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fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

[Plumbing] Still have sewer issues

It's January and in upstate NY. Temps have been above freezing (about 35 to 40 past couple days). I just did laundry in my basement and now I have a lot of water leaking from the base of the basement toilet. There have been two new wax rings put there and I still have the issues.

Here's some history:
1. About three years ago, I had the main line rootered out or whatever it's called with the auger. Ever since then I've been putting in the stuff to kill roots 3 to 4 times a year.
2. Whenever we get a 100 year storm, water comes up the main line and leaks from the base of the toilet. County came out and said my main line is not clogged and they can't do anything about it. They offer main line rootering for $25 subsidized by the tax payers (not bad).
3. I was thinking of getting a backflow preventer to prevent what I described above for when it storms but I see reviews that they're pretty useless and/or hard to maintain. Either way, that would not help me right now since the water is coming from inside the house (laundry).

Any idea why I'm having this issue now? Too warm for pipes to freeze but too cold for roots to grow. I never have had any issues in the winter. It's usually warmer weather when roots get there.

Would putting the toilet up an inch higher help this? Not sure how that would be done or what. I'm confused.


iknow_t

join:2012-05-03

[Plumbing] Re: Still have sewer issues

water should NEVER leak from the wax ring. the drain must be too far away from the toilet for the wax ring to seal properly, there are adapters made to raise the effective height of the drain, someone did that a while back. when the toilet is lifted off, the old wax ring should have a deep indentation in it from proper contact. also, sure, the water may be coming from inside the house, BUT, it should be draining off to the sewer. you have a design flaw in the drain system.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

Or the sewer system is overloaded due to runoff from the thaw.


Hellrazor

join:2002-02-02
Abyss, PA
reply to fartness

Now you know where the stinkbugs are hibernating

A wax ring isn't going to stop your problem.

Roots can be a problem even during winter. If they cut the roots out, the stubs are still there to catch TP, etc. This will reduce the flow size of the pipe. $25 is cheap to get the pipes done. I would do it yearly for that price.


iknow_t

join:2012-05-03

said by Hellrazor:

Now you know where the stinkbugs are hibernating

A wax ring isn't going to stop your problem.

wrong. his problem is water leaking from the wax ring. a PROPERLY installed toilet will NOT leak from the wax ring!.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

If the wax ring is seated properly and sealing water cannot leak around it.



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to fartness

Is there a possibility that there's a hole that is bigger than the wax ring?

I remember when the drain was rootered out, then the toilet was replaced, the water in the toilet would bubble up whenever there would be an issue. Sometimes it would bubble then drain the water from the bowl. Flushing would put water back in the toilet bowl of course.

Can water be going around the wax seal, even if it's properly installed?

What should I do and what should I buy?


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Hellrazor

said by Hellrazor:

A wax ring isn't going to stop your problem.

I see that a couple of posters have stated that a properly installed wax ring will prevent water from leaking around it. A wax ring is a gas seal and not a pressurized water seal. If the sewer line backs up past the floor level then the wax ring can definitely leak.

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03

said by robbin:

said by Hellrazor:

A wax ring isn't going to stop your problem.

I see that a couple of posters have stated that a properly installed wax ring will prevent water from leaking around it. A wax ring is a gas seal and not a pressurized water seal. If the sewer line backs up past the floor level then the wax ring can definitely leak.

not if it's properly installed.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to robbin

A properly installed and seated wax seal will not leak water from either direction. There is simply not enough pressure to force water to channel through the diameter of the wax.



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

1 edit
reply to fartness

Even if it is properly installed, the water is backing up for some reason, and will still come out of somewhere, likely the bowl itself.

1. How to fix the wax ring?
2. Why is water coming through in the first place, short of any improperly installed wax rings?

I almost feel like I should just get rid of the basement toilet and be done with it.

Also, the next time I need to dry water up quick or prevent it from spreading, should I use puppy training pads or is there something small that will soak up a lot of water?


H_T_R_N
Premium
join:2011-12-06
Valencia, PA
kudos:1

Back flow preventer.

Is there any other drain opening in the basement that water is coming up through or just the toilet?



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to fartness

Fartness is the toilet installed on a slab?



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

I think? Not sure what a slab is but the floor is concrete.

PS. Just did another load of laundry and there's 2x the water on the floor now.



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to H_T_R_N

I don't see how a backflow preventer would even help. The water is not even getting a chance to flow through the mainline and into eternity. The water is getting stuck somewhere under the house then flowing out under the toilet. I would need two backflow preventers: one under the house to keep tabs on the water inside the house from coming back inside and one in front of the house to prevent the sewer water from coming inside. Not happening.

So annoyed, I live alone here, why do I need two toilets. What do I need to buy and or do to just cap the toilet off?



Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:1
reply to fartness

If the laundry is in the basement, and the toilet is in the basement, do you have a sewage lift pump? Have you checked to make sure it is working properly?


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to fartness

Either your line is clogged or the entire sewer system is full. Taking the toilet out doesn't fix the problem. The problem isn't the toilet or the leak. The problem is that your line is not allowing the washer to drain properly. The toilet is just giving you a clue that there is a problem.



hmm

@videotron.ca

Is it possible he has two issues here?

1. The wax ring, and
2. definitely a sewer line block someplace causing a back-up. There has to be some pressure and resistance causing the washing machine water to come out from under the defective toilet seal, no?


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

That's my point. The wax ring isn't the problem. The water level in the sewer line is above the level of the toilet flange. He needs to fix that problem.



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to fartness

Re: [Plumbing] Still have sewer issues

So if I call someone over, what should I tell them to do or what should I go to HD/Lowes and buy for them to do?



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

Should I try this? It gets good reviews:
»www.homedepot.com/p/Instant-Powe···0126446#



scope

@optonline.net
reply to fartness

You should tell them the issue (and anything you have attempted to remedy it) you are having and let them figure out what the problem is and what they should do.

I never understood why people would call a pro and then tell them what to do...

I would get someone with a scope to see what the issue is.



Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to fartness

Still sounds like a damaged main line to me, with roots growing into it. Auguring roots out of a line is not a solution. Depending on the type of tree the roots are from, they will just grow back into a damaged pipe to the point of total clog within a few months to a year. Every time you augur it, you damage the pipe further, and the roots are always damaging it further on their own. Before long, the damaged pipe will collapse under the weight of the soil around it, and then you'll have no choice but to dig it out and replace it. You may keep auguring it until that time, but it's just delaying the inevitable -that day will come when the pipe has a catastrophic collapse.

You need to get the line scoped and see how much damage there is, and where it is, then weigh your options as far as replacing the entire line, or just the broken section(s).

BTW, when I had a damaged main line, I had been using both copper sulfate and Root-X regularly, and they didn't seem to bother the (bamboo) roots at all, just money down the toilet (literally). I dug it up and fixed it myself, but my line was only a couple feet down, I'm sure yours is more than 10 feet down, so it's gonna be a professional job, and probably very expensive.


MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to fartness

How old is the house?
If it's mid-1960's or earlier then you probably have clay sewer pipes. These are easily busted by tree roots and augering the roots is only a temporary stopgap measure.

Somebody needs to slip a video camera down the sewer line and see exactly where the problem is. If the roots are getting in at, say, 50' from the camera entrance, then you should replace at least 10' of pipe centred at the 50' mark (ie. 5' either side of the problem).

That deals with the root issue.

------------

The other thing for the drain guy to check is the slope of the sewer pipe and make sure it's uniform for the entire length with no sags or flat spots. Otherwise sewage can clog the pipe even if there are no roots in the pipe.

-----------------

You say that you have backups when there's a lot of rain - this is because the area you live in probably has a combined sanitary/storm drain system. When it pours outside, the underground pipes have to carry not only the sewage but also all the rain going down the storm drains on the street. A pipe can only carry so much water and then it looks for other ways to relieve the pressure, and it finds your basement.

Get your pipe fixed and install a MAINLINE backflow preventer - they work.
»backwatervalve.com/
This will stop water from backing up into your basement during storms, and force the water to look elsewhere to relieve the pressure in the sewer main - probably your neighbour's house instead



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

1924 built house. Was from an estate sale so the person's kid who lived here (executor of the will) got to answer "no knowledge" of any issues due to it being an estate. What a load of shit. Anyway...

I agree about the camera part. Any idea what it should cost? My idea is to send the county out to auger the line, then have a company come and stick a camera down it. The backflow preventer won't help today's issue since the laundry line and toilet are pretty much right next to each other.

Why does that mainline cleaner from Home Depot get such good reviews?



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5
reply to fartness

Do you have any floor drains in the basement? Does the water level in the toilet rise when the washer drains? Sounds like you may have a cracked flange in the floor.. Can you take a few pics of the toilet in question?

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

No floor drains. Toilet water stays the same. Pics tomorrow.



hmm

@videotron.ca
reply to fartness

How many times have you had a plumber out to fix your sewer line?

Seems to me that over the past 2 years or so I have seen 3 o4 topics from you due to all the same thing, flooding from a blocked sewer line, or the city sewers back-up and you end up walking in the sh*t and piss of hundreds of people.

It's time to address the issues at hand, don't you think? That means soaking money into it to fix the issues.

You don't have to go out and spend thousands on emergency back-ups and whatnot with marine batteries and other crap that people have fed you here over the years. Just do the basics.

1. Mainline backwater valve (you know you flood in spring or heavy rains due to the city sewer problems).
2. The blockage you seem to have, again.

If you want to get all fancy you can buy a simple plug in alarm to hook up to the mainline backwater valve. When the flap lifts due to A) a sewer-backup, or B) a blockage, the alarm will sound telling you not to flush your toilets, do the dishes, take a shower or do the laundry.

Or do nothing and keep paying a plumber every year or two.

said by fartness:

I don't see how a backflow preventer would even help. The water is not even getting a chance to flow through the mainline and into eternity.

If the water goes nowhere the float on the Mainline backwater valve will lift. You will not even notice this, or know it's happening. This is why the Alarm that they sell for it would suit you. Myself I don't have one, or need one. But you seem to have this recurring blockage problem. If the alarm goes off you know something is wrong and you need to stop all water going down the drain. Simple as that.

If the blockage is before the exit of the Mainline backwater valve, then it will come up where there is the least resistance, like the basement shower, floor drain, toilet etc. Though I have not ever seen it come out of the toilet seal before.

Alternatively (or in addition to the above), and depending if your basement toilet is *not* connected right to the main sewer line and you have the room to work, you could also add a backwater valve for the basement washroom. A cheap one with the flap as a double security (~30$) should the Mainline fail, or a blockage occurs before the Mainline one.

Think we already went through costs of all this in another topic. It isn't all that expensive.


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

All very good ideas in a general sense.

However as said before he needs to get the line cleaned and inspected. This will give a diagnosis and point to a solution that will solve his specific problem.

The problem could be many things:
1. Town Sewer is overloaded
2. Roots
3. Pipe is original from 1920 and has rusted, cracked, collapsed etc
4. Buildup from grease, paper, disposal, laundry soap etc
5. Many other causes only an inspection will determine.

Only an inspection will diagnose the problem and lead to a proper long term solution.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.



Booost

@151.190.40.x
reply to fartness

said by fartness:

My idea is to send the county out to auger the line, then have a company come and stick a camera down it.

Skip the augering. Get someone out to look at the line while you're experiencing a problem. That way they can correctly diagnose the problem!!

I see a new sewer line in your future. Expect to pay well over $10k. Homeowner's insurance may pay part of the cost. Coworker paid $30k (although I think they got ripped-off).