Venting of Clog issue??

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Old 02-02-09, 06:34 AM
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Venting or Clog issue??

Hi guys,

Been a while since I posted here, but wondered if anyone can help me with an issue in our laundry room.

With our current setup, we have a washing machine, toilet and sink all linked to one sewer/drain. The toilet is at the end of the line, and the sink and washer attach as branches between the toilet and the sewers exit from the house.

Last night, I noticed, when the washer was draining, that bubbles were appearing in the toilet bowl, and then, water started to back up into the toilet bowl as well. I ran the tap for the sink, and after a short time, that started backing up into the sink bowl as well!! I tried plunging the toilet, but this did not solve anything, and just spat water out through the sink drain!!

As the drain/main line for these items is 3.5 inch PVC, I find it hard to believe it is a clog........are the bubbles telling me it is a venting issue????

Would really appreciate any help/ideas......

Scott.
 

Last edited by Dellguy1971; 02-02-09 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 02-02-09, 06:48 AM
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Part 2.......

So this all happened last night, and when I came down first thing this morning, and tried the sink, it drained fine. I pulled the chain on the toilet, it flushed fine........but when I tried again, the toilet did not flush, and bubbles backed up into the bowl. And now the sink backs up after running the tap for a short while too........

Please help

Scott.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 07:17 AM
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I am no plumber but it sure sound like you got a clog in the main drain that will seep out during the night.
Do you have a clean-out at the end of the pipe near the toilet?
 
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Old 02-02-09, 09:32 AM
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It sounds like there is a clog further down the line that is slowly draining during the night.

This is why the sink works fine first thing in the morniing. It takes a few gallons before it will back up again.

PVC piping can plug up also, especially if there is a burr in the pipe someplace, or a back pitched pipe.

Open a clean out in the basement (CAREFULLY) and see if it backs up to there. This will help pinpoint the issue.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 10:50 AM
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Thanks guys,

I will open up the clean out in the crawl space and investigate further..........will be extremely 'careful' too

Scott.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 11:01 AM
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vents clog but it is rare. the poor vent is blamed for many clogs and usually the only wa a vent is getting cloged is because the drain line backed up.

unless you are going to go rent a sewer machine and do this yourself which i dont recommend because those machines are ran by people that have no clue what they are doing and the machine is dangerous not to mention you have little to no experience cleaning a sewe line and may not do a very good job. even some "professionals" cant do it correctly!
 
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Old 02-02-09, 01:08 PM
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Another thing I just thought of after you mentioned crawl space, would be, if you are on a septic system, when was the last time the tank was pumped. Very common problem and will act just as you explained. Make sure the septic guy checks the inlet baffle before he leaves.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 06:08 PM
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I was having almost the same problem as you. I had my septic tank pumped out today and the guy got the drain to unclog. He was heaven sent after a weekend of toilets & shower backing up and flowing under toilet bowls. Nightmare! Good Luck!!
 
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Old 02-03-09, 11:51 PM
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Sorry for the delay in a response/update guys......

Thanks for all the helpful ideas. After trying (unsuccessfully) to sort it myself, I called in the experts to properly auger the pipe (agree with you there plumbermandan). First guy came in, augered the pipe, gave up after 2 hours and told me it was a broken pipe, needed replacement, and wanted to immediately start spending my savings on all the parts and labor I would need (!!). Second guy, came in, seemed far more professional, augered the pipe clear, and said there was nothing wrong with the pipe, just that there had been a build up of ice in the main drain outside of the house!!!

Now I just have to decide what to do with a main drain that is not buried deep enough!

Ahhhh, the joys of real estate........

Scott.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 12:46 AM
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keep that guys # !!!!!!!!!! he knows what he is doing

you can have a camera ran down the line to see if you have a belly or something that would cause ice to form. it can also pinpoint where it is and at what depth. you need to find out all you can on why the ice formed in the first place
 
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Old 02-04-09, 05:20 AM
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If you are on a septic sytem, you should not get ice buidup unless there is a clog or a low spot (belly as plumbermandan called it) in the line.

The bacteria in the tank will usually keep the line warm enough. That is the reason you do not need much coverage on the septic pipe to the tank.

A sewer on the other hand must be below the frost line for your area. In NH it is 5
 
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