Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
Ask

    Water in sewer line to the street connection

    Asked Apr 8, 2007, 11:19 AM 9 Answers
    I have been having problems with clogged drains lately. All fixtures backed up except the kitchen sink, which is the closest fixture to exiting the house. I located the clean out on the outside of the house that leads to the service connection at the street. I notice there is about two inches of water in the 4" pipe. My question is: Should there be water standing in this line at all times, even when no fixture is being used? Could I have a clog closer to the street service connection? Thanks for any help. Edit: The original backup was resolved using chemicals and now everything flushes and drains. When flushing the toilet and viewing the flow at the cleanout to the street, I can see the flow volume increase but the soilds move very slowly through the pipe. About two inches of water remain in the pipe after the flush.

    Last edited by vapnut; Apr 8, 2007 at 11:30 AM.
    Search this Thread
    Share |
    9 Answers
    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,595, Reputation: 1911
    Senior Plumbing Expert
     
    #2

    Apr 8, 2007, 12:38 PM


    " Should there be water standing in this line at all times, even when no fixture is being used?"
    No, The only way there would be standing water in the sewer line is if there were back fall in the line,(unlikely) or a partial clog,(roots?) that let the water build up in the pipe. Most blockages occur at the city raiser,(the point where the house sewer connects to the city main). I would send a snake with a auger tip down the length of the line t5o see what it brought back. Let me know what you find. Regards, Tom
    Helpful (1)
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 26,088, Reputation: 2202
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert
     
    #3

    Apr 8, 2007, 12:41 PM


    There should be no standing water in your drain if no fixtures are draining. It should drain down to zero. Sounds like you do have a clog, maybe tree roots in your line. Rent a electric rodder with a 4" cutter and enough rod to reach from your house to the far side of the street or where ever your sewer line runs in your heighborhood.
    Helpful (1)
    vapnut's Avatar
    vapnut Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #4

    Apr 9, 2007, 02:17 PM
    Thank you for the replies. I dug up about thirty feet of drain line leading from the clean out at the house. As it turned out, I was indeed experiencing "back fall" created by a couple large roots from a oak tree. I was surprised the first seven feet from the clean out and leading to a ell was perfectly level. The next ten feet, on the other side of the ell, was almost level also (no fall) only at about 15 to 20 feet did I begin to get a substantial fall in the line. What is the normal fall" and also, I was surprised to find the sewer line was only buried about a foot or less under ground. I finally was able to get the water level in the pipe from about two inches to less than 1/4 inch. On a side note, I have used this site many times to find out how to do things, or to get ideas about plumbing. This was my first question, so I had to sign up and I'm glad I did! Thanks again, and I hope to see y'all around.
    Helpful
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 26,088, Reputation: 2202
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert
     
    #5

    Apr 10, 2007, 07:16 AM


    The fall should be at least 1/4" p/ft. Since we don't know how deep you sewer is at the street its hard to tell if they just had no options when it was built. Sounds likje its almost running on the surface already. Period treatments with copper sulphate will kill some of those roots. I guess you could'nt get to a clean out since you did the digging I absolutely hate.
    Helpful
    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,595, Reputation: 1911
    Senior Plumbing Expert
     
    #6

    Apr 10, 2007, 07:33 AM
    Let me adda abit to bals post. RootX or Robics Foaming Root Killer that contain Dichlobrnic are two products you could try to control those roots
    A less expensive way would be to call around to garden supply stores and ask for fine grain Copper Sulphate. Put a 1/2 pound in your toilet and flush it down. Repeat in 6 months.
    Hope this helps Tom
    Helpful
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 26,088, Reputation: 2202
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert
     
    #7

    Apr 10, 2007, 07:38 AM
    Hey Vapnut, we never asked and you didnn't offer, are you on sewer or septic? I'll back down on the sulphate if you are on septic. It can screw up your bacteria. If you are on city sewer does as Tom and I said. Cheap old copper sulphate twice a year.
    Helpful
    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,595, Reputation: 1911
    Senior Plumbing Expert
     
    #8

    Apr 10, 2007, 07:41 AM
    Bal, He's on city sewer. Look at the heading in his first post, "Water in sewer line to the street connection " My bet is that he'll find the roots bat the street raiser. Regards, Tom
    Helpful
    vapnut's Avatar
    vapnut Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #9

    Apr 10, 2007, 09:18 AM
    The roots affecting the line are on the outside of the Schd 40 pipe. The line was installed about 20 years ago when we switched from septic to city sewage. There is no indication of roots inside the pipe. When the toilet is flushed, water flows right fast through the line. The installer laid the line over a couple heavy roots near a oak tree which I took out yesterday. We have experienced a couple hurricane force winds that prob disturbed the line, plus normal root growth may have pushed them up some causing the back fall. There is a clean out at the beginning of the run and that is where the water was accumulating. The grade is so slight it is almost level for about ten feet or so, then the grade goes to the 1/4 inch per foot. Everything seems better now as there is only about 1/8 inch of water in the beginning of the line at the clean out. Hope this makes sense.
    Helpful
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 26,088, Reputation: 2202
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert
     
    #10

    Apr 10, 2007, 09:22 AM
    Things do sound better but its too bad about the poor slope of the pipe. You've done so much work it may have been better to regarde the entire line. Time will tell. If you ever start backing up again ask a plumber to use a SeeSnake (camera) you'll be amazed with what you see.
    Helpful

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions

 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.


Check out some similar questions!

New sewer and water line installation [ 6 Answers ]

I have a piece of property that has an existing mobile home on it. I'm having a new mobile home moved onto it this weekend for my mother-in-law. The property has public water and sewer. I am going to be running water and sewer lines for the new home from new taps that the utility company will...

Belly in Sewer Line [ 16 Answers ]

Because our plumbing has stopped up numerous times we had a camera video made. The last time it stopped up I ran the washer and sewer came up through toilet and flooded the bathroom. What a mess! It shows no breaks but a significant belly. Our sewer line is under the slab and the estimate to...

Water line connection for refrigerators [ 9 Answers ]

I'm purchasing a side-by-side refirgerator with a water dispenser and ice maker. The plumber ran a length of thin copper tubing from the sink to through the wall to eventually connect to the appliance. Is that all it takes? Should a shut-off valve be placed on the tubing where it will connect to...

Sewer line vent [ 1 Answers ]

I replaced all the sewer line in my home. The only way to flush toilet is to unhook drian line to upstair sink to get it to flush. Otherwise toilet back up and then very slowly drains. Does this mean the vent is plugged? My line also goes into s septic tank.

Sewer line problem [ 1 Answers ]

I recently bought a new old house (in Madison WI). The house sits at roughly the top of a hill. Shortly after moving in, I noticed that sewage seemed to have backed up through the floor drain in the basement. I cleaned up around the floor drain and for a while nothing more happened. Then I noticed...


View more questions Search