Sewer And Shower/sink Drainage Join Underground? - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom

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Old 01-20-2008, 11:52 PM   #1
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sewer and shower/sink drainage join underground?

I have a question about the typical drainage system of a house? do the toilets drains and shower/sink drains merge once the pipes pass through the concrete floor of my townhouse?

I believe i have a clog underground in my main drainage pipe. there is an open drain in the floor of my washer/dryer room and it has been spewing up dirty water whenever a shower runs too long or the washer is run repeatedly. i believe the clog is a slow drain because once the water begins to come up out of the floor drain, it takes a while to get back down to below floor level. and not much extra added water to overflow it again.

i always thought the toilet drain line and the sink drain lines were separate going out to the street. I belive mine join, just under the concrete becuase the water is dirty and both sink, shower drain water, and toilet flushes cause my overflow.

first, is this something i should be able to fix if i just rent a snake from the store and run that through the drain in my floor?

second, is it normal to have a drain on my washroom floor that seems to be not that far from the sewage line? it seems to me that you wouldn't want an open vent from the sewage drain.

I am assuming this drain is overflowing only because the clog is preventing the water from draining completely and this wash room floor drain is the first exit the water can find as it raises up the lines.

any thoughts would be great.


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Old 01-21-2008, 12:12 AM   #2
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do you have a clean out where the main stack meets the floor?? if not you either have to snake thru the toilet(hard to do) or take it off to rotor rooter it. OR you have to use your roof vent for that access!!

Do you have 'any' trees between the house and the street where the main is?? If so it is probably tree roots finding there way inside.

What kind of pipe,plastic? Or cast or tile?? Yes most all sinks showers and toilets join right under the floor and run ONE line to the street. And yes its common to have a floor drain,,,it has a water trap in it to prevent sewer gas from coming back thru it.

How old is the house??,,,is the sewer pipe to the street original construction?? cleaning out that line is a messy job at best, depending on length to main,talk to the older neighbors around and see if they know sewer main location,,,if NOT ask water and sewer department of your town. Do you know IF neighbors have same issues??

This will only get worse with time,stay right on this till you get it fixed before you have a MAJOR flood of crap!!


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Old 01-21-2008, 12:19 AM   #3
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Normally, all drain lines merge into a single main drain line that goes from your home to the public sewer line or private septic system. All fixtures have traps under them to prevent sewer gas from entering the home, and all drain lines are vented after the traps. Toilets have built-in traps.
Your floor drain has a trap down in the concrete.
Do NOT use any caustic drain cleaners like Drano. They usually don't work, and can be a real hazard (eyes, skin, etc.).
Rent a heavy-duty plumber's snake, find a main drain line clean-out plug, unscrew it counter-clockwise, and snake the entire main line from the house to the street. If it's a normal clog, that should do it.
However, if it's roots, a snake will only plunge right through them, allowing only temporary relief. Roots have to be "roto-rootered" out, and that is a professional job, not a DIY job.
Hire a pro plumber or drain cleaning company (ask to see a copy of their license and insurance) with the proper equipment AND a video camera that can determine exactly what your problem is.
If it's roots, cleaning them out will only last a year or two. The only permanent solution to roots is to replace the old sectional (cast iron, etc.) or broken line with solid "glued" line such as white plastic PVC or black plastic ABS, if allowed by local code. "Solid" plastic lines will not allow any roots back in.
Good luck!

Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 01-21-2008 at 12:21 AM.
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