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Thread: Water draining bad, backup in basement... (Pictures included)

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mike04gt's Avatar
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    Exclamation Water draining bad, backup in basement... (Pictures included)

    EDIT: More pictures/problems in posts below

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a newbie homeowner with a problem, me and my wife just moved in this past September to an old 2 flat house on the Northside of Chicago.

    Recently, we have been having some problems with our plumbing. When we take a shower, the water does not drain out of the bathtub at all, it fills up above our feet for a 5-10 minute shower and slowly drains out after that.

    The issue is, in the basement adjacent to the bathrooms location on the first floor is the laundry room, and the floor drain seems to clog up and push water up out of it. Its stink sewage smelling water too. It is the only one that does this in the basement, but we never had any problems when it was warm out in September with water draining in the bathtub. About 3 weeks ago, we also had a plumber come out to the house and snake the bathtub when we only thought that was the problem. But recently we noticed water coming up through the floor drain in the basement also.

    Could it just be that the pipes are frozen and not letting water get through?
    If so, wouldnt the hot shower water help free those pipes up?
    Or are we dealing with a nasty clog???


    I have attached some pictures for reference....

    This is a picture of the floor drain and some of the water that just came up after a short shower (those white things are mothballs haha)



    Here is the only outside sewer grate on our house, I opened it up once before and there is nothing in there but a water collection spot



    Here is a view of that outside sewer spot in reference to the floor drain





    Thanks so much for any help!!!

    -Mike


    EDIT: SEE POST #11, THE BASEMENT GOT WORSE, iTS NOT FLOODED.
    Last edited by mike04gt; 12-27-2008 at 09:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    You have a blockage in your main sewer system. Its time to call a plumber or in Chicago there is Sewer License for sewer and drain guys, You can call one of them. Make sure they call the City for a rodding permit. The bath tub may have its own blockage and needs to be rodded as well.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member mike04gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    You have a blockage in your main sewer system. Its time to call a plumber or in Chicago there is Sewer License for sewer and drain guys, You can call one of them. Make sure they call the City for a rodding permit. The bath tub may have its own blockage and needs to be rodded as well.
    You think it could just be frozen or is it just junk clogged up in there?

    If I called a plumber, they'd be able to determine what it is that needs to be done if I describe the problems right?


    I'm just used to living in apartments where I never had to deal with this stuff before, its fun owning a home haha!

  4. #4
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike04gt View Post
    You think it could just be frozen or is it just junk clogged up in there?

    If I called a plumber, they'd be able to determine what it is that needs to be done if I describe the problems right?


    I'm just used to living in apartments where I never had to deal with this stuff before, its fun owning a home haha!
    Its a clog in the system, its very rare for it to be frozen, and at the temps we are having in Chicago its very unlikely. Yep when you call a plumber they will be able to look the job over and determine the trouble and fix it. Also it wouldn't hurt to call the City and ask them if their sewers are draining properly. With this thaw we are having can cause the city sewers to back up.

  5. #5
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    Make sure they call the City for a rodding permit.
    Just a quick question. In the event of an early morning blockage.

    Why would anybody want to call the city, (I assume the permit office in Chicago is only open between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm), for a rodding permit if a client calls a drain company for an emergency with water/sewage up to his ankles at 3:00 am? Waiting for a permit to go through would be a waste of time in my opinion.
    (keep in mind that where I live we do not need a permit to unclog a drain, we only need a permit if a section of drain is going to be replaced)

  6. #6
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krow View Post
    Just a quick question. In the event of an early morning blockage.

    Why would anybody want to call the city, (I assume the permit office in Chicago is only open between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm), for a rodding permit if a client calls a drain company for an emergency with water/sewage up to his ankles at 3:00 am? Waiting for a permit to go through would be a waste of time in my opinion.
    (keep in mind that where I live we do not need a permit to unclog a drain, we only need a permit if a section of drain is going to be replaced)
    The Chicago permit office is open 24 hours, the plumber does not need to go to the office, just call the permit office give the information on the house you are rodding, then they issue you the permit and mail you the bill of 10 bucks.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Awe man this is serious. You see those white pellets in the picture near the floor drain?


    Man, I gotta go, this is too deep and can't
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  8. #8
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    The Chicago permit office is open 24 hours, the plumber does not need to go to the office, just call the permit office give the information on the house you are rodding, then they issue you the permit and mail you the bill of 10 bucks.
    Thats a money grab , if I ever saw one. They get you coming and going

  9. #9
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krow View Post
    Thats a money grab , if I ever saw one. They get you coming and going
    It came in handy for me many of times. When i call for the permit they inform me how many times in the homes lifetime the drain been rodded, if any repairs where done on the sewer, and the location of the stub. 10 bucks to maintain records that most homeowners don't keep or never known about when they bought the house is well worth it to me.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member mike04gt's Avatar
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    Also, found this pipe in the wall which is definately a problem... don't know what pipe this is, but it was spewing water from the hole when we took showers tonight... it looks like there is alot of paper in it, when the water was coming out of it, it smelled like a toilet.

    Any suggestions on what to patch this hole with? I have no clue, looks like its just rusted out completely, when I cut the drywall off, someone must have messed with it before because there was tons of crap silicone sealant around it.




  11. #11
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    And why hasn't a plumber/drain cleaner been called to this residence?



    Jobs like that are simple; get it open with my equipment, charge a good fee and head to the next.


    That wastewater is coming back if there's more rainfall/melting to come.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking clean out that drain

    someone a long time ago broke out that brass drain plug
    and never replaced it....

    you need the sewer cleanes out and it might be a good idea to dig a sump pump pit somewhere in the basement...

    find the low spot where the water goes to first and install
    a pit and pump for future disasters....

  13. #13
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    That is an old lead fit-all that is busted. It is the access the plumber needs to access to power rod your drain. Did you call the City to as them if their sewers are draining OK? If they say they are clear its time to call a plumber. I was just up North Wests side today, lots of flooded basements.

    Cass: If your a Chicago, or Illinois licensed plumber there is none. But if you are just a sewer and drain cleaner guy you need to have a Cook County sewer license which is 50 bucks a year. To get it you have to take a test the first time out. It a Sewer and Drain layer license. Mine is SL#340 We had that number since the 1960's We keep it casue it makes getting permits for sewer repairsin the streets of Chicago a whole lot easer.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member mike04gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED View Post
    And why hasn't a plumber/drain cleaner been called to this residence?



    Jobs like that are simple; get it open with my equipment, charge a good fee and head to the next.


    That wastewater is coming back if there's more rainfall/melting to come.
    Me and my wife just got the house this past September, only the past 2 weeks we have been having issues with the plumbing and I have been trying to figure out the problems. Now that I found this hole in the line, it should help when we have a plumber come out and check out the basement.

    According to the weather, rain is gone after tonight and snow is coming back, so I guess thats a bit better.


    Do most plumbers have a special tool that can get this old cap out? It really seems like its bonded and rusted in there pretty bad, I was going to try to get it out but I didn't want to screw things up even more.

    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    That is an old lead fit-all that is busted. It is the access the plumber needs to access to power rod your drain. Did you call the City to as them if their sewers are draining OK? If they say they are clear its time to call a plumber. I was just up North Wests side today, lots of flooded basements.

    Cass: If your a Chicago, or Illinois licensed plumber there is none. But if you are just a sewer and drain cleaner guy you need to have a Cook County sewer license which is 50 bucks a year. To get it you have to take a test the first time out. It a Sewer and Drain layer license. Mine is SL#340 We had that number since the 1960's We keep it casue it makes getting permits for sewer repairsin the streets of Chicago a whole lot easer.
    I tried to call the city many times today in the middle of sucking the water out of the basement and every time it was busy or I got put on hold for a long time, I think alot of people may have been calling.

    If the city's sewers are backed up, would that cause the water in my bathtub to not drain like normal and spew water up out of the floor drain in my basement?

    Also, this is the place I talked to after doing a bit of research online, found them off the actual City of Chicago website so they should be accredited with the city http://www.aplumberin1hour.com/



    Thank you all for all the help and suggestions!
    Last edited by mike04gt; 12-27-2008 at 08:04 PM.

  15. #15
    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    Default Backup in basement ! !

    At first i was ready to agree with the other plumbers posts,
    but since your basement flooded i think you don't have a real sewer problem

    since the city sewer there is a combination of storm drains and sewer
    i think it is a problem with the city main line and thats what keeps the water coming out,

    also like redwood said some cheap drain person just knock a hole in your clean out cap and instead of replacing it just left it open ! !

    Which is very very bad ! !

    MACPLUMB 777

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