Basement Drains

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Where do they go? Not into the septic, right? I'm wondering because the basement drain in my house was wet after a rain. I'm hoping that doesn't have anything to do with the septic.

    Can I just plug it up with an expansion plug? The water is coming up it, but not alot.

    Thanks
    Jena
     
  2. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    You can block it with an expansion plug. However the hydrostatic pressure from high ground water could force the water out someplace else. Lines like that are often bell and spigott pipe that can leak through the joints
     

  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Normally, a basement floor drain does go to the septic tank.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Around here the basement drain does not go to the septic. The basements are lower than the septic systems and you would have to have a lift pump. We have rolling topography and the basements typically gravity drain to a point lower than the basement floor!
     
  5. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have seen some as discribed above go to "dry wells" basicly a hole in the ground that is covered,
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm....I gotta find the septic or at least how deep it is to figure that out. If this drain does go to the septic, it must go a long ways as it is smack in the middle of the house.

    Should I go run the tub, flush the toilets and in general try to overload the septic drain to see if it comes up that way? That would be a clue, I think.

    I'd rather have the septic back up to the basement BEFORE I move in :)

    Jena
     
  7. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    if the septic tank is as deep as the basment floor there may be some pipes that stick up some where for pumping the tanks, and if it is backing up more than likely it is the drain field that is saturated and in need of replacment,

    yes you could try to over load the septic system in the way you described, and if it backs up in the basment then you know you have a problem, of some kind, either a partly blocked main line, or a sick septic system.
     
  8. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If it were the septic backing up, it would stink. And not just a little. If there is water coming up you might need to put a sump pump in and route it outside to a dry well. We had that problem in colorado and had to keep a sump going all summer because of water leaking from unlined irrigation ditches. I finally got smart and used it to water the yard and garden because we had so much.
     
  9. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Jena,

    The first thing to do is see if you can borrow a plumbers snake. It is a piece of flexible metal that coils up and is used for clearing drains/pipes.

    The next thing you want to do is find the verticle pipe that comes from your bathroom/kitchen/etc. At the bottom of it (just above the basement floor) there should be a "Y" with a cover over the stubby part of the "Y". If you remove the cover and run the snake down the pipe, you should be able to tell the direction that the snake is going. Does it run in the general direction of your basement drain? You could always run the snake out till you see it through the basement drain (just remove the drain cover). This can be done in conjunction with a metal detector as well to determine where the snake is under the floor.

    You can also run the snake down the basement drain. Which direction does the pipe go? Is it in the general direction of the septic tank? So you are making educated guesses based on your observations.

    Another way to do it is with a dye test. If you put dyed water down your basement drain do you see the dye appear in the septic tank. This method takes lots of water running.

    Just a few thoughts. Hope this helps.

    Mike
     
  10. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I paid attention to the drain lines this time and the sewage lines are running one way, drain goes out in another direction, by 90 degrees.

    The sewages lines indicate where my septic is...guess what? Right under the "parking area". There's a funny spot out there, which I was told was because there was gravel there. Yeah, probably the drain field, but then again there might not be a drain field and it might just hook into a field tile somewhere.

    I also found a drain pipe from the roof going into the old cistern. I'm pretty sure that is not helping the problem so I will re-route that. I love the way they "filled" the cistern. Trash. I'm going to dig out what I can, then fill it with clean dirt or sand. It's so nice to have basiclly a pit full of trash outside the back door....

    Jena