Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

 
 
or
Submit
Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 3/13/2018

Water is coming up from multiple places in my bathroom and laundry room.

When my washer drains water comes out from under my toilet (where the floor and toilet meet), inside the toilet, tub and the laundry room drain on the floor. This is a older home that was built in the late 50s maybe early 60s. It does not have a basement or a crawl space per se. There is a small space between the house and the ground. I'm not having any problems when I use the kitchen sink or when I flush the toilet. I want to mention also that the water that does come up appears to be clear with no smell. I was freaking out when it first happened that it was going to be horrid smelling, total sewer water. I did have Rotor Rooter come, they ran their snake and camera down the toilet. They said I had a few tree roots that they cleared out, but it happened again two days later. What do I do? We've already put a lot of money into this house and I love it.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question


1 Answer

0
Votes

Angies List computer is taking out paragraph breaks AGAIN - I am inserting ==== ===== at every paragraph break for readability.

====

====

OK - that small space between ground and floor joists is called a crawlspace, BTW.

====

====

The reason you did not get noticeable sewage smell is the sewage water was downstream of the house, and you were pouring laundry water into the drain - so what was backing up was the laundry water which the sewer pipe could not handle - with a bit of sewage in it from going through the same pipes so clean up well with soap and disinfectant like bleach where it overflowed.

====

====

Sounds first like you have a leaking wax seal under the toilet, to let backup water come up around it that way - though if they dismounted the toilet to run the camera/snake then hopefully they correctly put a new wax seal in which might solve that problem.

====

====

The key here is you can use some water - kitchen sink and toilet - without it backing up - meaning the blockage is one of two places/types:

====

====

1) is on a branch which the washer leads to, and water is backing up from the blockage to those three overflow/leakage points on the same branch - presumably the lowest ones in the house. Because it is coming up from floor drain and tub (presumably real close to same elevation) and a bit into the toilet (presumably not very high if it is coming out the presumably lower elevation floor drain and tub), and these are presumably the lowest elevation drains in the house, the blockage is downstream of those. I would normally have said it could be on a branch line within the house "stack" or "octopus" drain piping except you say you can use the toilet with no problem and the line was routed out and showed some roots (which means he got into the underground section) - so that branch line within the house should presumably be free-flowing - and if the camera showed nothing significant (like broken or offset pipe) then presumably that branch is clear to the in-ground section as far as he got.

====

====

2) therefore, since no blockage was found in the sewer cleaning run, and this is especially common with washer discharge (the largest volume and flow rate of water you discharge in a short period of time), what is presumably happening is you have a partial blockage further downstream. Normal water use, including the up to 5 gallons from a toilet or full sink draining, and the lower water flow rates from shower and such, will back up at the blockage and then slowly drain out as it flows past the blockage, in the meantime backing up upstream of the blockage, filling up the sewer line upstream of the blockage until it drains out.

====

====

Since normal 3 and 4 inch sewer lines hold about 1/3 and 2/3 gallons per lineal foot respectively, for a typical toilet discharge of around 3-5 gallons, that means if the blockage is fairly complete (unlikely if not plugging up with toilet use) it would take about 2-15 feet of pipe downstream of the most downstream-most overflowing drain to hold a toilet flush worth of water until it could drain out - less if the blockage is letting a fair amount of water flow by it. But a 15-20 gallon washer discharge could potentially fill up about 20-60 lineal feet of 3-4 inch sewer line - less if a significant amount of water gets past the blockage as the machine is discharging into the pipe, so some is escaping downstream while more is backing up in the pipe.

====

====

So, what you almost certainly have is a blockage further down the sewer line to the septic tank or street - could be due to roots, broken pipe, offset pipe joint, a low point which has been accumulating sediment, etc. What you need is a full-length pipe cleaning -and since roots were already detected, I recommend a full-diameter mechanical scraper head like this - notice the spring steel cutter which fits inside the pipe and scrapes the built-up soap scum, fiber, and grease from the inside ofthe pipe as well as cutting small roots. There are more rugged cutterheads which cut through bigger roots if needed. If the Roto Rooter guy ran a snake, even if all the way to the street, if might have just punched through the blockage and not really removed it, or broke it free but it lodged in another tight spot or root clump downstream - meaning it needs to be chased all the eay to the septic tank or street.

====

====

Sometimes a jetting cleaner can cut roots, sometimes not depending on pressure and design - I certainly do not trust them without a camera run (or nose-mounted camera) to prove, as it is pulled out, that there are no skips or missed roots. A "snake" - the spring arrow point type - can just punch a hole through a clog without clearing it, so you need something that will do a full-diameter cleaning.

====

====

https://www.plumbingsupply.com/images...

====

====

Full-diameter, full length cleaning should be done every 10-20 years preventatively anyway depending on how much hot water you put down the drains (a good thing) and how much garbage disposal cuttings and grease goes down (bad things). Is commonly around $150-300 depending on length of run and how many entry points are needed (commonly from inside house, then entering the pipe from cleanout standpipes outside every 100 feet to the septic tank or street sewer).

====

====

Camera run, as part of same trip (usually done only if the tech "feels" a distorted pipe or heavy roots through the cable with routers, needs on-board camera or after-run with jetting systems) IF you ask them in advance, commonly nothing if they bring it but don't need it, about $100-150 commonly to do the run non same visit. Tell them in advance if you want camera brought, or at leat ask if they will be bringing one, because many companies with multiple trucks only have one or two cameras. And color camera is MUCH better than B&W - these days everyone should have a color one, so that is a must-have in my book. Soooo much better at showing up cracked pipes and root penetrations.

====

====

Sewer Cleaning is of course the Search the List category for this type full-line cleaning - and you might price around, because from word of mouth and prior comments here some of the franchise guys charge unbelievable rates, and even worse for any repairs. GET QUOTES ! At least if you need any repairs.

====

====

And since you have root issues, I recommend using Root-X - yearly per instructions if you just had filaments of roots in the line and it has been years since cleaning, twice yearly if good sized roots got in there or it was cleaned not more than a few years ago (if you know). I actually recommend two treatments a month or so apart initially a month or two after the cleaning to kill the roots right at the line now (which were cut off by the routing out so not exposed in the pipe right after the routing) to kill them once they start putting tendrils into the pipe again. They commonly come from above, so have to regrow into the pipe some for the Root-X to get good coverage, because even though it foams it still gets the bottom half of the pipe the best, the very top the least. About $25 for a DIY treatment

Answered 8 months ago by LCD




Related Questions


Terms Of Use
|
Privacy Policy