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  • Sewage backup

    I'm having sewage backup from the basement to my upstairs kitchen sink. We are on a septic system which was renewed 6 years ago and pumped out last year. I checked the dosing tank in the back yard and the pump is working normally by delivering water waste to the finger system.

    We have three pumps in the basement. One for the water softener, one as a flood backup and a sewage pump for bathroom and shower etc. I snaked my roof vents and all the lines in the basement and everything is good.

    Whenever the two sump pumps operate we get no backup upstairs in the kitchen but when the sewage pump kicks in we get backup into the kitchen sink. I replaced this pump myself last year and installed a new check valve. I think I read somewhere that there needed to be a certain angle above the check valve but can't remember. Mine goes straight up to a 45 deg elbow and then across to the main line. Any idea why im getting this back up?

  • #2
    Re: Sewage backup

    Toilets are flushing fine and no water backing into bathtubs?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sewage backup

      Originally posted by SewerRat View Post
      Toilets are flushing fine and no water backing into bathtubs?
      Yep. Both toilets upstairs and basement, flush fine and no bathtub backups

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sewage backup

        Does the ejector pump discharge tie directly into the main drain, or does it tie into the branch that serves the kitchen? Also, what happens when the pump shuts off? Does it stay backed up, or does it drain away?

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        • #5
          Re: Sewage backup

          Originally posted by SewerRat View Post
          Does the ejector pump discharge tie directly into the main drain, or does it tie into the branch that serves the kitchen? Also, what happens when the pump shuts off? Does it stay backed up, or does it drain away?
          It ties into the branch that serves the kitchen. When it kicks in water starts flowing into the kitchen sink upstairs,as soon as it shuts off the water in the kitchen sinks drops back down and drains away.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sewage backup

            Your 2" kitchen line is partially plugged. It needs proper snaking or jetting.

            Your sewage pump is not suppose to connect to a 2" branch line. It's suppose to connect to a 3 or 4" line through a 45 from the top.

            Rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sewage backup

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
              Your 2" kitchen line is partially plugged. It needs proper snaking or jetting.

              Your sewage pump is not suppose to connect to a 2" branch line. It's suppose to connect to a 3 or 4" line through a 45 from the top.

              Rick.
              Yeah, all three basement pumps; water softener sump, storm and sewage all share the same branch with the sewage being foremost(closest to the outlet connect by a 4" coupling.) The other two are behind this. Whenever they operate we get no back up. We only back up when the sewage pump kicks in. Its been that way since I moved in but only started backing up recently. I disconnected the sewer line at the top and snaked it all the way to where it enters the main line. All I got was black gunge. Are you saying I need to snake under the kitchen sink also out to the main line? Or should I disconnect the 4" coupling in the basement and snake the main line?
              Last edited by Scratcher; 04-10-2013, 08:59 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: Sewage backup

                It sounds like your 4" main is partially plugged with black sludge.

                Snaking with a proper 4" cutter with water running will help flush it out. Better is jetting with a hydrojetter. Not a bad idea to snake and or jet the kitchen while you're at it.

                Are you sure your septic tank is not full too?

                Rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sewage backup

                  Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                  It sounds like your 4" main is partially plugged with black sludge.

                  Snaking with a proper 4" cutter with water running will help flush it out. Better is jetting with a hydrojetter. Not a bad idea to snake and or jet the kitchen while you're at it.

                  Are you sure your septic tank is not full too?

                  Rick.
                  Our dosing tank float went out a couple of weeks ago and was replaced. We had the septic tank pumped last year in keeping with the five year recommendation. I just checked the level and it is about 4' from the lid. I can hear trickling into the dosing tank which I am lead to believe is normal.

                  The thing that puzzles me about all this is; why doesn't the kitchen sink back up when the other two sump pumps kick in since they all share the same line. Is there more pressure in the sewage pump causing the kickback?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sewage backup

                    Without seeing pump specs one could make the assumption that the ejector pump has a higher discharge rate than the sumps.

                    Do you use powdered dishwashing detergent? Once in a while powdered soap residue with build up where the waste flow from one line hits the wall of a pipe head-on, such as where your kitchen waste line tees or wyes into the main. The flow from the branch line hits the back of the tee and the powdered residue sticks to that pipe. It will slowly build up a blockage over years and years of time. Sometimes the flow keeps the branch line clear but the ball of soap residue will build just behind the tee and cause a partial blockage in the drain it ties into. A good line cleaning clears this up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sewage backup

                      Originally posted by SewerRat View Post
                      Without seeing pump specs one could make the assumption that the ejector pump has a higher discharge rate than the sumps.

                      Do you use powdered dishwashing detergent? Once in a while powdered soap residue with build up where the waste flow from one line hits the wall of a pipe head-on, such as where your kitchen waste line tees or wyes into the main. The flow from the branch line hits the back of the tee and the powdered residue sticks to that pipe. It will slowly build up a blockage over years and years of time. Sometimes the flow keeps the branch line clear but the ball of soap residue will build just behind the tee and cause a partial blockage in the drain it ties into. A good line cleaning clears this up.
                      We don't use any powdered detergents. I have the pipes opened ready to auger now. Got a lot of black slude using the manual auger butn decided to go rent a powered one with a cutter. Thanks for the help guys

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sewage backup

                        Got that thing in there good and deep. Still backing up!! Man that stuff is like black crude oil with chunks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sewage backup

                          what size cable and cutters. how long a run?

                          might be jetter time.

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sewage backup

                            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                            what size cable and cutters. how long a run?

                            might be jetter time.

                            rick.
                            1/2" cable with a pointed flat spade like blade. Got to approx 28'. The guy in the tool rental shop told me the 1" cutter doesn't do so well going around corners. Of course he's not a plumber but I didn't want to risk a repair on their machine. I own a 3500 PSI pressure washer. Can I get an attachment that will fit to that to get this job done or is that not enough pressure?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sewage backup

                              Lets review so I'm following correctly.

                              4" main snaked with a 1/2" cable and spade cutter to 28'?

                              Sounds like you need a 5/8 cable or 3/4" cable while running the drum machine. Also a better cutter. If it's sludge/ grease, you need a better cutter to stir it up, scrape it off and wash it away.

                              I use a 4 blade cutter that's 3" or larger. Multiple passes and water running.

                              Your 3500 pressure washer at 4 gpm? Is perfect. Need a section of 1/4" possible 3/8" jetting hose, a 4 rear nozzle, some heavy gloves and a spray gun as a quick acting emergency shut off. It can get real messy real easily. Especially with little to no experiance.

                              Post a few job photos of your layout and we can walk you through better.

                              Rick.
                              phoebe it is

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