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PLUMBING PROBLEM


fissure man

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To save you guys from reading too much, I'll make it short. I've had two plumbers out, and I'm still having the same problem.

House is 1966, single family, two floors and a basement.

Water is coming up from the basement floor drain in the laundry room.

What should I do next?

Should I open up the main waste line? It's galvanized steel, and since the house was built in 1966, god knows if I can even get the cap off.

Should I rent a snake and snake the floor drain? I really need to get this fixed. I've already spent money on two plumbers, and the next plumber I called will cost me in the neighborhood of a grand from what he is telling me. $96 for the first 30 minutes, $45/per 30 minutes. $150 for the snake, $350 for the camera.

So a grand. :shrug:

I just need somebody to tell me where the clog is and I can clear it. I'm tired, angry, pockets are light, and I want this over with.

:popcorn:

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I'm just taking a half-assed guess here but is the camera really needed? From my experience if you've got a clog that isn't backing up into a sink or tub or whatever the clog is between your house and the sewer/tank whatever.

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You were failed by the first two plumbers as you know but I am a fan of the cameras. My company got tired of paying plumbers for something so simple to use so we bought one a couple of years ago. It takes all the guess work out of the equation. If there is a root growing through the line you not only get a color video of it, but it will tell you exactly how many feet down the line it is. Some have an locator so that you can pinpoint the spot in the yard where it is.

If they just run a snake down the line and clear it, you may still have a broken line and the problem will return soon. Could be a kids toy or something that was put down the toilet, and when the snake moves it or breaks it free the water will flow temporarily. Then it gets to the next elbow and jams again. The prices are high I know but we paid $5000 for ours, so they do have an investment.

I assume you are on city sewer, and not septic, correct? Thats a different situation.

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I'm just taking a half-assed guess here but is the camera really needed? From my experience if you've got a clog that isn't backing up into a sink or tub or whatever the clog is between your house and the sewer/tank whatever.

You make a good point. He's pushing the camera on me. Funny, since the camera basically makes his job easier. Come to think of it, are there any other jobs where they have the audacity to charge the client to use their tools?
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"Water is coming up from the basement floor drain in the laundry room."

Is this even part of your plumbing network? It may not be (I'm unclear on what you mean by "drain"). This could be a water table problem (saturated ground, snow melt, rain... don't know where you live), gutter problem, etc.

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You were failed by the first two plumbers as you know but I am a fan of the cameras. My company got tired of paying plumbers for something so simple to use so we bought one a couple of years ago. It takes all the guess work out of the equation. If there is a root growing through the line you not only get a color video of it, but it will tell you exactly how many feet down the line it is. Some have an locator so that you can pinpoint the spot in the yard where it is.

If they just run a snake down the line and clear it, you may still have a broken line and the problem will return soon. Could be a kids toy or something that was put down the toilet, and when the snake moves it or breaks it free the water will flow temporarily. Then it gets to the next elbow and jams again. The prices are high I know but we paid $5000 for ours, so they do have an investment.

I assume you are on city sewer, and not septic, correct? Thats a different situation.

Yea, I think that's what happened.

Public sewer.

I'm going to HD to rent a snake after 6pm. As long as I have it back by 9AM tomorrow, they will only charge me the 4 hour price.

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"Water is coming up from the basement floor drain in the laundry room."

Is this even part of your plumbing network? It may not be (I'm unclear on what you mean by "drain"). This could be a water table problem (saturated ground, snow melt, rain... don't know where you live), gutter problem, etc.

It only happens when we run the water in the house. If it were something from the exterior, it would happen without running water.
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"Water is coming up from the basement floor drain in the laundry room."

Is this even part of your plumbing network? It may not be (I'm unclear on what you mean by "drain"). This could be a water table problem (saturated ground, snow melt, rain... don't know where you live), gutter problem, etc.

It only happens when we run the water in the house. If it were something from the exterior, it would happen without running water.
Gotcha. Yea, snake it and see what happens. Good luck.
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"Water is coming up from the basement floor drain in the laundry room."

Is this even part of your plumbing network? It may not be (I'm unclear on what you mean by "drain"). This could be a water table problem (saturated ground, snow melt, rain... don't know where you live), gutter problem, etc.

:hifive::hifive::thumbup:

Explain further.

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"Water is coming up from the basement floor drain in the laundry room."

Is this even part of your plumbing network? It may not be (I'm unclear on what you mean by "drain"). This could be a water table problem (saturated ground, snow melt, rain... don't know where you live), gutter problem, etc.

It only happens when we run the water in the house. If it were something from the exterior, it would happen without running water.
Does it happen when you run all the water? what I mean is if you go one by one through sinks and toilets and whatever does the same thing happen? Washing machine? If its under your lawn dont even bother snaking it it's a broken pipe or root.
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Interested to see how this works out, as this is one of my next projects. Shower drain isn't overflowing, but the water definitely isn't going down it right. Got a drain auger at home depot and that didn't help the problem. It basically stands about 2 inches under the drain cover. I'm have to fix another closet flange on a toilet that is right next to it and I'll try and attack from that angle as well because I think these all run together at some point. Got sick of sucky plumbers, so I'm trying to do this stuff myself as well.

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I'm just taking a half-assed guess here but is the camera really needed? From my experience if you've got a clog that isn't backing up into a sink or tub or whatever the clog is between your house and the sewer/tank whatever.

You make a good point. He's pushing the camera on me. Funny, since the camera basically makes his job easier. Come to think of it, are there any other jobs where they have the audacity to charge the client to use their tools?
I can kind of see where they're coming from. Yeah, it makes their job easier, but it also cuts down on their billable hours. Unless this is going to result in them getting a bunch of clientelle for being so great, they're losing money by buying a camera.
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I had the same problem. We bought the house last February and in March, it backed up. Plumber came out and snaked it and found tree roots. He told us to use Root Kill and that it would most likely happen twice a year when the tree roots grow the most. Once in the springtime and once in the fall. He also told us not to pour oil down the drains and not to use TP that is too thick. Last fall, it happened again. Instead of paying 200 for him to clean it out again, I went to Home Depot and rented the machine for $40. 1 hour later, clog was gone. If I have to pay $40 twice a year, I'll do it. A lot cheaper than running a new line to the street.

Good luck GB.

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Identical problem a couple years ago.

Rent a snake. Be sure to get one big enough for the main drain. Anything hand held will be too small. For the main drain, probably need a snake in the range of 1/4 to 1/2" diameter depending on the size of the pipe.

Drain Cleaner

Find the vent pipe for the main drain. Vertical pipe near the wall that will run up out of the floor of the basement and all the way up through the roof. Open it up in the basement and run the snake through here. Much easier to get the snake in compared with the floor drain. For mine, I used up about 20 feet of snake before getting to the the clog. While feeding the snake, run as much water as you can without overflowing the floor drain. Will help flush out the clog once you break it loose.

Buy a lint trap for your washer discharge hose. Just a little mesh sleeve you slip over the hose. Cheap and easy. You'll be amazed at how much lint comes out of your washer and right down the drain to cause a clog.

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I have cleared my own sewer several times now. I paid one plumber to do it the first time and then realized I could do it myself.

Rent a snake and do it yourself. Run it a few times and yank back on the cable every once in a while. Also once you think you have it clean, run it a few more times slowly to scrap along the sides of the pipe. Obviously use the largest head that you can get into the sewer line to make sure you get as much as you can cleared out.

Make sure you get the right sized cable on the snake though. If you are going straight into the sewer main (4" or 6") then you will need a 1" cable, the one that comes in 10' lengths that you attach together. The 1/2" and sometimes the 3/4" cables will not be stiff enough to push through a clog and will just start binding up on themselves behind the clog.

You can also rent the cameras, I was able to rent one for I think $150 for 4 hours. Was able to use it to see exactly where I had roots growing into the sewer line, so I knew next time it backed up how much cable to send down before I reached it.

After renting a snake 3 times I was able to get a used one from my father in law and now just snake it twice a year to keep it clean.

You may not have a solid root, but rather a "spider web" of the root ends. They get in and create almost a net that catches any non-liquid things sent down the drains. That builds up and creates a complete blockage.

If the first plumbers only send down a snake with the spade head on it until the water ran, then all they did was punch a small hole in the clog that got sealed over once they left.

Once you are done snaking, fill up the laundry tub and then pull the plug on it to send down a bunch of water at once to hopefully carry away anything that is left in the pipe.

Good luck.

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Thanks for all the input guys. Not so glad to hear I'm not the only one who has to deal with this. I rented the snake and dropped it back down the floor drain. Pulled back what looks to be a combination of "feminine products" and baby wipes. I'll spare you the pictures.

Already informed the wife. Her response was that everybody she knows does that. She confirmed this with her sisters, so apparently its OK or somehting else is wrong. :whap:

I ran the snake through 4 times. The machine was pretty tangled the first run, so I spent about an hour fighting the cable alone. First time through I pulled back the mess. I'd say I got 60 ft of the 75ft cable. That's gotta be close to the street. By the 4th time I was beat and needed a break.

***FYI - Home Depot will only charge you the four hour rate if you rent a tool after 6:01 pm as long as you have it back by 9am the following morning.

So I'm going to run it again in the morning. I'll walk the front yard tomorrow and see about how many feet it is, roughly. Then run all the faucets, sink, and toilets for a good 10-15 minutes and pray.

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Thanks for all the input guys. Not so glad to hear I'm not the only one who has to deal with this. I rented the snake and dropped it back down the floor drain. Pulled back what looks to be a combination of "feminine products" and baby wipes. I'll spare you the pictures.

Already informed the wife. Her response was that everybody she knows does that. She confirmed this with her sisters, so apparently its OK or somehting else is wrong. :whap:

Everybody she knows is dense apparently.
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Thanks for all the input guys. Not so glad to hear I'm not the only one who has to deal with this. I rented the snake and dropped it back down the floor drain. Pulled back what looks to be a combination of "feminine products" and baby wipes. I'll spare you the pictures.

Already informed the wife. Her response was that everybody she knows does that. She confirmed this with her sisters, so apparently its OK or somehting else is wrong. :whap:

Everybody she knows is dense apparently.
Exactly. Tell her that if she wants to continue flushing them, then she gets to snake the line next time it clogs.
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Thanks for all the input guys. Not so glad to hear I'm not the only one who has to deal with this. I rented the snake and dropped it back down the floor drain. Pulled back what looks to be a combination of "feminine products" and baby wipes. I'll spare you the pictures.

Already informed the wife. Her response was that everybody she knows does that. She confirmed this with her sisters, so apparently its OK or somehting else is wrong. :whap:

Everybody she knows is dense apparently.
Preaching to the choir, preaching to the choir.
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I would be scared to mess with it myself after what happened in St. Paul a few weeks ago. Link

Trista Meehan's home in the Highland Park neighborhood was engulfed in flames Monday after a plumbing contractor, trying to clear a clogged sewer line, ruptured a natural gas line that had accidentally been laid crossways through the sewer pipe years before. The contractor, Lee Moey, smelled gas and alerted Meehan, helping her flee the house. He was injured in the blaze.

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I would be scared to mess with it myself after what happened in St. Paul a few weeks ago. Link

Trista Meehan's home in the Highland Park neighborhood was engulfed in flames Monday after a plumbing contractor, trying to clear a clogged sewer line, ruptured a natural gas line that had accidentally been laid crossways through the sewer pipe years before. The contractor, Lee Moey, smelled gas and alerted Meehan, helping her flee the house. He was injured in the blaze.

:o

How does that even happen?

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2 User(s) are reading this topic (0 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)2 Members: fissure man, UniAlias;):bag:

What? No good luck GB and thoughts and prayers?Man.
Oh ####, missed this GB. Sounds like you have a real ####ty situation on your hands. I'll send an extra prayer up to Santa Jesus for you tonight.Warm Wishes.
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Thanks for all the input guys. Not so glad to hear I'm not the only one who has to deal with this. I rented the snake and dropped it back down the floor drain. Pulled back what looks to be a combination of "feminine products" and baby wipes. I'll spare you the pictures.

Already informed the wife. Her response was that everybody she knows does that. She confirmed this with her sisters, so apparently its OK or somehting else is wrong. :whap:

I ran the snake through 4 times. The machine was pretty tangled the first run, so I spent about an hour fighting the cable alone. First time through I pulled back the mess. I'd say I got 60 ft of the 75ft cable. That's gotta be close to the street. By the 4th time I was beat and needed a break.

***FYI - Home Depot will only charge you the four hour rate if you rent a tool after 6:01 pm as long as you have it back by 9am the following morning.

So I'm going to run it again in the morning. I'll walk the front yard tomorrow and see about how many feet it is, roughly. Then run all the faucets, sink, and toilets for a good 10-15 minutes and pray.

Roebic Labs is your friend.

We use K-67 Bacterial Drain & Trap Cleaner in our house in town, and K-97 Main Line Cleaner in our cabin with a septic tank...all this after we paid for snaking of the house and septic tank cleaning.

If you ever find yourself paying for someone to snake a camera through you drains, go ahead and have them look at your plumbing vents from the roof down, especially if you have gurgling pipes (ie draining the bathtub causes the bathroom sink to gurgle). We found some leaves and pine needles in one of our vents that accumulated due to a bird carcass, but, our house is 40 years older than yours.

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Thanks for all the input guys. Not so glad to hear I'm not the only one who has to deal with this. I rented the snake and dropped it back down the floor drain. Pulled back what looks to be a combination of "feminine products" and baby wipes. I'll spare you the pictures.Already informed the wife. Her response was that everybody she knows does that. She confirmed this with her sisters, so apparently its OK or somehting else is wrong. :whap:I ran the snake through 4 times. The machine was pretty tangled the first run, so I spent about an hour fighting the cable alone. First time through I pulled back the mess. I'd say I got 60 ft of the 75ft cable. That's gotta be close to the street. By the 4th time I was beat and needed a break.***FYI - Home Depot will only charge you the four hour rate if you rent a tool after 6:01 pm as long as you have it back by 9am the following morning. So I'm going to run it again in the morning. I'll walk the front yard tomorrow and see about how many feet it is, roughly. Then run all the faucets, sink, and toilets for a good 10-15 minutes and pray.

Ah yes sewer mice. Every plumber I know says sewer mice and tree roots are the main causes of backups.
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