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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    64

    Angry Drain in basement keeps backing up

    Hi folks. We have had nothing but problems since moving into this house 6 years ago. The drain in the basement is mostly for the hot water heater. But it is obvious that the kitchen sink (right above the water heater) uses the same drain. Every time we run the dish washer, or do dishes by hand we end up with a small pool of water around the drain area. Now it goes away, very slowly.

    We have clued a plumber who cleans out the drain so it works fine. Then the city comes by and "cleans" their pipes and this problem starts up all over again. I have tried to call the city, but they say it's not on their end, and I should call a plumber. I can't keep paying for plumbers to come fix the line. I have a snake, but it won't reach that far.

    Is there anything else I can do or am I just stuck with calling a plumber to fix the line each and every time the city does something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Drain in basement keeps backing up

    More information is needed.

    like:

    - when the city comes to clean their lines - what do they do exactly that's affecting your main sewer line?

    - when your plumber comes to clear your main sewer line, what exactly does he do?

    - how many times and how often does it happen?

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

    Default Re: Drain in basement keeps backing up

    Quote Originally Posted by Capellam44 View Post
    Hi folks. We have had nothing but problems since moving into this house 6 years ago. The drain in the basement is mostly for the hot water heater. But it is obvious that the kitchen sink (right above the water heater) uses the same drain. Every time we run the dish washer, or do dishes by hand we end up with a small pool of water around the drain area. Now it goes away, very slowly.

    We have clued a plumber who cleans out the drain so it works fine. Then the city comes by and "cleans" their pipes and this problem starts up all over again. I have tried to call the city, but they say it's not on their end, and I should call a plumber. I can't keep paying for plumbers to come fix the line. I have a snake, but it won't reach that far.

    Is there anything else I can do or am I just stuck with calling a plumber to fix the line each and every time the city does something?
    Seems there is an issue with the tie in of the kitchen drain line to the floor drain branch.
    One thing --- if you were to run water down the floor drain will it back up ?
    If not then it sounds to a problem with the kitchen drain connection.

    It might be in your best interest to have a plumber send a camera down the line to see what's going on.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Drain in basement keeps backing up

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    More information is needed.

    like:

    - when the city comes to clean their lines - what do they do exactly that's affecting your main sewer line?

    - when your plumber comes to clear your main sewer line, what exactly does he do?

    - how many times and how often does it happen?

    Not sure what the city does. I never paid much attention. They have a huge truck with a water tank on the back, they open up the access in the street, and then leave.

    The plumber comes with a "snake" on a large spool. He first runs it down the kitchen drain, then down the drain in the basement, and runs water to make sure it was cleared away.

    It happens about once or twice a year. Which is how often the city comes to clean.



    As for pouring water down the drain, yes it will back up if I pour enough down. I usually pour a bucket a month to keep the trap wet. 1 bucket isn't enough to back up the drain however. Takes a few, not sure how many.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Drain in basement keeps backing up

    Has the drain line ever been scoped with a camera to see what the causes is? It's possible that either the drain is cracked and has plant/tree roots growing into it/through a connection, or (oil, sludge, or food waste) is building up every now and then causing the flow to slow down.


    If the problem only occurs immediately after the city does it's maintenance then there may be something else going on. There is process called hydro jetting in which large trucks of water pump high pressure streams into the sewer lines to clear any clogs. It would be pretty ironic if this is causing your own line to clog up. If this is what's happening, their process might be flushing some of the waste up into your line.

    Next time the problem happens, get the line scoped with a camera to determine the true problem before it gets unclogged.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Drain in basement keeps backing up

    Quote Originally Posted by dcalabro View Post
    Has the drain line ever been scoped with a camera to see what the causes is? It's possible that either the drain is cracked and has plant/tree roots growing into it/through a connection, or (oil, sludge, or food waste) is building up every now and then causing the flow to slow down.


    If the problem only occurs immediately after the city does it's maintenance then there may be something else going on. There is process called hydro jetting in which large trucks of water pump high pressure streams into the sewer lines to clear any clogs. It would be pretty ironic if this is causing your own line to clog up. If this is what's happening, their process might be flushing some of the waste up into your line.

    Next time the problem happens, get the line scoped with a camera to determine the true problem before it gets unclogged.
    To be able to use a camera in a line it must be free of standing water. So the line has to be cleared before hand.

    John

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