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Old 12-12-2011, 11:05 AM   #1
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Drain Backed up out of vent


Good morning,
We live in a 2000 sq ft colonial, has two full baths on the upper level and one lav only on the main level we have a well and a septic system and a sump pump. Last week we noticed water in the basement and realized it was coming out of the vent on one of the main drian lines in the basement. I had a plumber out and he pulled the main cleanout cap off and found a large blockage going to the septic system. We cleared the blockage, snaked the drain to the septic tank and seemed all was well.
Two days later the vent backed up again, I ran water checked for anything that wasnt draining properly and called my plumber who would not return my call. Then next morning I checked the main cleanout again and it was clear and no sign of blockage. I dont know what else to do besides wait until this happens again? I almost dug up my septic tank lid to take a peek but we had it pumped less than two years ago before we moved in. Any suggestions?

Thanks
Scot

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Last edited by scotb; 12-12-2011 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:41 AM   #2
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Drain Backed up out of vent


Does your basement gravity drain to the septic?
Elaborate on the vent. All vents should terminate through the roof

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Old 12-12-2011, 11:57 AM   #3
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Drain Backed up out of vent


The vent is located in one of the main drains along the ceiling in the basement that go into the sewer that gravity feeds to the septic. It has a trap in it? I am assuming this is meant to be a vent and not a drain from a prior remodel that was left over. There are two vents that go to the roof. The actual basement drains to a sump and that is pumped up when necessary.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:22 PM   #4
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Drain Backed up out of vent


are you sure its not a stand pipe for a washer?
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
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Drain Backed up out of vent


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are you sure its not a stand pipe for a washer?
Could that be what it was intended for? Maybe. The washer pumps into the laundry basin/sink and has its own pump on that to pump up the septic. If I am not supposed to have a vent on that drain I will cap it off, but I still must have some other issue causing the backup right?
The house was built in the early 70s and has had some substantial remodels over the years.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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Drain Backed up out of vent


something is definately choking the system,id pull lid off of tank and check it just to know whats going on
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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Drain Backed up out of vent


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something is definately choking the system,id pull lid off of tank and check it just to know whats going on
I wish it was just a matter of pulling off the lid, i need to locate it under the snow and dig about 3 or 4 feet down to access it. I know the general area but finding it is going to be tough.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:34 PM   #8
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Drain Backed up out of vent


Cap that " vent" pipe. It's actually an open drain line. Building drains don't have vents, fixtures have vents. Now, you need to find the blockage that seems to be at the tank inlet. You make it sound like the system drains down overnight. Is that right? Did the plumber give you a warranty by any chance?
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:08 PM   #9
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Cap that " vent" pipe. It's actually an open drain line. Building drains don't have vents, fixtures have vents. Now, you need to find the blockage that seems to be at the tank inlet. You make it sound like the system drains down overnight. Is that right? Did the plumber give you a warranty by any chance?
I really dont know when the system is backing up, we have discovered it in the evening, my kids are home with the sitter all day but I checked the system throughout the day yesterday and we used everything more than the kids and sitter would ie dishwasher and washing machine plus.. and there was no signs of backing up.

The plumber is another thing, I found the guy on google and he seemed very unprofessional once he came out but I paid him because it seemed we had found the blockage. He didnt even leave me an invoice. That is my fault for looking for a plumber around almost midnight with what I thought was an emergency. I was panicking.

Capping that "vent" should make my problem more visible right? Do you think its worth pulling the cap off the septic? or do I wait for it to happen again? Before the first backup we noticed a slow toilet that seemed to be flushing slow, acting like it was plugged. I plunged it and it would be ok. Since we cleared the blockage it has been fine. The thought of this being a problem with my septic scares the hell out of me.

thanks
Scot
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:38 PM   #10
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Drain Backed up out of vent


hey scot...I would not worry about finding septic lid at this point ....Iam guessing the plumber you called may not have done a good job and he did not even return your caLL..... so everything is working ok now just watch it...if it happens again get a good plumbing co.to snake it out the right way....go from there...REMEMBER THERES ONLY ONE WAY THE RIGHT WAY..
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:52 PM   #11
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Drain Backed up out of vent


It could be as simple as, the plumber didn’t do a very good job and left you with a partial stoppage. And it just happened to clear itself the second time around, I am not to familiar with homes with basements I live in Miami and we rarely see them, try this before you cover that drain line that’s open have someone flush a couple of toilets, stand next to open pipe and listen to the water flowing through, you should hear a nice even flow, if you hear gurgles or bopping you may still have somewhat of a obstruction, you’ll be surprised how many plumbers that are great plumbers have very little experience at trouble shooting and cleaning or clearing waste lines, Hope this helps good luck.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:52 AM   #12
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Drain Backed up out of vent


Thanks for all who answered, I am going to put a cap on that "vent" tonight and hopefully we wont have any more issues.
Thanks
Scot
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:30 AM   #13
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Drain Backed up out of vent


Good (per the cap) - use a screw-on cap that you can remove for cleanout purposes.

Having open-ended drains actually promotes unsteady flow sometimes.

And if it's been two years since you've had your septic pumped then pump it again. . . that's idea maintenance. Don't wait for it to back up or cause issues. I did that - actually, I didn't realize we were on septic until the inlet pipe collapsed.

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