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Old 02-21-2018, 08:31 AM   #1
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Plumbing Puzzle


I'll try to keep this short.

We have a ground floor kitchen with sink/dishwasher. Directly below that is a basement shower/toilet/sink. These rooms are on the "Uphill" side of the house where the sewer leaves the property. There is a vent in the roof directly above all of this.

A couple times in the past 12 years, the system backs up into the shower.. draining VERY slowly. (I LOVE that, it's easier to clean than an overflowed toilet.) By turning on and off water sources in the house and watching the pool. I can tell it's just this center this "Leg" of the drain that's blocked. All other sources to the left and right end of the house drain without effecting the pool. The sink in the basement is near one of the other legs and does not effect the pool. I assume the problem is before the legs join under the basement floor somewhere.

I ran a 50 snake in the cleanout on the unblocked leg (just because), and a 25' snake down the shower with no effect. There is no cleanout on this leg.Thinking it was may be a vent problem, I loosened the p-trap in the upstairs kitchen-no effect.

This problem usually corrects itself if left alone long enough.

The strange part. I recently came to suspect the sump pump in the room next to the basement shower dumps into the shower drain leg (Yes, I know. I'll correct that). I was trying to find the exhaust and realized it disappears behind the tile shower wall where I can no longer trace it. During the last backup, I triggered the sump and the water in the shower raised.

Here's the oddity. This also cleared the blockage and started the flow back to full!

Coincidence? Maybe. Did the added volume of water clear the blockage? Maybe. I had already poured gallons of boiling water thinking it may be grease from the kitchen.

Any ideas? Could the sump be tied into the Vent below the kitchen, causing problem?

Any input would be helpful. I'm trying to avoid tearing up the shower and floor to trace this problem.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:39 AM   #2
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Re: Plumbing Puzzle


Is this sump intended for ground water or the basement level plumbing?
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: Plumbing Puzzle


Groundwater.

New development. I just noticed that when the Sump Pump runs, water splashes up against the toilet lid.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:58 PM   #4
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Re: Plumbing Puzzle


Quote:
Originally Posted by jblo View Post
Groundwater.

New development. I just noticed that when the Sump Pump runs, water splashes up against the toilet lid.
I'm not aware of any plumbing code that allows ground water sumps to be connected to the sanitary drains. Something seems to be plumbed wrong.
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:25 PM   #5
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Re: Plumbing Puzzle


That's correct. Storm water shouldn't drain to the sewer line. Apparently, it seems to happen in more rural areas.

Jblo, are you in a rural area? When was the house built? Is jblo short for Joe Blow?
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:19 PM   #6
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Re: Plumbing Puzzle


Yes. I know it's not code and will fix that once spring is here. It's not rural. It's a Toledo suburb.

My immediate concern, however, is the backups. If I can avoid tearing apart the shower wall/floor, that'd be great.

And yes. Long story.

Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:29 PM   #7
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Re: Plumbing Puzzle


your sump should look like this and you could cap the drain to the shower in the sump, no digging.
Are you sure this isn't a sewer ejector pump.
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