Mystery plumbing /Excess water to septic, please help

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by bluebeat, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Feb 17, 2013 #1

    bluebeat

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    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.

    plumbing.jpg
     
  2. Feb 17, 2013 #2

    IFIXH20

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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 ?
     
  3. Feb 17, 2013 #3

    bluebeat

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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.

    2.jpg
     
  4. Feb 17, 2013 #4

    johnjh2o

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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
     
  5. Feb 17, 2013 #5

    IFIXH20

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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 ?
     
  6. Feb 17, 2013 #6

    bluebeat

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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?
     
  7. Feb 17, 2013 #7

    bluebeat

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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. :)
     
  8. Feb 17, 2013 #8

    IFIXH20

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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.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2013 #9

    johnjh2o

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    That would only happen if the floor drains were connected to the septic system, which they shouldn't be.

    John
     
  10. Feb 17, 2013 #10

    IFIXH20

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  11. Feb 17, 2013 #11

    Danny6115

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    I think you have a broken sewer line and its taken in rain water just like the ground water system would. I strongley recomend you have a camra ran down main sewer line to find the problem.
     
  12. Feb 17, 2013 #12

    johnjh2o

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    It may be OK in your area but that's a big NO NO around here for many good reasons.

    John
     
  13. Feb 17, 2013 #13

    bluebeat

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    IFIXH20, John, Danny6115
    Thank you! I was not sure when I wrote this post that anybody would answer. I am very grateful.
    I feel that John and Danny6115 are very close to reality. The tank was built in 1970. As I understood from some readings, back in the days they did not seal connections to septic with rubber (silicone?). Loose joint could be the problem, by over filling the tank and backing it up. (just guessing here)

    I think the easiest at this point is to get somebody from Roto-Rooter, I believe they are only ones in are to use camera and see if they will be able to find something.

    I will post back when/if I find something.

    Again,
    Thank you all!
     
  14. Feb 17, 2013 #14

    stevemachine

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    I don't recommend roto rooter. Usually over priced and under skilled from my experience. Not saying all are but it's no good risking having someone that doesn't have a Clue what they're doing. I've cleaned up after roto rooter guys too many times to count on one hand
     
  15. Feb 18, 2013 #15

    AQualityPlumber

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    The pump should not be connected to any sewage drain line without the protection of a spring loaded check valve and an isolation valve with a union. As for the sewer backing up into your home from a rapid thaw or flood, just install a backwater valve into the building sewer line. Regardless at no point should there be a possibility for raw sewage to discharge into storm drainage. If you want to keep the sump connected to storm drainage then disconnect the discharge side connection to sewer pipe. From the pictures I saw it looks like now sewer water can seep into your sump. This is not good.
     
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