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Old 09-09-2013, 06:42 AM   #1
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


We just moved in four months ago and the first week the downstairs bathroom (split level) overflowed with sewage because there was a clog on the line going out to the septic. Cleaned that up, unclogged and moved on. Last week the same thing happened but this time it went on for 3 days because we don't use the down stairs. Three days worth of showers, toilets, etc all over the floor. We had a company come in and clean it up but it was the same issue. The plumber that came to clear the clog said the outlet pip is not slopped correctly (1/8"/foot) and there is a weird bend that things get stuck in. Ripping it up would cost a bundle so I'm thinking of adding a pump to help move the stuff along? Does this exist? Any advice on how to fix or prevent this backup again?

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #2
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


Did he put a camera down the line? you mentioned septic tank, has the drain field been tested. and check your toilets make sure they all have plenty of water with a complete flush cycle.

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:57 AM   #3
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


Old cast iron pipes?
A DIY bathroom install in the basement?
3 or 4" drain lines in the basement?
Does the basement bathroom have a real vent all the way to the roof or did they just use an AAV vent?
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:05 AM   #4
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


If a plumber that came to my home used the term "weird bend", red flags would pop up all over the place. Thats like your mechanic calling a part a thiga-ma-jig.

Get a real plumber out there to determine what is wrong, not a rotorooter guy with an expensive camera.

Those cameras are great, but they are tools. In the hands of a knowledgeable plumber, they are a real aid to determining the problem. In the hands of a rookie, well you get the idea.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


He did put the camera down there, it's in the same location as the last one. Sorry about the terminology, I don't remember what he said but I remember the gist. Basically it's not slopped enough and it appears the bathroom was added after the fact so the 2" pipe through the house connects to the 3" pipe going out of the house via a cast iron y-connector. When he scoped it he said there were a few dips too (pooled water) and that there is a clear ledge on the transition from the pvs to the cast iron. So all combined the slope being too low and the cast iron being a Y and having a lip makes it very prone to clogging.

He suggested that we replace the Y with PVC at the very least but our neighbor who apparently had the same issue because of the slope being wrong installed an "up pump" system.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


Up pump to what? I believe in simpler is better. If the main line from your home to your septic tank is not properly sloped to drain, a pump is not going to help anything, unless I am misunderstanding you. If you are going to replace your current line with a properly sloped line all the way from your house to your septic tank, and install a masticator pump, and backflow preventor just to handle the waste from the basement, OK, but proper flow is very important to keep the solids suspended in water. Deflection in your lines is simply not acceptable. There should not be ponded water in your waste lines.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:45 PM   #7
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


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Up pump to what? I believe in simpler is better. If the main line from your home to your septic tank is not properly sloped to drain, a pump is not going to help anything, unless I am misunderstanding you. If you are going to replace your current line with a properly sloped line all the way from your house to your septic tank, and install a masticator pump, and backflow preventor just to handle the waste from the basement, OK, but proper flow is very important to keep the solids suspended in water. Deflection in your lines is simply not acceptable. There should not be ponded water in your waste lines.
To replace it we'd have to dig up the concrete and it's already a step in the basement because of the pipe so that would have to be even higher.

Would a backflow even help if it's clogged? Wouldn't it just start piling up behind the backflow?
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:56 PM   #8
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


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To replace it we'd have to dig up the concrete and it's already a step in the basement because of the pipe so that would have to be even higher.

Would a backflow even help if it's clogged? Wouldn't it just start piling up behind the backflow?
Im not talking about putting in just the backflow preventer, which is basically a hinged checkvalve, I am talking about installing this as a safety measure when (Not if) you are replacing the whole line. It sounds as if there really might not be enough fall to put a bathroom in your basement in the first place, but the fact that there is not enough slope to have your main sewer line run to the septic system at 1/4" inch, or at least 3/16" per foot is troubling. You should have some recourse if you just purchased this house in that it was apparently sold to you with an undisclosed unacceptable condition. There are laws in my state against doing so.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


Replace the pipe from the house to the septic call a septic guy out and fix the thing correctly. Your attempting to half bake a problem and in the end it will always cost you much more.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:03 PM   #10
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


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Replace the pipe from the house to the septic call a septic guy out and fix the thing correctly. Your attempting to half bake a problem and in the end it will always cost you much more.
AMEN! Dat Ghos nose his chit!
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:37 PM   #11
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Two sewer backups in four months; something has to change.


for sure don't create a bigger problem than what you already have....replace line to septic with proper pitch.....there is only one way..the right way..ben sr

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