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Old 03-25-2009, 12:58 PM   #1
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Main drain water back ups


I recently purchased a foreclosure. There is no draintile/sump pump that we know of. Ever since I got the place the floor drain next to the washing machine backs up about half a gallon every time I do a load of laundry. The trap does not have a backwater device or a plug for the cleanout. (Picture attached) I've tried flushing this drain with a ton of baking soda, vinegar and boiling water which proved unsuccessful.

I picked up the appropriately sized plug and backwater device, however the cleanout hole threads are much too dirty/corroded for the plug to fit. The center hole/drain does not look to be threaded and unsure how I could make the backwater device fit.

Second, after recently doing a load of laundry, my friend took a shower and the other main drain for the bathroom started to back up several gallons through a gouge in the basement slab. (Picture attached) Also note that it was raining heavily outside and the yard has poor grading/drainage which I'm working on to fix. During the rain I could also see some water seeping through cracks in the foundation in the basement. (Picture attached)

I took a shower this morning and saw no water backup whatsoever.

My questions are as follows:

1. Does the shower main drain water back up from the slab indicate there is a leak in the drain pipe under the slab? If so, how should I proceed to correct the leak?

2. Does the laundry floor drain back up indicate that it needs to be cleaned by a professional or is there a tool I can get to do this myself? Also, how might I install the cleanout plug and backwater device onto the floor drain with the threads being dirty/corroded

Any advice will be greatly appreciated
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Main drain water back ups-bath-drain.jpg   Main drain water back ups-foundation-leak.jpg   Main drain water back ups-laundry-drain.jpg  

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Old 03-25-2009, 08:38 PM   #2
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Main drain water back ups


I'm not entirely sure, but it LOOKS like there might be an end of a broken pipe in that hole in the concrete? Its kind of hard to tell. Be that as it may, you should NOT be seeing water coming up through a hole in the basement floor. Now, whether it is an issue due to ground water or from your plumbing system I cannot say with any certainty. If it is a ground water issue, you may need to have a sump pump installed as well as drainage tile around the foundation. Your backup may just be a clog or it could be from a break in the underslab piping. You really should get a few plumbing companies to come out and diagnose the problem. I wish I could be more definitive on your issue but this one is going to be hard to "call" over the internet.

Good luck

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Old 03-25-2009, 09:42 PM   #3
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Main drain water back ups


I had similar problems with a repo I bought. black water would be getting into my sump, water would back up in the pipe, etc.

When I recently replaced the basement slab, I found a maze in the main line, going to three or so drains, an old kitchen drain, old toilet, all abandoned. They were lots of dead ends for paper to build up and wreak havok. a few broken pipes too.

I replaced it all in PVC to the footer, and snaked it with a snake I rented for $60, get the one with the big loose 8' coils and 1/2 HP motor.... worth a shot,


Oh and I also bought an infrared bullet cam on ebay for about $40, cabled it up and taped it to the snake (without running the snake!) and put it down the pipe.... a very cheap pipe camera! it really does work nicely, you can clearly see problems
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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Main drain water back ups


On that floor drain with NO threads for plug,,,if its sorta smooth all around or you can make it smooth,,,an expansion plug is only hope there. Unless of course you wanna bust crete to put a whole new floor drain in. The lucky part is the plug is gone(which isnt good in that it lets sewer gas right back in house naturally) so put a plug in there even temp till you get to the rest.

In the meantime IF your shower and other things that back up into this drain is on the same line,its plugged up from there to the main. Get a sewer tape long enough to be SURE your in the main and clean it out. IF its the flat tape type,,,crank it round and round with as much water as you can run down there and the edges act like a cutter knife. The snap of the tape gets crap loose,,,the water carries it out,,,hopefully
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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Main drain water back ups


I may have figured out the reason for the laundry floor drain back up. It looks to be caused simply by poor venting. I unscrewed the pvc cleanout plug (on the right) which seemed to help the flow a bit. But once the water receeded in the tray so that air could get through the pipe, the back up immediately receeded from the floor drain. What would be the best way to improve venting for this drain? (picture attached) Would a dual drain outlet laundry tray be ideal? The city wants the laundry tray replaced anyways for compliance orders
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:30 PM   #6
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Main drain water back ups


If allowed .I would remove the cap & vent.. You may also have to provide a means for clean out
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:51 PM   #7
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Main drain water back ups


The thread diameter of the cleanout hole for the floor drain by the washing machine is 1 3/4". Would something like this work to seal it? http://www.shawplugs.com/turn-tite-1...-pr-16175.html
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:58 PM   #8
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Main drain water back ups


If you are doing a load of laundry and it backs up through the floor drain it sounds to me like you have a partial stoppage. Run a sewer snake through the line and see if that takes care of it. go all the way to to main sewer line or if on septic all the way to the tank and might check to make sure you tank doesn't need pumping

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