COMMUNITY FORUM

JasonG

03:25AM | 10/15/01
Member Since: 07/05/01
25 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
Hello,

Moved into our house 4 weeks ago. From the start, the toilet bubbled whenever anything drained (sinks, tub, washing machine). Plumber came out, said there was a blockage on the county side. County came out, snaked the pipe, and pulled out a bunch of roots.
Now, the toilet is fine EXCEPT when the washing machine in the basement drains. The washing machine drains into a pipe connected to the waste pipe of a laundry sink (also in the basement). All other drains are unaffected. Still, when the washing machine drains, the toilet bubbles. Could this still be a root or blockage problem? Any advice?
Thank you,
Jason

Jay J

03:35AM | 10/15/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi JasonG,

Yes, the blockage could still be there. It could be a 2nd blockage, and not related to the 1st one.

You need to consider having the 'cause of the problem' (the tree(s)) removed. Otherwise, the plumber will continue to return. What might happen next time is your basement may flood, you toilet may overflow, or your dishwasher may empty onto the kitchen floor. Be SURE your homeowners insurance has a rider on it for sewer damage. It is USUALLY a separate rider. ('Clean water' damage is usually part of the standard policy but DO check to be sure.) Also, some policies DON'T cover personal belongings in rooms such as unfinished basements, for either sewer damage, clean water damage, or both. Again, read the policy to be SURE.

The next time the plumber comes out and 'fixes' your problem, TEST each and EVERY appliance. Run your dishwasher, run your washer, fill your 'tub', fill your sinks, flush EVERY toilet, and so on. You MAY be able to argue w/him that he should have checked every 'line' that drains into the main. He may have fixed 1 problem but didn't have the foresight to do a more thorough fix. You can simply tell him the problem is still there. (I'd go w/that.) Just tell him, "Yea, you fixed the OBVIOUS problem but I still have a blockage. You assured me the problem was 'fixed' but it's not."

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: See if you can get an idea of where the problems (ALL of the roots) are located. You can then dig up those sections (and the area on both sides of the 'intrusions') and have them replaced. Yes, it will cost some good $$$. I do have to ask - Did you have a Home INspection? If so, did the Inspector flush any toilets or anything? Shouldn't he have found this problem? Check your paperwork to see if this 'test' was in his paperwork, and see what he wrote. IF you mentioned this during your walk-through, you shouldn't have to pay for the fix. (That's my opinion ...)

PPS: God Bless America!

JasonG

03:47AM | 10/15/01
Member Since: 07/05/01
25 lifetime posts
Hello,

No, the home inspection didn't turn this problem up. We also can't get the previous owner to pay, since we bought the house "as is" from a bank.
When the plumber came out, they checked the sewer line from our basement to the end of the driveway. The blockage they found was off our property (under the road), so the county sewer people came out. They snaked about 40 feet and pulled out a bunch of roots. (I am assuming these grew during the year the house was vacant before we moved in.) All the other drains work great. . .just the draining of the washing machine causing a problem. I will call the county again and see if they will come back.
Jason

Jay J

05:16AM | 10/16/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Very good Jason,

(If I can catch you in time BEFORE you call the County ...) I think you ought to test the drain line a bit more closely.

Test the system by filling the tub (or the washer) as high as you can, and then drain. Kinda guage in your mind how much water leaves the 'system' before it backs up, or starts slowing down, or starts bubbling. Assuming that quite a bit of the water drains out, you can assume that the 'blockage' is pretty far down the line. With this info, you can tell the County what you know. IF the County says that it's not their problem, and you end up calling a Plumber who tells you that the blockage IS the County's problem, you'll probably have to SUE the County to get your $$$ back. But, before you do that, you can write a letter to the Sewer Authority and attend their next monthly meeting to voice your 'situation'. Bring a copy of that letter, and go from there.

As an aside, make sure you have SOMETHING that's screening the water that comes out your washing machine. EVEN if the washing machine has a 'screen' built into it that you can empty, it may NOT be enought to catch everything. The Home Centers sell these 'nets' that you can attach to the end of the hose to catch the lint. Since the pipe in my home empties into a tub, I can see when the screen needs to be replaced. It's just another maintenance item that will keep a plumber away. Oh, some folks use 'old' nylon stockings as screens. They work well too. Just let them hang real 'loose' when you slip them over the pipe. You see, the water will have a tougher time 'leaving' the nylon vs. the mesh screens at the home center. If you don't let enough of the nylon hang off of the end, it will rip. THEN, you'll DEFINITELY know why your pipe is clogged!

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: The County may bill you if they don't find a blockage ...

PPS: God Bless America!

JasonG

03:33AM | 10/17/01
Member Since: 07/05/01
25 lifetime posts
Thank you for the advice. I would have tried you suggestions, but the county was at our house 15 minutes after I called! They snaked the line again and found another big ball of roots. They have put our names "in their system" as having a "troubled line," and next time this happens, they will replace the line.

After the second snaking, everything is working great! We just need to pay close attention to the drains and call the sewer dept. as soon as anything odd starts happening. I was really surprized. . .they were very nice and FAST showing up!

Jason

Jay J

07:41AM | 10/17/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Very good JasonG. Consider yourself 'lucky' for having great service. When you get a moment, think of spending $.34 and and sending the Office a thank you. They never get them (because they only get called when there are problems, and the overwhelming majority of 'citizens' don't think past the thought of "Well, it's their job!")

I wish you well.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!

JasonG

07:50AM | 10/17/01
Member Since: 07/05/01
25 lifetime posts
You're right. . .I never would have thought of sending a thank you. I will do that now.

Jason

Jay J

06:00AM | 10/18/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi JasonG,

You're a good man. FWIW, I don't work for any Municipality nor am I associated directly or indirectly with one nor am I in any position where I could benefit from one. It's just my nature to send thank you notes and such, and even offer a soda or the bathroom to those folks. It's just amazing how far a good deed can go. Believe me, they WON'T forget your thank you note. You're probably the only one that's ever sent one.

Take care!

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!

Alan

02:29AM | 10/20/01
Member Since: 10/09/01
48 lifetime posts
May I interject please. Jason's problem was interesting and glad it was fixed.

Jay J, thanks for spreading the word about a "Thank you" for people who do a noteworthy job. Everybody needs non-monetary rewards or encouragement and sadly, it's not done often enough in this day and age.

So, thanks Jay J for being so concientious doing your job. You helped me earlier and I'm sure Jason is grateful also.

Keep smiling. Alan

Jay J

04:40AM | 10/20/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Alan,

Well, I can say that I NOW know what it feels like to have someone say 'thank you'. Both you and Jason have made my day. OK, I won't be so selfish. I DO get thank yous every not and then. And when I do, it's nice to hear for sure. (I'm sure those Municipal Employees will feel the same way when they get their thank yous!) It's not that I expect the thank yous - It's just that, sometimes, they seem far and few between.

Take care.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: Alan - I'm glad everything worked out for you too.

PPS: God Bless America!

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