Possibly broken pipes in slab....


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Old 07-17-07, 09:52 PM
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Possibly broken pipes in slab....

Is there another explination for dirt and funk backing up into 2 different sinks and the shower when the washing maching empties? A friend of mine says it's definately a broken pipe in the slab, how can you tell for sure if that is what it is?
 
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Old 07-18-07, 07:15 AM
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It kinda sounds that way. But can you describe for us your layout?

Is your house 1 story on a slab? Or, a house with basement and you are calling trhe basemsnt floor the slab? And then could you say what is upstream and what is downsteam of the next plumbing item? The MOST downstream pipe would be that which exits the hosue as the 3 or 4 inch main sewer line and goes out to the city sewer or septic tank.

You have more than one issue going on. Not only do you have dirt backing up because of a crack or break in the drain pipe; but for what you have occuring, that means the line downstream is all clogged up also, and not letting the water pass, so therefore it is backing up into pipes that are in between, UPSTREAM from that point some. My guess is that your clog is past the point (downstream) where water is backing up into those other pipes.

You could even have a tree root issue that is at the ROOT cause of this problem. And there are foaming root killers that can be quite effective and fast acting and cheaper than the rooter guy, if that is the case.

How can you test? Well, we know that is happening. The real question now is where IS it. Often times people can clear clogs themselves by use of a sewer tape or snake - but in this case you may want to spring for a pro who can first tell you he has good feel with the auger and can tell you how many feet down the line is where he is running into a problem.

But you could try this first: You can buy a rubber hose attachment that can blast junk down the line. You would have to cap off though the places where this dirty water is backing up the other pipes first. Then put the hose blaster (1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch size attachment) down the washingmachine standpipe.

But before you do this there is more important information to give, to make sure water doesn't come gushing out back at you when you release the pressure!, and I'd like to know your entire layout including where there might be a main 3" or 4" vertical stack, and also where there are main cleanouts in the slab, in relation to the other plumbing pipes/fixtures.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 07-18-07 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Part about roots added
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Old 07-18-07, 08:10 PM
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Ok, I am not really sure that I can answer all of your questions... becasue I am not completely familiar with all of the workings and drainings of the pipes. We have an aerobic system, and a 1 story house on a slab. The problem is only occuring in the back part of the house.. which is an addition. That 1/2 has also settled and is a bit lower than the original portion of the house. As for the roots... there are no trees any where around the house. The closest is a pear tree and it's a LONG way away.
As for as what's up and downstream.. I have no clue. the only visible pipes are coming out of the house and are attached to our Clearstream system outside. That is in the back corner of the house which is the corner of the laundry room. And a 1inch pipe that is under my kitchen sink.

I am sorry if I sound like a moron, but we live in a very small town and there is 1 plumber readily available who charges an arm and a leg to make 1 visit tell you what's wrong and then come back later to fix it. I was hoping if it wasnt a broken pipe that it was something I could try to fix myself. I would like to try the snake, where should I start? In the bathroom toilet where the backing up is occuring?
 
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Old 07-19-07, 06:25 AM
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Then explain where each of these plumbing fixtures are and how many feet about that they are away from each other, that you mention.

I'd definitely be able to fix or advise if I was there to see it myself, but we have to have more to go on here.

Who did the plumbing under the addition? I'm wondering if someone dry fit the pipe sections and forgot to glue up one of the joints and now sand is trickling down into the pipe there. Or, maybe with enough settling (how muchsettling?) did indeed crack or pull something apart under there.
 
 

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