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Thread: basement flooding

  1. #1

    Question basement flooding

    I recently had my main sewer line done, from the house to the street due to tree roots breaking the previous pipe. That was mid-February. I had to have the plumber come back out because the basement was flooded again! He said it was due to mud getting in the main line and there wouldn't be a charge. I should mention the house was vacant for about two weeks after the main line was done, so very little water was running other than the toilet every now and then. My question is: is mud getting in the line common after it's just been replaced? I'm also wondering if the basement could be backing up due to the floor drain system itself and is there an inexpensive way to replace that somehow? I recently read an article on this and it said some fixes were: installing a plug, a standpipe a check valve or an overhead sewer. Do you know which would be the best way to go & what the costs might run? Thanks for your help!!

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default sewer

    Mud getting into the sewer should not happen at any time if the sewer were replaced properly, and proper care was done during the replacement. There is no way to completely prevent a sewer backup, unless you install an overhead sewer with a pump for the basement.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Default get the line scoped

    Either the guy just screwed up, or you got a problem with the city sewers.

    If their is mud in the line, he broke the line somehow.

    The One sure thing to do is to hire a company to "scope the liine" with a camera and make sure for yourself that their isnt already a break that would let MUD into the pipe. This is gonna cost you about $200.

    but if the guy messed up and does not want to admit it, you still have time to force him to do the job right or take him to court.!!

    For all you know when he filled the hole back in he could have been careless and dropped a boulder on your pipe.


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    If you find out that this isnt the problem here then you got troubles.
    The only solution you got...

    Install a back flow preventer in the line. I dont know wether the man cut your concrete inside your house or if he just tied into the existing line outside somewhere.

    If he came into the house and left you some new concrete leading out to the basement wall the floor can be torn up and this valve can be installed. Usually everyone I have done , I have used a 5 gallon bucket
    to make an access opening down to the valve for future service.

    The 5 gallon bucket sounds a little cheesey and cheap. but it works fine forever and you install it flush with the floor. It has a great lid on it too.


    this is probably gonna cost ya about $1000- or more

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    Now this idea sounds almost silly and ridiculous, but I have seen it done by desperate people getting their finished carpeted basement flooded out every spring. (with all the neighbors raw sewage)

    Nothing like finding a strang condom drying up on your wet basement floor.

    if he tied onto the sewer outside, then things get really ugly....

    you can dig up the front yard right by your house, I assume he installed a clean out in the yard?? yes--no??

    anyway, install a 24 inch manhole down to the drain and put the back flow preventer in out there. This manhole I am talking about is just a common pvc meter pit with cast iron a lid on it. probably going to have to use a ladder to get down to check out the valve every so often, BUT IT WORKS

    the people that did this in the city had a big problem untill they simply
    ""bit the bullet"" and went out into the yard to solve their problems

    I am sorry, but you got some fun ahead of you

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pit

    I know I could climb down into a 24" pit, but I don't know what I, or anyone other than a small kid, could do down there once I was in it. 24" is not enough room to bend over, so you would have to squat down and try to work on it "by feel" under your feet. And if the sewer did have to be snaked you would have to climb down there and either remove the gate, or prop it open, but since the sewer would be plugged once you removed the cover you would be under water.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking 24 inch--36 inch whatever works

    what you would do is every so often check out the back flow valve to make sure it is still functional.

    Usually the main clean out for the home is also located down stream of the back flow valve too. I think they installed the clean out to ground level next to the manhole.

    I guess I should have said a 24-36 inch manhole with a lid on it.

    whatever size was used, it must certanly have been functional or the people probably would not have paid money for it. And they seem to be happy with a dry basement.

    I myself did not install it,
    so I never have actually came back to measure what the excavators put out in the front yard. Sorry I just took a guesstimate on it.

    does that clear everything up for ya ??

  6. #6

    Default thanks for your help!

    The plumber came back out and all seems to be working fine. They did install outside of the house a clean out pipe, so if it backs up again, I'll have someone else come thru with a camera and then go from there. Thanks for all of your help!

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