls cleaned like almost new condition

      2- Your storm drainage system is connected to your sanitary (combination system like I have) and during a heavy deluge you combination system is over loaded (I see this on lots roof drain and yard drain applications)

      Remedy try to control the storm drainage. In another words slow it down if possibly with smaller screens on the yard drain covers OR use smaller piping leading to the main sewer pipe if possible)

      3- The public sewer system is either over loaded and your at a low point Or the city sewer system is partially blocked and this restriction is not allowing full flow.

      Remedy. call the local DEP and have them shakeout the line and or possibly video inspect it for a possible cave in

      4- Ask your closest neighbor DOWN stream from you if they have this problem.

      See remedy 3

      Has there been recent construction up or down stream from your building?

      Your sewer line may have settled slightly and not giving you enough pitch out for the volume of water entering (fixture units)

      Remedy video inspect your sewer pipe to check integrity..

      Good luck

    • #298785

      Okay here’s the skinny.

      I call a guy to come over and snake the line. He puts out 80 ft. pulls it back and says the drain isn’t going down he’s going to put on a “cutter head”.

      I’m thinking, the line to the city drain is only 75-80ft. if he put out the line how can it NOT be clear?

      He comes in with the cutter head, snakes again, pulls it back in and shows me that the water isn’t going down.

      He then says that he thinks it’s probably roots (I have 2 fairly large trees that could possibly cause problems.) However, when he pulls out the snake (both times) there were no roots on the head.

      He tells me he’s going to send out another crew Friday with a bigger machine, I’m thinking what are they gonna do that you couldn’t?

      He also tells me that my 4″ line leads to a 6″ line and if I installed a 6″ line going out of the house they wouldn’t have any problems. He says a “clean out will run about $2500”.

      Now, I’m thinking I’ll tell them where to stick there bigger machine, 6″ pipe and clean out. I’m also thinking about a 3’stand pipe for the drain.

      BTW I have a sump pump but it drains 100 ft out the back yard. I live on a street with no storm sewer grates. I do live near a lake.


    • #298786


      I am not a plumber, but it sounds like you and I are having the same problem. I had a new line installed last year, and now after a heavy rain my basement is flooded again. The plumber did another video cam of the line, and we found out that the line installed last year was not pitched properly. They are digging my yard up again, and replacing the pipe. You may want to go with the video cam to see if water is draining properly on a dry day. Good luck.

    • #298787

      After calling the Township, they have admitted fault and are sending out claim fourms so I can get my belongings cleaned.

      Of course this doesn’t change the fact that the plumber would have been more than happy to rape me. You’ve got to love contractors.

    • #298788

      No, you have to hate contractors who are incompetent or have incompetent employees. Once he reached the city main, he should have opened the manhole and would have seen it was full of water. At that point, I have, and he should have, called the city to snake their line.

    • #298789

      Hey Mike about your “love” for the contractors THINK about this OK?

      If you had bothered to READ this contractors (ME) advice ITEM 3 Below

      “3- The public sewer system is either over loaded and your at a low point Or the city sewer system is partially blocked and this restriction is not allowing full flow.

      Remedy. call the local DEP and have them snakeout the line and or possibly video inspect it for a possible cave in..”

      HELLO WHAT didn’t you UNDERSTAND about the following ABOVE?

      This is why I constantly say CALL THE LMP him/herself.

      Mike think about this Suppose your a doctor and you volunteer YOUR time on an ASK the DOC bulletin board like we do on here and someone said they had CHEST pains could you diagnose the problem sight unseen?

      We are only getting half the picture and we try to give you for the most part the most professional advice we can.

      If your plumber was duly licensed and HE/SHE personally went out to the job site and over looked the possibility of the main being blocked SHAME on him.

      But if the licensed holder sent out some incompetent employee this can happen to ANY MUTT contractor who doesn’t have legitimate trained Journeymen plumbers (5 Year apprenticeship training)

      For what it is worth I still get paid just for finding out that it is the city system as I charge for my time as my time is worth something.

      We can only work step by step. We check the house drain 1st then the bldg. house sewer THEN the main sewer and finally the street sewer.

      The step by step that I posted was right on the money. Next time you have a problem DEMAND the license holder comes out.

      That is why I keep pushing for licensing laws for the public protection.
      IF a licensed Master Plumber screws up it is criminal negligence as we supposed to know better.
      If a stumble bum screws up the inspectors and liberals expect this from FBN’s (fly by nights) with no license or insurance.

      What the hell good does a Master Plumbers license mean if he/she is too damn lazy to go out in the field and double check the NON licensed incompetent working for them?

      Look around at the under the slab “heating & piping” guys who have no formal training and when something THEY INSTALL goes wrong they point fingers at the manufacturers not at the folks working for them.

      Even in one “plumbing” publication this person keeps pushing IMHO incompetent advice about actually taking a “trained plumber” and having them not only do book keeping BUT the taxes and God knows what else. Yet this kind of basic DIY mentality is what is killing most professional trades.

      I would love to ask this BASIC Book writer in BUSINESS to see the MBA they hold OR the WALL Street corporations they worked fro instead of some greasy spoon dive or drive in take out place. Being behind a cash resister doesnt make someone a CPA or business tycoon.

      Just like working for a Master plumber doesn’t make the employee as qualified as the license holder (the franchise guys prove this every day)
      so before you think a REAL Master Plumber was out to rip your lungs out ASK yourself did YOU ask to see the license of the person ACTUALLY doing the work? Good luck

      [Edited by SylvanLMP on 01 July 2000]

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