Basement floor drain problem

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Old 05-04-10, 09:44 PM
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Basement floor drain problem

I'm trying to save my mom-in-law some money (she's on a fixed income), by hopefully fixing a problem with one of her basement floor drains.

She noticed when running water in her laundry basin that the floor drain was backing up out onto the basement floor (the floor drain is about a foot away from the laundry sink). I took a look at it today, and it seems that the water level in the drain is very high. It's almost at the level of the floor.

I took the plug off the access to the vent stack, and the water in that pipe is much lower. I poured water directly into the stack access pipe, and it drained off right away. When I pour a large amount of water in the floor drain, it rises up and out of the drain momentarily, before settling back down to the previous level of the water. When she flushes the toilet on the main floor, the water rises up out of the drain and onto the basement floor about 10 or 12 inches, and then drains back to "level" (ie just below the drain cover).

I took a wet vac and cleaned out the drain as much as I could. There was a lot of gunk and rust in it, but it didn't change the level of the water.

So I guess the water seems to be draining OK, but the water level is really high, and dumping a lot of water into the drain pipes (from either flushing the toilet, or running the kitchen or laundry sink) causes the water to spill up and out onto the floor (if even a little bit).

My understanding of plumbing is limited. I know there's water in the floor drain that keeps sewer gases from backing up into the living area. My guess is that when waste water is dumped down the stack drain, the air in the drain pipe is pushing the water in the floor drain trap up and out onto the floor. What could be causing the high level of the water? Could the vent stack be blocked somewhere, causing the behavior I described?
 
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Old 05-05-10, 02:50 PM
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You have a partial clog in the main line that the plumbing is connected to, the floor drain should have water in the trap since it is connected to the sanitary sewer, it's overflowing because there is a clog, you need to have the line rodded out.
 
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Old 05-05-10, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by shacko View Post
You have a partial clog in the main line that the plumbing is connected to, the floor drain should have water in the trap since it is connected to the sanitary sewer, it's overflowing because there is a clog, you need to have the line rodded out.
Would the clog be "upstream" of the floor drain plumbing, or "downstream"?
 
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Old 05-05-10, 08:30 PM
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The clog is going to be downstream. The floor drain is the first thing in that drain line. From the cover on the floor it drops straight down into the p-trap. The outlet of that trap runs horizontally to the vent, which will be at the wall. The clog is someplace between those two points since the water that you put down the vent drains normally.
 
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Old 05-06-10, 01:20 AM
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OK, I think I've got it. Thanks to both of you for the help!
 
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