Clogged Waste Line-What do I need to know about how a plumber fixes this?

Old 12-17-07, 07:50 PM
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Clogged Waste Line-What do I need to know about how a plumber fixes this?

I have a two story home with a finished basement and bathroom in the basement in central georgia. The home was built in 1997, and the basement was finished by a previous homeowner several years ago. About 45 days ago I experienced sewage/waste back-up in the tubs and showers throughout the house on the main level with no issues in the basement.

I called out a plumber who ran a snake through the line from one of the toilets the clog cleared up and seemed to be fixed.

Today the line backed up again...I have crawled all over the basement and mapped the waste piping and have found a section of the branch pipe that is filled with water (knocked on it with my knuckles). The branch pipe runs in the basement ceiling to the wall takes a 90 degree turn down for about three feet and then ducks into the concrete foundation wall in the basement on one side of the house. All of my upstairs plumbing is on this line. My basement plumbing has been completly unaffected and drains through a wall on the opposite side of the house the only septic tank I know about is on that side of the house. The run under the basement slab would be about 80 feet and the fact that the waste branch ducks through the wall about 4 feet off the floor seems to indicate a second undisclosed septic tank. But the lack of knowledge is killing me.

I have several questions for folks smarter than me.

1. How likely is it that the waste line with all of my upstairs plumbing on it doubles back under the house to use the same septic tank as my basement fixtures? It is about an 80 foot run and there is a significant amount of crud backing up the pipe vertically and horizontally.

2. Is it more likely that I have a second unknown septic tank? Are there any telltales I can look for outside the house to confirm or deny the the prescence of the thing? And if there is a second tank should I focus on locating this and getting it pumped?

3. If I do have a clog in the main waste drag going underneath my basement slab what options do I have as far as calling a plumber with specific equipment for clearing the clog once and for all? I really do not want to get into a situation where I have a recurring problem with this coming up over and over. I don't want a hole punched in the clog I want the material blasted out...

Lastly any ballpark ideas about costs are welcome. I would really like to get it fixed quickly but I want to feel comfortable that I won't end up paying triple for cleaning something out for good when no such thing may be possible.
Old 12-18-07, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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In my area the local building official maiintains plot plans that include septic systems. That's how I located mine.

I'm not a plumber, but I wouldn't think the main house drain would cross under basement to a septic on the other side.

Did you check the slope of the pipe in the ceiling? Any chance it may have gotten moved when the basement was refinished? Are you sure the septic isn't full? Can you run a snake down to the section of pipe that seems to have water in it? Lastly, is there a cleanout where the pipe exits the foundation.

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