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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Question Sewer connection

    I recently had my sewer back up for the first time in the 19 years that I have lived in this house. It backed up through the drain in the basement floor (there are no sinks, toilets or any other plumbing fixtures in the basement). The clog cleared itself after a toilet flush - my plumber said that it must have been a temporary blockage, and to keep and eye on it and hope that it doesn't happen again.

    My question is this - how did the sewage get up through the drain? Is there some kind of backflow valve under the floor in the pipe that goes from the house to the street sewer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Sewer connection

    The backup was from one of two possible sources.

    Since the blockage cleared with flushing a toilet, it sounds like the blockage was somewhere between the basement drain and the point where your house sewer connects to the street sewer.

    The other--unlikely--source would be if the street sewer were blocked, and the sewage backed up all the way into your house. In that case, your basement would become the receptor for upstream drainage from the neighborhood.

    The prevention for this is called a backwater valve, which is a one-way device that has a hinged flapper, or check, that opens only in the direction of flow, and closes if sewage tries to back up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Sewer connection

    Thanks for your reply. I'm pretty sure that your first scenario is the most likely - we're at the top of a hill, and none of my neighbors had a problem. I also appreciate the explanation about the backflow valve. I'm still curious about how the backed-up sewage ended up on the basement floor (as opposed to emerging through the lowest opening in the system). Is there some kind of opening in the pipe under the basement floor that allows the backup to escape?

    Any education that anyone can provide on this would be appreciated.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Sewer connection

    "I recently had my sewer back up for the first time in the 19 years that I have lived in this house. It backed up through the drain in the basement floor"

    "I'm still curious about how the backed-up sewage ended up on the basement floor (as opposed to emerging through the lowest opening in the system)."

    ??? Isn't the drain in basement floor the lowest opening?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Sewer connection

    I appreciate your patience - I had assumed that it was a French drain. I didn't realize that they put drains connected to sewers(with, I assume, a trap to block fumes) in basement floors.

    Thanks again.

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