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Thread: Basement backed up.. desperately need advice my wife is going to kill me

  1. #1

    Default Basement backed up.. desperately need advice my wife is going to kill me

    I am in desperate need of some good advice and direction.

    My wife and I purchased a house recently and the previous home owner is deceased. We have our washer and dryer in the basement and that is our main issue.
    The drain goes under the basement floor and it actually has a few drain holes throughout the basement. Everytime my wife washes clothes the water backs up and comes up out of the drain holes into our basement. Sometimes she can wash 1 load.. sometimes 3 or 4 before it backs up.

    How can I find out where the drain is stopped?

    There is a possibility the drain was covered on the other end when we had our driveway installed but I can't be sure. How can I find out where the drain ends if it's covered up?

  2. #2

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    The one thing I do is to use copper sulfate in my outside drain.

    I would do this after I got the clog out. I buy my sulfate crystals at where else, Home D.

    I do the sulfate twice a year and it helps in keeping out the tree roots on mine.

    http://www.drainsandplumbing.com/sew...ncleaning.html

    http://www.oldbridgechem.com/CuSO4.html
    Last edited by Cookie; 11-15-2008 at 02:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    You may want to bring in a plumber with a snake so he can clear the lines.
    If it's roots downline, those can be treated later.
    First you need to getting it running again.
    Last edited by Cookie; 11-15-2008 at 02:29 PM.

  4. #4

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    I used ... Rooter, twice in years gone by, and I never had a problem with them, and, the bills were reasonable. Since, the last time, I had to have the drain declogged, I have been using copper sulfate and no more root problems. Well, at least for me, my clog were roots from some very large, 90 foot trees.
    Last edited by Cookie; 11-15-2008 at 04:31 PM.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The most likely problem is a clogged drain line. You should call a plumber who do not have Rooter as part of his name, to auger the line. It is possible that roots could be partly to blame, but the first step is to clean the line. Do not even consider chemical drain openers or DIY snakes. The auger needed for the job is large and can be very dangerous for a novice to use. You probably couldn't even get one in the first place. Chemicals will only create a hazard for the plumber when you eventually call him. This is not to say that some products intended to keep roots out of the line might not be effective after the line is cleared would not work, but first they need to be cut out and the line cleared all the way to the end.

  6. #6

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    I maybe wouldn't use the one with Rooter in his name, lol, for other things... but, they are good for drains, I used them. NOW, on the other hand, I had some mighty fine plumbers in here for other things, where I had direly, wished I had used the other guy with Rooter in his name. Seriously. Not all is bad, not all is ever good.

    Since, I have used the copper sulfate OUTSIDE in the drain, never inside I have been virtually clog-free. WHAT a relief. It is horrible when you have to bang your clothes on a rock to clean them,

  7. #7

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    The problem may be my clogged drain line but I have no idea where the actual line goes and I'm concerned when I had my driveway built we covered it over with dirt.. is this possible?

    Would it be feasible to assume the drain was just going outside into the ditch?

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It's possible, but probably not up to code. I'm assuming you don't have sewers and are on a septic system?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Seeing that you just bought the house it would be extremely beneficial to hire a plumber to not only clear the drain but flil you in on the questions you have on your plumbing system.

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Copper sulfate root killer is illegal to use in CT, CO and the following counties in CA: Alameda, Napa, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Solano, Marin, San Mateo, Sonoma.

    We use Root-X.
    http://www.rootx.com/
    Last edited by Redwood; 11-15-2008 at 10:30 PM.

  11. #11
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    If the house is was built before 1975 or if you know that your drain pipes are not PVC I would also have a camera run down the drain if he pulls back any roots.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    I have a suspicion that the laundry drains into the basement perimeter drain.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by nhmaster View Post
    I have a suspicion that the laundry drains into the basement perimeter drain.
    perimeter drain?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Copper sulfate root killer is illegal to use in CT, CO and the following counties in CA: Alameda, Napa, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Solano, Marin, San Mateo, Sonoma.

    We use Root-X.
    http://www.rootx.com/
    I checked your link and clicked on what it does, and oddly, it says:
    DOES NOT HARM TREES OR PLANTS... Is not a root a tree part?


  15. #15

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    The main chemical is dichlobenil. Yikes. Don't go sniffing it.

    http://www.pesticide.org/dichlobenil.pdf

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Maintenance/pdf/dichlobenil.pdf

    Mode of Action
    Dichlobenil molecules are taken up by roots
    and transported throughout the plant.3 Inside
    the plant, dichlobenil inhibits actively dividing
    cells by disrupting the formation of the cell plate,
    a structure which forms during cell division to
    separate the two new cells.4

    So, it tells me, that chart to the link is WRONG. This is bad stuff and homeowners and plumbers are using it thinking it is not thanks to the great state of Ca.


    Infact, this may actually apply:
    http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/foia/affirmation.htm
    Last edited by Cookie; 11-16-2008 at 05:58 AM.

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