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Old 02-17-2013, 01:55 AM   #1
bluebeat
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Default Mystery plumbing /Excess water to septic, please help

Calling pros to solve a mistery that I or a plumber with 20 years of expierence could not solve.
We bought a house over a year ago. The owner passed away, some time ago, so we were not able to ask questions that could have helped solving this.
We live on a mountain. Gravity fed septic system. Recently we had snow thaw and a lot of water came from the mountain. Basement was dry, but I was able to hear the water running inside the main sewer pipe even when nobody was using water. All the plumbing seems to be standard exept for one instance, which is completely driving me nuts. Please see photo.
There is a sealed sump pump and pipe running in a "T" from it. One end runs along garage wall on a slope and through the wall and connects to an elbow of rain gutter pipe that exits about 25 feet from the house to the rain drainage. And then the second end of the "T" (which is MOST likely my mystery) goes up through garage wall and connects to an extension that is used only by a small laundry sink. When laundry sink is used, water flows through the main sewege line. Sump pump is dead, it never worked, but when I started investigating where water was entering sewer pipe I went to that pump and could feel that water was running through the pipe, as it seemed to me was circulating in that T fitting and if I am not mistaken was going up, as if pressure was pushing it up to the sewer line. Again, sump did not work and the peat where the sump pump is located was dry.
The only probable cause that I could think of is that previous owner had burried drainage that somehow connected to the gutter runoff pipe and the pressure was so great (our mountain is steep) that it pushed water up the gutter runoff pipe into the pipe that runs through our garage, entered "T" fitting circulated there, went 4 feet up and entered sewer line. I am sorry for the long essay, but I would sincerely appriciate if somebody can shine a light for me on two questions.
1) why would somebody connect the second end of T from sump to the sewer?
2) Could I be right about under-ground water that could have pushed itself up the slope?
Please help.
Thank you,
Mike.



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Old 02-17-2013, 03:02 AM   #2
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Don't know why someone would connect the sump pump to the sewer and especially being on a septic system. Can you post more pics of sump pump discharge line at rain gutter and entrance/exit of home. Do the sump pump discharge line have a check valve ? The 3'' or 4'' PVC pipe that is piped to the sump pump pit , is that for some sort of water run off or is that for Radon Gas ?



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Old 02-17-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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Thank you for trying to help! I do not believe there is a check valve on sump line. The second 3" pipe from sump pit is just a radon vent. As I mentioned earlier, sump pump was not working when we bought the house. Here is a a photo of sump discharge connected to gutter line.

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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What may be happening is the septic is flooded from ground water. Causing the water to backup into the main line then run out to the storm drain through the sump pump discharge. Try disconnecting the hose for the laundry sink to see if getting water flow at that point.

John

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Old 02-17-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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Do you have floor drains in your basement , Which side of the sump pump discharge line connection is higher, at the rain gutter or at the sewer ?

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Old 02-17-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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Hi John, thank you for the tip.
I thought about this too. We have a huge septic field that is gravity fed, which was designed to sustain a swimming pool. I had the idea that the water would go to the field rather than back up against gravity. Fortunately rapid thaws like that do not happen often, but now I do not have a way to check the direction of water flow. I should have disconnected the gutter when I heard the sound to check for water direction, but now it's all quiet. Plumber told me that I should cut the pipe that connects pump to sewer line and cap it, but I am afraid that if you are right, this will overflow our toilets in the next thaw. Am I right on this?

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Old 02-17-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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Hi.

The drainage pipe that goes outdoors from sump pump is lower than the sewer pipe side that goes into sump pump, if I understood the question correctly.

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Old 02-17-2013, 03:28 PM   #8
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If you have floor drains water will backup out of them if you have a septic system / main line stoppage or backup.

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Old 02-17-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IFIXH20 View Post
If you have floor drains water will backup out of them if you have a septic system / main line stoppage or backup.
That would only happen if the floor drains were connected to the septic system, which they shouldn't be.

John
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjh2o View Post
That would only happen if the floor drains were connected to the septic system, which they shouldn't be.

John
Some areas do have floor drains that connects to the main line that runs to the septic tank, the tank is usually buried deep. If he/she do have a floor drain and the main line exit the house through the basement wall , then the floor drain more than likely will not be connected to the septic , but if the main line exit the house through the basement floor, the floor drain could very well be connected to the septic.


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