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Thread: Basement Sewage Issues

  1. #1

    Default Basement Sewage Issues

    I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to this stuff but I like to do things myself to save money. Here's my issue:

    We finished our basement 2 years ago. We have an issue with the sewage drain pipe from the 3/4 bath in the basement. It clogs sometimes. Typically after my son uses the toilet down there. If you know what I mean... He took a shower down there this morning.

    It will back up and sewage will flow out of the hole that a pipe under the furnace drains into. There is another larger hole beside it that has a plastic cover then another screw on cover a few inches below it. I remove those covers over the larger hole to stick a hose down into the pipe to clear any clog.

    This morning, I noticed some moisture around the furnace hole and removed that cover to see water near to the top. So I'm assuming that I have another clog. But I twice flushed the toilet down there and the water level didn't rise in the furnace hole. So I'm a bit confused.

    Sorry, I don't have any pics. So I have two questions. First, do I need to remove the cover over the larger hole and unclog the pipe? It's a messy business so I would like to avoid it if it's not the problem. Second, how can I fix this issue without tearing up my basement floor and replacing pipe, if possible?
    Last edited by Festivus; 09-22-2009 at 05:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    You need to run a drain snake with a 3" cutter head on it through the cleanout, the threaded cap hole...you may have a partial blockage that keeps backing up...

    Does the rest of the house cause any back up or just that 1 toilet?

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the quick response.

    Just the one toilet in the basement causes the backup, as far as I can tell. It seems to me that the rest of the house connects to the main sewage outlet after the spot that clogs. But I honestly don't know the architecture of the pipes.

    Can I rent a drain snake with a 3" cutter head? The first time this happened we called a plumber. I think that he just used a garden hose but I wasn't there. So are you thinking that the hose isn't clearing the entire clog? Kinda like cholesterol sticking to the walls in an artery?

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A 3" cutter head in a novice's hands can literally rip fingers and injure you severely. So no, I suggest you don't try this yourself.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There are some jobs that are just beyond us (DIYers) and require a professional. A 3" auger is a very powerful tool and it is very easy to damage you drain and more importantly, yourself trying to operate it. I'm not sure you could even find one that you could rent.

  6. #6

    Default

    OK, makes sense. So what do you guys think is the reason that I keep getting backups? Is it bad design where the pipes are too level and the flow isn't fast enough? When I access the pipes and I see water flowing through it doesn't seem to be moving all that quickly. Or is it that I'm getting a clog at some elbow or junction somewhere?

    Should I first run a toilet/closet auger down the toilet to see if I can loosen anything?

    I would like to figure how the root cause of the problem before I pay a pro to come out and maybe just do a temporary fix that I could have done myself.

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