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NowItsShowtime 04-16-2010 04:17 PM

possibly huge problems with plumbing - extensive post
 
I am stumped here, as is my dad who has been a homeowner for many years and dealt with many issues.

History - House is a duplex, both sides tie into one main drain (which is under the other half of the house we do not own). My half was abandoned for many years, other half was in daily use. My half is still being remodelled and not lived in full time.

First issues we had was after several weeks of remodeling, the line backed up and we unclogged it. The first bend under the ground level toilet looked like it imploded many years ago, never figured out what it was from. Weeks after that it clogged again, and we snaked it again and it was fine. Fast forward to now, several months later, I THINK we are clogged up again.

Here is where details pour in. You can smell sewer gasses from the front of the house. We think a vent is right in my neighbors driveway (would they even put a sewer vent ground level? WHen it began backing up this last time, the smell was realllly strong. Also seems like there is an odor in the house. Neighbor has what I'm pretty sure are drain flies in his downstairs studio, which he did not have last year. The drain fly infestation is somehow finding its way through the walls to me. His studio apt has been vacant several months, maybe the traps are dried out.

I had people stay over the night before this happened, and think perhaps a female flushed some feminine products down there, but can't imagine one or two would block the drain like that.

**As of now, the toilet flushes several times, but after 4 flushes I assume the water backs up. When flushed the bowl fills with water from the tank, and the water slowly drains out, HOWEVER, it does not drain to the normal water level. The bowl now drains almost to the lowest point in the bowl, and starts to bubble. If I now flush the upstairs toilet, it will create a lot more bubbles. This makes me also wonder if the vent/stack is clogged, would it do this? There are also no trees for obstruction.

I just wanted to cover all aspects. HOpefully someone has the time to read through this and provide advice. If I can at least rule the vent out thats one less headache.

AllanJ 04-16-2010 04:50 PM

Since you can get a few normal flushes in before it backs up, I conclude that the vent is not the problem.

If the traps in your neighbor's basement have gone dry, you will probably smell the sewer gas out in the yars too.

Does your neighbor have any drain problems also?

NHMaster 04-16-2010 04:51 PM

Call someone with a sewer cam.

NowItsShowtime 04-19-2010 10:19 AM

You're right Allan, in that case the vent should be alright.

Tenants next door live on 2nd and 3rd floor, and no one is on 1st floor right now, so they don't complain about sewer issues as it woudl take a long time to back up for them.

With my neighbors 1st floor unit, would at least 8 months of vacancy be enough for the traps to dry out? I would think so



Quote:

Originally Posted by AllanJ (Post 429587)
Since you can get a few normal flushes in before it backs up, I conclude that the vent is not the problem.

If the traps in your neighbor's basement have gone dry, you will probably smell the sewer gas out in the yars too.

Does your neighbor have any drain problems also?


boman47k 04-21-2010 06:33 PM

Quote:

The first bend under the ground level toilet looked like it imploded many years ago,
Might indicate the need for a camera to check the condition of the rest of the line.

What kind of pipe is it?

Any driving across the pipe location during the remodel?

Closest trees? Be surprise how some will go to water from what I have been told. I cedar roots that went from the front of my yard all the way back to the house and under the sidewalk and, I think, broke the walk. May have even caused some damage to my blocks in the foundation. Maybe 30 to 40 feet long. And about that long going across the front yard.

I'm curious as to what you do if the problem is in the main drain on the neighbors side in a situation like this.

Snav 04-22-2010 08:37 PM

Without complete acces to all the plumbing the only good idea is to have someone come in with a line cam and find the issue.

It really sounds similar to my recent septic problem - the water *had* an outlet (through my newly installed drainlines for my new bathroom which were just stuffed with a rag) - the real outlet was clogged (the inlet to the septic tank) - this led to intermittent OK use and backups/overflows - as well as a slight odor that the dogs apparently detected but we did not.

So - there might be a rupture somewhere along the way that sometimes is open for the water to flow out and sometimes is clogged.


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