Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Main floor backup

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Main floor backup

    Hello,

    I am hoping someone can help me. I am very frustrated and confused.

    I have been living in this house for about 7 months now. On the main floor is a bathroom with a toilet, tub, and sink. In the kitchen on the same floor I have a sink and Dishwasher.

    In the basement is a clothes washer and shower.

    About a month ago the snow melted and we had a lot of rain. That is when the tub and toilet started to overflow. We live near a big lake so I figured the septic tank just filled with all the extra water and it should go down in a day. Well a few days later it did not go down.

    This only happened on the main floor. The washer and basement shower flowed perfectly.

    I dug up the septic tank and opened it up. It was about 4-6 inches from the top. Which I hear is not a problem. There was no clear water in it. Because I had it open already I figured it would not hurt to get it pumped. When the company came out they said once they pumped it a bunch came out the inlet pipe from the house.

    For about a week everything was great.

    Then when ever I used water I could hear gurgling in the pipes. Shortly after the backup started again. I tried plunging and pipe cleaners like Drano.

    Nothing is helping.

    I hear HOT water helps but I am afraid to dump MORE water in the pipes.

    I have read about a vent that might be clogged on the roof? I dont know what this is?

    Should I get a plumber out here and take care of this for me? How expensive is it?

    I know this is a very long post but I am very very frustrated and beaten down by this clog.

    Please help. I really appreciate it.

  • #2
    Re: Main floor backup

    Call a plumber, 200-1000 depending on what you need done but the price could go up.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Main floor backup

      Get a plumber out there that specializes in drain cleaning as well, or get a drain cleaner out there. Sounds like your pipe could use a good water jetting.
      The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

      www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Main floor backup

        Originally posted by Drain Medic View Post
        Get a plumber out there that specializes in drain cleaning as well, or get a drain cleaner out there. Sounds like your pipe could use a good water jetting.
        Call a drain-cleaner. Use a company that specifically advertises for professional sewer & drain-cleaning, because not all plumbers are good drain-cleaners and some 'say' they'll do it but have crappy equipment.
        Someone like "Drain-Medic" would be a good choice. (that really is a great name!)
        Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Main floor backup

          Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
          Call a drain-cleaner. Use a company that specifically advertises for professional sewer & drain-cleaning, because not all plumbers are good drain-cleaners and some 'say' they'll do it but have crappy equipment.
          Someone like "Drain-Medic" would be a good choice. (that really is a great name!)
          Well thank you....unfortunelty for me to travel to MI the travel charge would be out of hand
          The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

          www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Main floor backup

            If I understand your symptoms correctly, you have a problem between your septic tank and your field, or in your field itself. Possibly the field is saturated from the recent rain you mention.

            You say you had the tank pumped, then were good for about a week; this is consistent with a problem downstream of the tank. When you pump the tank, you create some space for waste water to go, but if the effluent cannot get out of the tank to the field your house will back up again once the tank has refilled from use. A week is just about right.

            Also, you say when they pumped the tank, a lot of water came out of the inlet line. Again consistent with a problem downstream from the tank.

            The confusing part for me is that your washer and shower in the basement were working... these must be connected to some other drain system... I have seen illegal installations like this before where a couple fixtures added after the fact daylight somewhere or go out to a drywell. Someone may have added these after the fact and tied them into a line for a sump pump that goes to a drywell or something similar instead of your septic system.

            You say the water level in the tank was 4-6" from the top... the relevant question is what was the water level in the tank relative to the inlet pipe. If the water level in the tank is higher than the bottom of the inlet pipe, something is wrong, possibly with the grade of the piping to or from the tank, but probably with whatever allows water to leave the tank.

            Water/effluent gets out of the tank in one of several ways depending on the type of system you have; simple gravity, dosing siphon, or an electric effluent pump are the basic options. Without being on site, from what you have written, I am almost convinced you have either

            -a clogged effluent pipe leaving the tank (simple gravity system)

            -a failed or saturated field (pray it is not this, or that it is just seasonal)

            -a failed dosing siphon

            -a failed effluent pump (or something as simple as a tripped breaker for the pump)

            Get a professional who understands septic systems and fields, not someone who just pumps tanks, and have them check out the system downstream of the tank. Make sure they have a jetter and a pipe camera, and are competant to check out a pump if you have one.
            This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Main floor backup

              Welcome Luke to the forum.

              Since you say you've been living in the house I assume you are the owner.

              In my state when you buy a house it is supposed to have had the septic pumped and be certified. Also you have to sign papers disclosing of any problems with with the house and property.

              I don't know if it is the same where you live but might be worth looking into it. It might be you can go after the guy you bought from and get it fixed with him footing the bill.

              shup

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Main floor backup

                Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                If I understand your symptoms correctly, you have a problem between your septic tank and your field, or in your field itself. Possibly the field is saturated from the recent rain you mention.

                You say you had the tank pumped, then were good for about a week; this is consistent with a problem downstream of the tank. When you pump the tank, you create some space for waste water to go, but if the effluent cannot get out of the tank to the field your house will back up again once the tank has refilled from use. A week is just about right.

                Also, you say when they pumped the tank, a lot of water came out of the inlet line. Again consistent with a problem downstream from the tank.

                The confusing part for me is that your washer and shower in the basement were working... these must be connected to some other drain system... I have seen illegal installations like this before where a couple fixtures added after the fact daylight somewhere or go out to a drywell. Someone may have added these after the fact and tied them into a line for a sump pump that goes to a drywell or something similar instead of your septic system.

                You say the water level in the tank was 4-6" from the top... the relevant question is what was the water level in the tank relative to the inlet pipe. If the water level in the tank is higher than the bottom of the inlet pipe, something is wrong, possibly with the grade of the piping to or from the tank, but probably with whatever allows water to leave the tank.

                Water/effluent gets out of the tank in one of several ways depending on the type of system you have; simple gravity, dosing siphon, or an electric effluent pump are the basic options. Without being on site, from what you have written, I am almost convinced you have either

                -a clogged effluent pipe leaving the tank (simple gravity system)

                -a failed or saturated field (pray it is not this, or that it is just seasonal)

                -a failed dosing siphon

                -a failed effluent pump (or something as simple as a tripped breaker for the pump)

                Get a professional who understands septic systems and fields, not someone who just pumps tanks, and have them check out the system downstream of the tank. Make sure they have a jetter and a pipe camera, and are competant to check out a pump if you have one.
                Ahhh! This just adds even more variables to my problems.
                I am 95% sure that the inlet to the tank about about six inches below the water lvl.

                Now it makes sense that if the inlet is in the water then it will have a hard time flowing in but shouldnt the septic company have told me that was an issue?

                Also, would that create the bubbling or gurgling noises I hear?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Main floor backup

                  Originally posted by Luke View Post
                  Ahhh! This just adds even more variables to my problems.
                  I am 95% sure that the inlet to the tank about about six inches below the water lvl.

                  Now it makes sense that if the inlet is in the water then it will have a hard time flowing in but shouldnt the septic company have told me that was an issue?

                  Also, would that create the bubbling or gurgling noises I hear?
                  Yes, they should have, but in all honesty running a pumper truck just doesn't pay well, and these guys are rarely trained or knowledgeable beyond pumping a tank, so they may not have realized it was a problem.

                  Yes, the noises are signs of an imminent backup; the line goes to the tank, the lower part of the line is filled with water, nowhere for what you add to go. Some space remains before it backs up into the house. When you add water, air in the space gurgles back up to the house as the new water displaces it.

                  You need to expose the LOWEST, most downstream, lid of the tank. You will likely see either
                  - a baffle or tee on the outlet end with a 4" pipe exiting the tank, likely also under water (simple gravity)
                  - one or two 1 1/2" or 2" pipes coming vetically out of the water and some wires (effluent pump)
                  - a plastic dome thing (siphon)
                  - a big strainer looking thing with a flexible 2" plastic hose exiting the tank (another sort of siphon)

                  if you see the one or two small pipes and the wires, rejoice, you likely have a pump problem, not a field problem

                  any of the others will be either a clog in the pipe going out to the field (easy), or a failed field (the big $)

                  start calling around, find someone who understands what I am telling you, and get them out there to figure out what you need.
                  This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Main floor backup

                    Everyone here has been a lot of help. I really appreciate it.
                    Tomorrow I will be calling local companies and try to find the best person to come out here and see what the hell is going on.

                    The past month or so has been so frustrating with work, school, and now this that I am about to freak out. You guys have been a great help.

                    I am going to continue to post on here with what is going on.

                    If anyone else has any ideas please feel free to share them.

                    Thank you so much.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Main floor backup

                      Ace is right. Call a Septic Tank Contractor.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X