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Thread: clogged main drain line?

  1. #1

    Default clogged main drain line?

    i have a 2 story home built in 1924 there is a full bath upstairs and one down off the kitchen
    here is my problem
    1st
    downstairs bath sink and tub drain super slo(takes at least 24 hours to drain a full sink)however toilet flushes just fine ,when the toilet is flushed there is a gurgling in the bathtub drain, but water does not back up past tub drain, the main drain line for this sink meets under the bath and goes out basement wall
    2nd
    kitchen sink drains slow but not as bad as bathroom a few feet away, the drain line for this sink goes down to underneath basement floor
    3rd
    this is where things get interesting, when water starts to back up in the sink, or just using alot of water anywhere in the house, it overflows a gutter line on the side of my house spilling waste water into my driveway.
    P.S.
    there is no back up visible upstairs but contributes to gutter drain overflow along with basement washing mashine

  2. #2
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Default

    Sounds like you are describing a home in North Riverside. Very common for the main sewer to be clogged and back up out of the down spouts. Its time to call a sewer and drain cleaner. Just avoid anyone with the word Rooter in their name.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Toilet Paper and Poo coming out of the gutter is a good sign of a clogged Main Line where older combined flow sewer systems exist...

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

    You have what is called an "overhead" sewer, which is why it does not back up onto the basement floor. You may also have a sink without a vent which is why the toilet flushes but the sink does not drain. You need a plumber to unplug your main line. There is nothing "interesting" or unusual about your symptoms. The interesting thing is that you have tried to live with the symptoms this long, without calling a plumber.

  5. #5
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    You have what is called an "overhead" sewer, which is why it does not back up onto the basement floor. You may also have a sink without a vent which is why the toilet flushes but the sink does not drain. You need a plumber to unplug your main line. There is nothing "interesting" or unusual about your symptoms. The interesting thing is that you have tried to live with the symptoms this long, without calling a plumber.
    HJ is right, you should of had this addressed a lot sooner. The longer you wait the more the raw sewerage will turn into sludge, which can be very difficult to get cleared out with just a sewer rodder. I have been on many of these calls where someone lived with the problem for over two weeks, the only way i was able to get the line open was with a jetter.

  6. #6

    Default reply

    i wasnt too upset when i thought it was localized in the downstairs sink and bath, i just didnt use those lines, now that the sink is backing up and water(only liquid) is coming from the downspout, im trying to adress this, thanks for pointing out i should have called somone earlier that was NICE, but being a disabled veteran with limited mobility and funds i do what i can, but im finishing my pre med so good luck with plumber retirement there NICE guy. mabye when you come to get a bypass ill say thats not interesting but the amount of chips youv ate sure is, I mean really do u feel better now

  7. #7

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    so is this a possible D I Y? if the pipes are that old will it be better to dig them out and get new pvc in or just have them cleaned. i think i could handle replacing the lines but ive never used an electric auger. also after experimenting with the situation i have found that the upstairs bathroom does not contribute to the outflow of the downspout drain and its main goes out through the floor. I highly appreciate HJ's limited advice but if anyone else can drop some more details on me i would be glad

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I would recommend calling a pro!

    In most cases they'll have you up and running within a few hours of placing the call. They will also be able to tell if there is some type of problem with the line in many cases.

    The problem With DIYing drain cleaning is that a proper sized machine packs quite a bit of power and can cause serious injury or damage to the equipment. Rental equipment is not always heavy duty enough and tends to be in poor condition from all the inexperienced users. Some are downright dangerous due to their poor condition.

    I personally believe based on my own experience that it takes about a full year for a new guy just coming into the drain cleaning trade to get where he is really good at it...

  9. #9
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    I personally believe based on my own experience that it takes about a full year for a new guy just coming into the drain cleaning trade to get where he is really good at it...
    I know some guys that been drain cleaning for 10 years and still have no clue. But I do agree drain cleaning should be left to a pro, I seen to many people get hurt by renting a machine. I know a lady that lost most her fingers on one hand from using a pistol rod she rented.

  10. #10

    Default called the pros

    Thanks for the advice everyone i was surprised how quick it was and relatively cheap. happy early 4th of July everyone

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Good Choice!
    Glad to hear that you're draining again!

  12. #12
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    was with a jetter.
    please post a tutorial link on this machine, so I may learn. . .

    Interesting avatar.

  13. #13
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Last edited by Redwood; 07-02-2009 at 04:47 PM.

  14. #14
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Cable machines and pistol machines are rentable. I don't know about jetters.
    I just post cuz I like to see my avatar.

  15. #15
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Well, I'm sold.
    What kind of PSI does it take to make water do this to a chicken?
    Will these jets amputate fingers?
    Cut small tree roots?
    Last edited by Thatguy; 07-02-2009 at 05:31 PM.

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