sewer back ups - Posted by Gerald-DC

Posted by Randy on July 02, 2003 at 10:11:41:

Obvious dumb question?have you tried a professional like Roto-Rooter? Check out their web site for some tips. They offer a pour in product for tree roots etc.

sewer back ups - Posted by Gerald-DC

Posted by Gerald-DC on July 02, 2003 at 09:44:54:

I have a property where the sewer backs up from time to time. Generally, I am able to clear the drain with a smaller snake by snaking out 50 to 60 ft. After a good snaking, we can usally go five or six weeks without any problems.

However, after the last snaking this past Sunday, the backups have allready started again in the normal pattern of small backup that quickly drains that ultimately leads to bigger and more frequent backups. The culprit has been tree roots and/or sanitary products. The last time we pulled out a tampon but no roots.

I would appreciate advice and comments from anyone that has had to deal with this type of problem n the past. I don’t want to keep snaking the drain and I don’t want to pay 3K-4k to dig up the pipes. I’m hoping there is a method available that I haven’t considered.

Thank you.

Re: sewer back ups - Posted by inhighgear

Posted by inhighgear on July 03, 2003 at 08:42:38:

Water seeks it’s own level, so here are some suggestions and questions:

Don’t assume the problem is all on your property.

Does the property sit low in the subdivision compared to others?

Can you schedule a drain clean-out 2x per year?
—spring and fall before the big rains? This will assure that yours are fine.

Is the water coming in thru the sewer hole in the floor? If so you can get a plug at Home Depot and
and something called “Gasket Maker” and seal the hole so the water has to reach the level of the utility sink before it enters the basement…This will buy you time.

Are you sure the problem is not the city system?
We had a massive grease clog several houses down the line that caused a backup into property.
Make certain the municipality clears their drains regularly and on schedule! Often you can smell the sewage a week before the water actually shows up. Call the city and make them come out. Here they will show up immediately! If you suspect that the problem maybe theirs, ask them to come out and camera THEIR LINES. That way you can verify that the problem isn’t yours.

Depending on how low your pipes sit, no one else may be getting water…because it is all coming into your property first. The plug will help this situation.

Hope some of this helps,

3 really good responses - Posted by Gerald-DC

Posted by Gerald-DC on July 02, 2003 at 19:13:49:

thanks guys

Re: sewer back ups - Posted by Brent_IL

Posted by Brent_IL on July 02, 2003 at 18:11:41:

A plumber once told me to pour two gallons of muriatic acid of the type used in swimming pools down the drain. Evidently, this is a hydrochloric acid solution that?s buffered with salts.

I tried this on a commode that had a hard plastic doll’s head flushed down the toilet that was wedged in so tightly that a motorized snake had no effect. There was a significant acrid odor, but it worked overnight. I?ve used it from time to time with no negative consequences apparent

It may eat the pipes, nonetheless, but if it doesn’t work you’ll have to replace the pipes anyway.

Re: sewer back ups - Posted by DaniB

Posted by DaniB on July 02, 2003 at 10:35:08:

We had the same problem with a townhouse we bought and rented out. Evidently the previous owners forgot to tell up about the problem.
I don’t know how old your property is or where it is located, but ours is about 30 years old and located in an area where the soil itself can cause problems.
We snaked and snaked, insurance had to replace the carpet in the basement twice (we were cancelled on account of this.) We finally had a plumbing company camera the lines and discovered breaks in the line that had taken place over time, some caused by tree roots breaking through the sewer line. The only way to fix the lines was to dig and replace them. Luckily the homeowners association had to do that, but it was fairly costly.
I would suggest calling a good plumber to have them camera the lines. It will cost a few hunded dollars but will be worth the cost to discover what needs to be done.