Becky (J) P
Becky (J) P
  • Hometalker
  • Highland, IL
Asked on Oct 29, 2012

Sewer drain backed up.

Chris JBecky (J) PWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
+8

Answered

What a weekend I had.....Did 2 loads of laundry Saturday morning. Went back into laundry room later that afternoon and noticed sootish looking stuff around the drain in the floor. Looked in the drain and it was completely full. Tried Drano gel 2x, rinsing out with hot water each time. I thought that may have done the trick, so I restarted washing machine (full of wet clothes), went up stairs, and came back down to find laundry floor flooded. (up and into my new laminate floor in the family room). So.....had to get a plumber at 5:30 Saturday night. (So glad my friend's husband is a plumber!) He had to snake it. Unfortunately, we have no idea where the main drain trap is. Will have to investigate.
11 answers
  • 3po3
    on Oct 30, 2012

    I feel for you. I had a similar experience last week. I left the house with the washing machine running, and came home to a backed up toilet on the bathroom floor. I called a plumber and he cleared it out. Thankfully a prior owner put in two good cleanouts in the front yard, so he was able to snake from there.

  • Becky (J) P
    on Oct 30, 2012

    I called the previous owner yesterday, but he was no help! This is a split level (split foyer?) so when I haul out all the Christmas stuff next month I will look under the steps. I know there is a water shut off under there, but not sure about anything else.

  • Jeanette S
    on Oct 30, 2012

    Sorry for your mess! I guess I am strange, but I never trust water! We do not run any appliance unless we are near. I think this is because once you have this mess to deal with, you get very cautious! We too have a friend that is a plumber and it is a great thing! They will come help you out at all hours! Love our guy...hand out his business card all the time!!!!

  • 3po3
    on Oct 30, 2012

    @Jeanette, that is a smart policy.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Oct 30, 2012

    @ perhaps you could try contacting the city, I am pretty sure plans had to be registered and they should know where it is. We had this happen to us last Easter, but with the kitchen sink :P Paid double time to have it snaked, but worked like a charm and no problem since. Amazing what they took out - gross too!

  • Becky (J) P
    on Oct 30, 2012

    @Gail Salminen, good idea, never thought about that. @Jeanette, I wouldn't get anything done if I had to hang out around the washer! lol. I USED to start the wash when I left for work and put clothes in dryer when I got home for lunch, BUT, I guess, not anymore!

  • A few things, If the rest of the house is draining properly, it has nothing to do with the main trap. As all water leaving the house goes through that part of the plumbing system. The trap is most likely located along the front of rear wall area, in Split levels it can be in the area under the front stair area. You can find this by looking outside around the house for a vent grill, it is round about five inches with lots of small holes. It will be located about 10 inches above the ground. Or look for a mushroom looking cap right along the foundation wall coming up from the ground. This is found when the trap is located outside of the house. Is the house on Septic or city sewer? And did the snaking fix the issue? You may want to consider a lint trap for the drain line. Most better quality plumbing supplies, Not the big box stores would carry this device. It simply connects to the drain line and has a small handle on it that allows the operator to open and clean the lint out on occasion. This solves all issues with lint plugging. My last question is, Is the laundry located below the kitchen sink area?

  • Becky (J) P
    on Nov 2, 2012

    @Woodbridge Environmental, yes, the snaking worked, but now I am paranoid everytime I run the wash or flush a toilet....the upstairs toilet also caused it to slightly overflow during the crisis. The house is on city sewer and the washer is in the same room as the furnace/ac/water heater, which is where the drain to the ac is, which was what backed up. It is not under the kitchen, but over about 10-15 feet. I talked to the previous owner and the guy across the street who has the same house, and neither knows where the outside trap is. (I remember one at the old house, but that's not helping me now, is it! lol) I know some people at the Zoning, may stop there and have a talk with them and see what they say. It is also funny that now a few other people in my vicinity have been having problems too, and they are having to have Roto Rooter fix it. They are all located on my side of town, within a 1/2 mile radius from me.

  • If the trap is outside then there must be a vent outside as well. look along the front wall for a mushroom shaped cap at the soil level. The trap is located just past that point. However there is no need to check or locate the trap as its purpose is not to trap anything other then sewer gasses from getting back into the house. If the snake was able to clear the drain, it is not an issue to find it. If more people appear to be having issues with their drains, it may be time to replace the pipe going to the street. You can normally get insurance for this and if your home is over 40 years old with any amount of trees in the yard, I would suggest you think about it. Digging up a drain to the street is expensive when you need to do it in an emergency. These guys rip people off. We had ours done a few years ago and it cost me over four thousand dollars for about 40 feet of work. Materials was under $150. What can be happening, and of course this all depends upon the piping system used when the house was constructed. Many were piped using a pipe made of asphalt and a paper like material. This pipe works really well and was cheep when they produced it. The issue was that over time enzymes in the soil eat away at the asphalt coating and roots begin to develop in the pipe. Also many of these pipes tend to crush over time as they weaken with age. If more and more people in your area/development are having issues, this may be an indication that this is the reason for that occurrence.

  • Becky (J) P
    on Nov 2, 2012

    thank you, you are very informative. The house was built in 95. I know the one person who used RotoRooter paid around $4000. Yikes!

  • Chris J
    on Feb 7, 2016

    We are connected to city water and city sewer. According to them a homeowner is responsible for repairs from the curb up to the house. With that said, our city sewer guys will come out with something that will take pictures of the line. They thread it in through one of the openings in the "sewer tree" in the basement, and they can see what is in it, blocking it, or if there is any damage to the line. Our house is 100 years old. And if the sewer backs up for whatever reason, even during a flood, our city will not pay for repairs. Something called governmental immunity.

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