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Old 03-24-2008, 11:36 AM   #1
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Floor drain overflow


Dear fellows!
I need help troubleshooting my basement floor drain backup.
This is a 2-story newer house with a finished basement. I've been living there for 10 years now, no problems. A couple months ago I noticed that I had a floor drain backup, probably a couple days ago by then. I saw water around it and dried-out bathroom tissues pieces. None of my bathrooms or sinks were stopped and I could not make it happen again. In a few days it did the same. I went ahead and poured Liquid Plumber gel into the floor drain and a couple toilets and a shower. Nothing seemed to change. For a couple months it was O.K. Yesterday I accidentally was down in a basement and saw it overflow again, when somebody flushed the first floor toilet. Again, I could not make it repeat. I poured some more Liquid Plumber in that toilet, do not know what good it did.
Before I start cleaning out all drains, I'd like your opinion. I even posted my drain lines layout at my personal site, check it out:
http://www.russiancincinnati.com/basementlayout.jpg
Any ideas?
Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-25-2008, 04:03 PM   #2
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Floor drain overflow


The Sewer Main has a clean out, I would rent or hire someone to snake that to clean it out. There must be a clog down stream and when the system is taxed it backs up to the lowest point...the floor drain. I would suggest a test like this: run the sinks for a few minutes and then flush all the toilets and watch for the floor drain to back up. If you can run a hose into the floor drain try that too.

BTW, in most towns your floor drain (like your foundation tiles and gutters) is not supposed to be connected to the sanitary sewer.

Best wishes,

Steve

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Old 03-25-2008, 04:40 PM   #3
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Floor drain overflow


That's interesting. Obviously, I know that my gutters and foundation tiles run out over the front yard to the curb gutter through a PVC pipe. But the basement floor drain is much lower than that. So, if it is not supposed to connect with sanitary sewer lines, it must have a separate line yet, running out where? Then, am I supposed to have three drains: sanitary, floor drain and gutters? How do I figure the floor drain route out? I have this hunch that it IS connected with my sanitary, because when I flush the toilets, I can see the floor drain water level shift a little.
Thanks for the response.
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:00 PM   #4
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Floor drain overflow


yes, they are connected, but I wouldn't worry about it. It is probably okay since it was allowed when your house was built. I would still recommend that you call the Rooter man to clear it because your symptoms indicate that you have a clog somewhere between the house and main sewer in the street. Or...I have had success pouring the heavy duty crystals (root killer) down the clean-out in my basement. Does that floor drain ever get used? Do you flood down there? If not I would recommend that you plug it with a rubber drain plug available at any Home Depot type store.

Steve
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:02 PM   #5
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Floor drain overflow


Dear Steve,
You've been most helpful!
Yes, that floor drain is being used for draining my furnace condensation. And if my sump well ever overflows again, it may buy me some time before it floods the entire finished basement.
I will go ahead and buy that root killer, see what happens. The bad thing is, the clog is not bad and only happened two times. I will not know if I fixed the problem.
Best regards.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:47 PM   #6
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Floor drain overflow


You could look into something like this check valve too.

Steve
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:33 PM   #7
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Floor drain overflow


Wow, Steve!
You are amazing. I admire people who generously help others on the Net. There is always someone over there who's "been there, done that" and is ready to share.
I built my web site several years ago for the same purpose, check it out:
russiancincinnati~dot~com (sorry for the Web security).
I'll look the thing up in the stores or buy it off the Net.
Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:53 PM   #8
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Floor drain overflow


I hate to burst your bubble but I am actually sometimes wrong For example I now believe that I have no clue if your floor drain is correct to drain into the sanitary sewer. I'm not sure of the code but I thought that the reasoning is that if any cleaning products might get washed down the drain it should head to the treatment plant. I may have been confused because when we sold our house last year the city inspector made me remove the sump pump pipe from the city sanitary sewer and have it squirt out onto the driveway. Another factor is over taxed treatment plants and they simply want to reduce the flow any way possible.

Anyway, I hope the check valve works well for you!

Best wishes,

Steve
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:15 PM   #9
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Floor drain overflow


I know in many areas there are 2 drains systems one for sewerage and one for storm. I have had experience in the city of Chicago (i am sure they are also in other older areas) were the systems were old enough were the was only one and ALL drains run into the sewage lines so any and all backups are a mix of waste and storm. I would think this is a possibility in this situation a main line back up would aggravate the problem but if it shows up in heavy rains then you would be looking into a main line check valve.

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