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Anyone with any plumbing knowledge?

Ok. I have been having plumbing issues. I have had my line snaked twice in 3 weeks. When I wash clothes water backs up into my basement when it drains and if wash dishes or flush the toilet it does the same thing. One plumber did the snaking twice and another plumber came out and said it was an old gate valve but did no diagnostic testing. He said they will have to dig and would cost 3000.00. The other plumber that did the snaking said it was probably tree roots. Has anybody else had this problem? After the snaking it relieves the issue for a short time then acts up again. I don’t flush tampons or wipes. I just don’t want to get ripped off. I will have a camera ran through I just don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for something that is an easy fix. Anyone with issues similar to this or any plumbers responding would be greatly appreciated.

21 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's not an easy fix. the camera will find what the real problem is. Remember that, somewhere down the line, a problem becomes the utility's problem and not your problem -- the trick is you have to prove it to them that it's their problem.

    Unless your house is very old, there aren't any gate valves in the sewer system -- any valve's sole and only purpose would be to close off the sewer is backing up is expected. I recall a neighborhood in which the rainwater system backed up into the sanitary system in severe weather. For that, you'd want a gate valve -- close the sewer line off, don't flush or use water, and wait for the flooding outside to subside before you reopen the valve. Any such valve would almost certainly be located in the basement [and there should be a cleanout nearby, too] my guess is you don't actually have one ...

    PS: if digging is called for -- it may be cheaper to have a handyman do the digging and refilling -- and limit the plumber to replacing damaged pipe. Some plumbers and jurisdictions don't allow this.

    Source(s): grampa
    • Edd S
      Lv 5
      2 months agoReport

      the utility takes over if the problem is beyond the hookup beyond the property.

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  • 1 month ago

    A gate valve, or backflush valve, may very well be installed on your sewer line. I had this exact problem--raw sewage backed up into my house three times before the city came out and installed the valve. But this was not MY EXPENSE--it was theirs. The valve is not on my property, it's on the place where my sewer line connects to the city line.  I had to threaten them with a lawsuit for the backups--the city did pay to have my house cleaned and disinfected, and they paid for the valve. I had the problem because my house was the last one on the line, at the bottom of a slight slope, which caused the sewage to "collect" just past my line connection, and then back up into my basement. The issue was caused by a HUGE dump of solid grease into the line further up (a butter-processing plant did it.) 

    You need to get the city or township involved. Find out why you keep having backups--and don't pay for anything until the city investigates the issue in THEIR lines first. If you've had yours snaked and cleaned, the chances of it being tree roots is slim--roots just don't grow that fast to clog lines.  Find out from your city why you keep getting backups. THEN if it's on your property, involving YOUR lines, you have to bear the expense--but if it's not, if it's the city's issue, THEY need to not only pay for your cleanups, but also fix the problem or you will never be able to sell your house. Take it to the level you need to--if your home has been subject to numerous backups it will be devalued. This will also be your responsibility to pursue with your county Auditor or Property Appraisal department. But it can lower your taxes if your home has been subject to this devaluation!  

    This is well-worth your time and effort to pursue with your city. Keep your records and bills. Keep an inventory of any property that has been contaminated with raw sewage or graywater. And don't give up. Call your city engineer's office, and the law office to start. Good luck!

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  • 1 month ago

    Get several estimates.  Need a camera to see down to ascertain the exact problem.  The piston shaft might have got damaged and become unaligned to the crank hatch.

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  • 1 month ago

    I am a plumber and it sounds like there is a problem with the pipe that can only be fixed by digging it up and replacing some pipes 

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  • 2 months ago

    Get someone to run a CAMERA down the lines so they can SEE the problem. While any of the causes you have been told CAN be true, I wouldn't spend any more trying to fix a problem until I actually KNEW what the problem is.

    • Edd S
      Lv 5
      2 months agoReport

      Ace answer

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  • Droopy
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

      You have septic tank or connected to sewage system.   if a tank then it could need to be pumped.  Seen it happen  one time. 

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  • 2 months ago

    the dude who carries a one hundred foot power snake,,plus a camera to scope the line interior , in the truck and ready to use,,these 2 need to be on the truck and ready to use,, often plumbers have to call some other guy as a helper,make at least 2 3 calls when the job is more complex,with the meter running,,some of them like to string out  a one afternoon project into 2 & 3 days so they can submit a nice sized bill.

    all a local experienced real estate lady,you are more likely to get a good trades guy  with the equipment necessary to do the job on one call,

    you might call up 3 or 4 of them,, ask whether they carry a one hundred foot snake,and a camera line on board the truck,

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  • 2 months ago

    Wait to see what the camera shows. Sounds like it could tree roots, the snake shoves them out of the way for a while and then they fall back into place blocking it up again.  If it is, it can be dealt with.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If it’s a city system, they’ll have to dig. It’s probably tree roots. But it could just be gunked up. Snakes don’t really do a good job of making pipes squeaky clean. They just punch a hole in the clog. 

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  • 2 months ago

    Are you on a city system or a septic tank? Sometimes with a septic tank system the leach field becomes degraded and will not allow the effluent to leave the septic tank which causes the situation you describe. Is it worse when it rains alot? This is also a good symptom. Get several estimates from reliable sources.

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