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BASEMENT FLOOR DRAIN OVER FLOWING, NEED HELP!

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by senior smoke, Jan 7, 2008.

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  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    HELLO:
    i just went into the basement, my floor drain is over flowing. what a mess! i live in a suburb of milwaukee, we have had lots of snow, but today we had a thunderstorm with lots of rain. anything i can do, or do i need to call one of the drain cleaning companies? need advice, any national chain recommended, also, usually what is the cause of a floor drain over flowing?
    steve balistreri
     
  2. GunDr

    GunDr Well-Known Member

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    Probably a big wad of TP stuck in that faulty deep tunnel project. Shouldn't be long and it will be coming up the drain also.
     
  3. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Our building code in Green Bay requires all houses to have an anti backup valve in the basement drain.

    costs about 4 to 6 bucks and takes 5 minutes to put in.

    We had a water main break in front of my mothers house, and because the fools had put the sewer and water too close to each other (done in 1940) it blew into the sewer and sent the raw sewage into 5 or 6 adjoining basements.

    City paid off for cleanup and damage.

    You may have a claim if the basement was finished but lacking a valve it might not fly.

    HM
     
  4. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    The floor drain should be connected to the sanitary sewer system. Melt runoff should be going into the storm sewer system. Apparently there is one or more cross-connections between the two. If you live on an older home, this is probably the cause as builders years ago were not careful about which system the connected to. I joined a lawsuit years ago for force a city to correct such connections to alleviate the same problem in my previous home.

    Assuming that there are no other drains (tubs, toilets) in the basement you may be able to find temporary relief with a simple plug designed for that task. Made of rubber, the plug is inserted into the drain and a wing nut on top is tightened to expand the plug and seal the drain. Easy in, easy out. Plumbing supply and home centers have them. I kept one in my drain until I needed it.

    Morgan
     
  5. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    The plugs are one way to stop the problem but another way is to get a threaded piece of pvc pipe and thread it into the drain. The water will only raise to the hight of the water table.

    Bill
     
  6. onlym12's

    onlym12's TS Member

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    Steve, Do you have city sewer? If not then the footing drain around your house must come out of the ground somewhere at a lower elevation than the basement floor. Maybe the end of the pipe where it discharges is frozen causing the water to run back up into the pipes. Just a thought?

    Thanks Mike
     
  7. rslus

    rslus TS Member

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    call a plumber
     
  8. XT Bill

    XT Bill TS Member

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    Sounds like the system is surcharged. The fact that water is coming back up through your pipe, usually means it's not your pipe that's plugged.

    Lots of variables here, though. Do your downspouts tie into this line ?

    Those check valves are a good idea, but keep in mind the water is just going to find the next lowest point, and back up there.

    Call your water/sewer/street dept., and report this. THey should come out and camera the main sewer, to see if it is restricted.

    Bill
     
  9. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Do you have a septic tank? its probably full- if not- the sewers are shut for some reason(ice, breakage, etc)

    First place you should be calling if you have sewers and not septic is the city and also check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing the same problem

    now to answer your question - that roto router chain does have some hi tec equipment that they can actually look into the lines with (fiber optics)

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  10. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    When this happens at my house, it is usually caused by tree roots that have gotten into the joints of the sewer pipe between the house and the city sewer system.

    Roto-rooter (or others) have asnake with a power-operated cutting tool just for this.
     
  11. GunDr

    GunDr Well-Known Member

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    If I remember right, back when I lived in WI, a large underground sewer tunnel was bui;lt in Milwaukee to keep the storm water seperate from the sewer. They said this tunnel would hold the "proverbial" 100 year flood. FALSE

    Every year a heavy rain storm would back the storm water back into the city sewer system. Every year homeowners got sewage backed-up into their basements. AND, every year the Metropolitan Sewage District (MSD) would get find for allowing raw sewage to flow into Lake Michigan.

    SE WI has had a lot of snow recently and now are currently going through a big thaw.

    Something tells me that the gov't didn't allow the use of a plug. I'm probably wrong, but I thought it had somethinjg to do with excessive pressure in the pipes and damage could occur. I'm a little fuzzt on this part.

    Doug
     
  12. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    senior smoke:

    Pretty much every prior post contains good info. The theories and proposed solutions are appropriate depending on your specific circumstances. Per your original post, the problem appears to be the result the sewer system being inundated by storm water runoff.

    If your floor drains are connected to a sanitary sewer (as they should be) the sanitary sewers may be cross connected with storm sewers or the storm runoff is infiltrating. Both situations are common in older areas. Unfortunately, neither is likely to be an easy fix for the responsible municipality or sewer district.

    Once upon a time, it wasn't unusual for homeowners to connect gutters and sump pumps to sanitary sewers. This puts a storm surge in the sanitary sewer even if it isn't cross connected or subject to infiltration. While not uncommon years ago, it is a major faux pas and causes no end of problems

    Apparently, you haven't had this problem before. If I were in your shoes I would:

    1. Install rubber expansion type drain plugs (as mentioned by Capt. Morgan) to stop more "stuff" from getting in now - or next time.

    2. Use a pump to get rid of what's already gotten in.

    3. If you haven't had this problem before, something is obviously different about this time. I'd be talking to my neighbors and the municipality/sanitary district to determine what that something is.

    Good luck.

    sissy
     
  13. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming you are a Milwaukee or one of the suburbs resident. We just had a boatload of rain, and the storm sewers probably won't pass much water because it was below freezing for a month. Or maybe plugged at the exit.

    As stated, it would get into the sanitary because of ancient cross connections, especially if you live in the older part of town. Most municipalities require fixing this, but enforce it only on a house sale inspection.(at least it's that way here)

    If there is stinky stuff in there too you may have to drive carefully the next few days to avoid the backhoes and payloaders. Call Department oif Public works.

    HM
     
  14. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    The above link says Milwakee has 5 % of its sewer system combined with both sanitary and runoff in the same pipe.

    That says it all.

    HM
     
  15. prince_of_darkness

    prince_of_darkness TS Member

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    jiggle the handle.
     
  16. nicky

    nicky Member

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    Steve it depends if your floor drain in connected to your sewage or not. You stated you had a lot of rain. In a lot of older homes drains in the basement floor were just a dry hole filled with gravel and a lot of rain and melting snow could cause the ground water to rise and back up into your basement. If this is the case get an expandable plug and insert it into the drain if the cover is removable. Now if it is hooked to the sewage system then you have a problem . Where does your sewage lines exit the basement ?, are they above the floor grade and through the basement wall ?, if so the floor drain may not run into the sewage.
     
  17. Whiz Bang

    Whiz Bang TS Member

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    The first thing you do is ask your neighbors if there sewer is backing up also. Call the city sewer department to see if other homes are having the same problem. Then you can determine if your back up is do to the rain and snow melt off.

    If not and you live in a older part of town with trees in your yard you more than likely have tree roots growing into the joints of your sewer pipe. A plummer with a auger or a high pressure jetter can maybe get you cleared. Keep in mind the problem will come back. In older parts of town the sewer pipe from the house to the city main is often two foot sections of clay tile that are cemented together. If thats the case you can determine there are many areas roots can get in. In the past I have taken out roots the size of baseball bats and roots that sealed the pipe.

    I am a licensed sewer and water contractor have done many repairs and new hook ups if you need any advice let me know I might be able to help.
     
  18. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    whiz bang:
    i followed your advice. i called the city, they came out and said the sewer line in the street is fine. they came into the house, told me exactly what you said it is probably tree roots. we have a 30 year old birch tree in the middle of our lawn, probably right over the line from my house to the street. i then called the better business bureau regarding a company that advertised this type of service. they were reccomended, so i called them and within 2 hours they came out and sure enough it was the tree roots like you said. it cost $165.00, it is the clean up that is tough to do. thank you, and everyone else for the advice.
    steve balistreri
     
  19. whiz white

    whiz white Strong Supporter of Trapshooting Banned

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    tree roots
     
  20. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    Floor drains are not allowed to be connected to the sewer, they have to be piped to the curb, you can get a test plug and put it into the floor drain and pump it up and it will stop the backflow.


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
    Building Inspector Certified
     
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