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  • What's your diagnosis quiz

    Ok, a customer called yesterday very concerned about a plumbing issue because he was leaving town in two days and wanted to get it resolved.

    I asked him three questions over the phone to form a tentative diagnosis and confirmed it later with a trip to his house.

    Here is what he reported. I'll tell you the first 2 question and answers. What do you think the third question and diagnosis is?

    "I've got a leak in my yard and I think it's the sewer backing up. It smells like sewage. I was aerating my front yard and when I got through I noticed a hump in the ground and a root, about as big as a broom handle, coming out of and going back into the ground. I cut the root in two places underground. I must have hit a pipe or the roots must have broken the sewer pipe because the ground is wet and bubbling and we have been using water in the house."

    1st question: Did you see a vertical piece of pipe or a cleanout near the water? Answer: No.

    2nd question: Did you see any other pipes around where you cut the roots?
    Answer: No

    3rd question: ?
    Diagnosis: ?
    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

  • #2
    Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

    Do you have a sewer pump? Hit the line?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

      Are you on town sewer or septic?

      Bubbling out of full tank or buried manhole ?
      Never give up on your dreams..

      dreams are what make us forge ahead.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

        I already knew he is connected to the city sewer and he does not have a sewer pump. The yard is on a slight grade from the house down to the street. He has an irrigation system which was still shutdown for the winter.
        "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

          #3 does it bubble every time you flush the toilet or run the washing machine?


          sounds like a partial stoppage and he disrupted the pipe and ground around it with that root he cut.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

            Well, I didn't ask that question and he already told me he noticed it bubbling after they used the plumbing.
            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

              Did I mention he is a lawyer, with all that entails, and was not apt to be running back and forth to check that.
              "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

                Sounds like he cut or "aerated" his sewer line.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

                  Most aerators that i have seen don't go deeper than 8" or so. I would be hard pressed to say that he cut the line. How big was the equipment he was using? Big enough to callapse line? At any rate he definately has a collapsed sewer. Be sure to load up the seesnake when you go over.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

                    Nope. Not a cut or collapsed sewer. When I drove up to his home I could see before I got out of the truck that my phone diagnosis was probably correct.

                    It's still early, If no one guesses correctly I'll put the answer up late tonight.

                    But for now, I'm back to work.
                    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

                      was he wearing rubber boots???lol

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

                        My top questions wouldve been.

                        Your number 1 question

                        #2 Have you ever had a problem with your sewage system backing up before?

                        #3 Have you lost water pressure in your house?

                        #4 Have you been noticing any backups, or gurgling sounds in your lowest point?
                        The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                        www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

                          Well if he didn't have a cut or damaged sewer liine, then the only thing I can think of that would smell "sewery" is a nicked gas line. I know that's a crazy guess but everything else has been said that I can come up with. Doesn't explain the wetness and bubbling during plumbing use though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

                            Drain medic,
                            To answer your questions as I think he would have:
                            #2. Not in the last 10 yrs.
                            #3. Have not lost water pressure in the house.
                            #4. No gurgling or backups inside the house.

                            JCsPlumbing, Great guess but nope, that wasn't it.

                            I'll give a hint later tonight, I just got in from work and I smell DINNER!!
                            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What's your diagnosis quiz

                              Does the homeowner have a french drain for their wash machine?
                              Proud To Be Union!!

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