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    inkydi's Avatar
    inkydi Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 23, 2008, 03:01 PM
    Floor Drain Backup as well as catch basin
    I've looked through previous questions but have not seen anything pertinent to my problem.

    Last November we had our main sewer line rodded out as a preventative measure. They also cleaned out the catch basin. We had no problems with back ups etc.

    Now (in the dead of Chicago Winter) our two floor drains in the basement and the catch basin will over flow when we wash clothes, bathe, do dishes etc. The problem started when we had one warm day when the snow cover started to melt & then it rained. The drains backed up. We called the company who rodded out the line & they came out & re-rodded.

    He used the industrial electric powered snake and worked on it for 4 hours. He did come up with a few feminine products (the flushable type) but that was it. Our lots are long, 180 ft but our house is located near the front of the lot and he used an extension on the snake making it 120 ft. He was baffled. He thought we may have a "valley" in the pipe or that it's more than 120 ft to the street line. He used the claw like end on the snake as well as a ball type one. He said we could have a video of the line done ($300) or possibly a jet flush ($700).

    Prior to the snow melt day we have been using the basement shower exclusively because the upstairs shower needs a new faucet. Do you think that has anything to do with the problem? Could there be a problem originating from the city sewer line? Any helpful advice would be most appreciated.

    Our house was built in the late 1920's. There is a full bath on the first floor and directly below that in the basement is a BR with a shower sink and toilet. (This is located approx. in the middle of the house. The catch basin is in the back of the house, then the washer and a floor drain. The other floor drain is right next to the basement shower. Thanks for any advice.
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,832, Reputation: 1212
    Senior Plumbing Expert

    Feb 23, 2008, 06:20 PM
    Hey Ink... at this point, for $300.00 get that drain videoed... just make sure you are present and make sure he gives you a copy of the video... then you know for sure. No need to jet ($700.00 ish..right??) until you know foir sure what is going on.

    It could be anything really...even tree roots...175 feet just be sure that camera can go that far....and is included in the price!!!.

    I know that if a qualified person worked on this for 4 hours and still has no answer.. he is either a hack... OR the problem is further out... or he worked through a collapse... and cannot tell by hand.

    Go for the camera inspection... let us know what he finds. We will help as much as we can.

    If this helped, please RATE THIS ANSWER by clicking on rate this answer button at upper right or bottom of this post. Thank you.

    Oh.. and catch basin.. what are you talking about??

    MOWERMAN2468's Avatar
    MOWERMAN2468 Posts: 3,214, Reputation: 243
    Ultra Member

    Feb 23, 2008, 06:44 PM
    The catch basin is probably what we would refer to as a "grease trap". I don't know about the regulations in Chicago, are you responsible for the sewage system all the way to the street, or just to a set distance from the house? Contact the sewage system company and ask how much of the sewer line is your responsibility. Are there no cleanouts in between the house and the street? If not, I would want them no further than 75 or 80 feet apart.
    inkydi's Avatar
    inkydi Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 24, 2008, 07:21 AM
    Thanks for your replies Massplumber & Mowerman.
    I am actually in a little village just west & south of Chicago. (I can see the skyline from home so I'm not in the boonies.) I did speak with the Village & I am responsible for my private line all the way to the street. I did make a formal complant to the village so they are on notice that I am having a problem. That way, if it is something that they are responsible for, they have been notified.

    Yes, the "catch basin" is supposed to "catch" the grease & soap scum before it goes into the main sewer line. The guy who came out in November cleaned the catch basin as well as rodding out the line. When he was done the water was low, clear & I could see to the bottom. Now it is about 3 inches from the top and murky. My poor husband has been emptying it by the bucketfuls just so we can use the facilities.

    I haven't noticed any cleanouts. They'd look like a pipe with a big nut head on them, right? Two neighbors have had problems in years past and added cleanouts near the street to the tune of a couple grand. One had smashed drain tiles & had to dig up the street. The other just put in a cleanout on the parkway.

    Actually if Ilived in Chicago proper they have a program that pays to get your private drain repaired. Wouldn't that be sweet?

    I will take your advice & get the video done. Should I insist that they look through all (2) the floor drains too?
    I will certainly let you know what the outcome is. Thanks again for your help.

    Inky Di
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,832, Reputation: 1212
    Senior Plumbing Expert

    Feb 24, 2008, 07:36 AM
    Hi Ink... Have them start on the long run with camera... see what is found. They will not be able to go around the floor drain trap with the camera... so no need to even ask on that.

    Then, just for fun, call codes enforcement in your city/town and see how far a run of sewer can be without adding a cleanout/manhole.. in my area, code says every 100 feet or less... but you may fall under different rules... If you don't like their answer call the STATE PLUMBING INSPECTOR and ask him what he thinks of your situation. Seems to me that the village may have violated a code or two here... but don't get hopes up yet... ok?

    Also, again, be sure that the price of the camera inspection includes the total distance out to street... and then watch that you see camera enter into city sewer (it will be obvious when they hit it).

    Good luck with this... keep us posted. If this helped, please RATE MY ANSWER... thank you

    inkydi's Avatar
    inkydi Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 24, 2008, 09:13 AM
    Thanks Massplumber.

    I will call to ask about length of sewer/cleanouts code. (Good advice) But if the code was adopted after my home was built I would think it would be exempt.

    I am pretty sure that the video will go all the way to the street. I think I asked the guy that when he suggested it. I am not sure if they actually tape the video. (I'll ask.) I am thinking it's along the lines of an arthroscopy where they don't always record it. I'll call today to make an appt. for the video.

    I will keep you posted. :) Thanks!
    Inky Di
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,832, Reputation: 1212
    Senior Plumbing Expert

    Feb 24, 2008, 09:21 AM
    Hey Ink... they always do a video in my area... all companies I have worked with... so hope they do there, too.

    Good luck on cleanout distance stuff... State inspector will give best answer... I think.
    inkydi's Avatar
    inkydi Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 1, 2008, 03:24 PM
    Hi Guys,

    First... Thank you for advising me on the way to go with my sewer dilemma. I really appreciate it.
    I just wanted to update you on our situation with the sewer line. The video guy came out & my husband & he decided to do the jet flush first. (It was my husbands birthday & he had been dumping buckets of catch basin water for 4 days. He just wanted it done.)

    They had a little trouble getting it clear but eventually they got through. I had them do a video anyway. Apparently they found a "problem" in the middle of the street. They marked the street where the problem was. I still haven't had a chance to view the video because I've been working all week.

    So, our sewer line is working well for the time being. I suspect that other issues may come up later.

    With that in mind, I did try to locate information on State ordinances but there are a million of them. Do you have any suggestions on " official plumber lingo" to use when I search for ordinances on where private & public sewer lines meet? In your experience would the state have an actual person who could direct me to where I could find an answer. I'm not adverse to digging a bit to find an answer, I'd just like to know where to start digging. If this is a problem that our village has some responsibility for I certainly want them to take care of it.
    Thanks for any insight you can provide.
    Inky Di
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,832, Reputation: 1212
    Senior Plumbing Expert

    Mar 1, 2008, 04:12 PM
    Call the state plumbing inspector's office.. see if his personnel can help you. They should at least be able to help you with the lingo. Thanks for the update. Please continue to keep us posted.

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