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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    1

    Default BackUp Plumbing Can't Figure It Out

    Hello, We live in a tri-level home, only owners new construction, house is 9 years old. Septic tank was cleaned out about 2 years ago. On our top level we have 2 full baths and the laundry room, middle level just the kitchen (as far as plumbing) and bottom level a full bath. Every time we turn on the washer or empty the garden tub (both on the top level) all of the water and waste drain down to the bottom level bathroom, filling the toilet and the tub. I also notice tissue and poop, which indicates to me that the waste from upstairs toilets is coming down into the lower level tub and toilet as well. I also noticed that the tissue and poop is fresh, so I'd say it's sitting somewhere and not able to get to where it should be going, which is the septic tank. But why? We rented a 50 foot snake and went through the toilet on the bottom level, it went clear through nothing came out. We ran the snake through the drain outside the house (the white drain near the side of the house that stick up out the ground) nothing came out. Do anyone have any suggestions short of calling a plumber, which we can not afford right now. The ground around and near the septic tank is not wet. Should we try using the snake starting on the top level of the house? What about snaking from the roof. Seem like to me, we are missing snaking pipes somewhere, because we are only doing the bottom level and the outside. What about the middle level of the house how o we snake those pipes? Any help would be helpful. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: BackUp Plumbing Can't Figure It Out

    You should have two clean outs on the bottom level, one vertical and one horizontal. The vertical one should be for the exit pipe of the house to the septic tank. The horizontal pipe should be somewhere around the perimeter of your foundation, but it can be in the garage, along the foundation to the house. If your bottom floor is a slab, then it may be in a hole near the edge of the slab or in the garage floor. It should be on a different wall than the side the septic tank is on.

    Instead of renting a snake, try using a garden hose. Turn the water on full blast as you send the hose down the pipe. You might also use a twist type brass nozzle on the end of the hose set to a spray pattern to clean the sides of the pipe. I would do that after making sure I have punched through the clog with the hose in the first place.

    Also make sure your septic tank isn't plugged up again. Take the cap off the vertical clean out pipe and empty a garden tub full of water upstairs. If effluent comes out the pipe, then you need not only the septic tank cleaned out but the field lines snaked out too. Your septic tank service should be able to clean out your field lines.

    Sometimes if you wait until the septic tank backs up before getting it pumped, some sludge gets into the field lines and plugs them up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: BackUp Plumbing Can't Figure It Out

    Quote Originally Posted by GranLady View Post
    Hello, We live in a tri-level home, only owners new construction, house is 9 years old. Septic tank was cleaned out about 2 years ago. On our top level we have 2 full baths and the laundry room, middle level just the kitchen (as far as plumbing) and bottom level a full bath. Every time we turn on the washer or empty the garden tub (both on the top level) all of the water and waste drain down to the bottom level bathroom, filling the toilet and the tub. I also notice tissue and poop, which indicates to me that the waste from upstairs toilets is coming down into the lower level tub and toilet as well. I also noticed that the tissue and poop is fresh, so I'd say it's sitting somewhere and not able to get to where it should be going, which is the septic tank. But why? We rented a 50 foot snake and went through the toilet on the bottom level, it went clear through nothing came out. We ran the snake through the drain outside the house (the white drain near the side of the house that stick up out the ground) nothing came out. Do anyone have any suggestions short of calling a plumber, which we can not afford right now. The ground around and near the septic tank is not wet. Should we try using the snake starting on the top level of the house? What about snaking from the roof. Seem like to me, we are missing snaking pipes somewhere, because we are only doing the bottom level and the outside. What about the middle level of the house how o we snake those pipes? Any help would be helpful. Thanks.
    Snaking from the roof won't do anything --- no need risking yourself getting up there.
    Based on your description it would be logical to suggest a blockage on the main horizontal waste line. Any blockage downstream would back up into the nearest plumbing fixtures ---- path of least restriction. Perhaps the 50 foot snake wasn't long enough to reach the blockage.

    How do the toilet and tub on the lowest level drain -- any issues ?
    Was this lower level bathroom added or is it orginal to the build ?
    You're sure the septic system isn't full ?
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    6,006

    Default Re: BackUp Plumbing Can't Figure It Out

    Actually, snaking from the roof is a good idea. The waste line is filled with air and sewer gas, if the vent is blocked and the toilet up stairs is flushed the back pressure created will cause the sewage to take the path of least resistance.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,989

    Default Re: BackUp Plumbing Can't Figure It Out

    All other suggestions are good, but after two years another cleanout is in order.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    7,738

    Default Re: BackUp Plumbing Can't Figure It Out

    Go back on the roof, snake it again, this time snake it correctly, and it will work. Just make sure it's the right vent.

    Sounds like the blockage is probably in the vertical line. Working a snake has to be done right. If you can't do it, get some professional help.

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