city sewer backing up through the basement floor drain ???

I poped of the floor drain in my basement because i started getting water in the basement a few days ago. It appears that water came up from there......i found what appeard to be toilet paper that had come up through the drain not to mention some other weird stuff i couldnt identify.
Would the city doing maintenence or somthing...cause this? I havent had this happen in the 3 years ive been living here. IM not sure what to do. I have tried to contact the city but havent gotten a response to my questions yet.
it is making a damn mess to say the least. It appears to be clean water......not black or anything. I tried flushing and turning all all the water to the faucets everywhere and it didnt make anything come up throught he drain........
Not sure where to start. If it was tree roots a clogged drain i would notice water come up it when i did the aboved mentioned things but i dont see the little bit of water i see down the drain rising at all during any of this.
It has me more than concerned......
any ideas?
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scale wrote:

Tough call.
It's not always easy to determine the cause of events like that. If you were having torrential rain at the time, it would be easier to blame the city .
Try this: Run washing machine thru a cycle. Just as the machine is emptying, flush all toilets. Repeat once more immediately.
If that produces absolutely no sign of backup, you may be able to rule out blocked sewer on your property.
Jim
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To add a bit to what Jim said. . .
You own the line running from your house to the main. If it gets backed up, blocked by roots, or cracked, it will be your responsibility. If the blockage or break is in the main, the city owns the problem.
Jim was telling you that if you have heavy rains which raise the water table, the pressure of the water can fill your line and cause water to back up into your house--as well as whatever was in the line at the time.
If that's the case, fixing the cracked/broken part of the line will involve some heavy earthmoving equipment. They can use a camera to locate the break, but they'll have to dig to replace the pipe at that point.
The only way the city could cause the problem that I know of is if they used a liner to repair the main and forgot to cut open the hole for your sewer to feed into the main when they were done. That's really a long shot.
Wait for the response from the city, but be prepared to get a serious plumbing firm out to repair your sewer line.
No, there's no real way of telling if this problem existed when you bought your house and, if it did, there's no way to prove that the previous owners knew about it and concealed it from you.
--
Doug Boulter

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just snake your sewer line to the street, the plumber can tell you whats up.
the blockage is probably downstream a little and partial, so some clkean water gets by but solids dont.
if your home is older you probly have tree roots in the line, very common with terracota pipes. a regular dose of rock salt water can take care of that once the blockage is cleared
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A long shot, but it did happen to me. City contracted Insituform to reline sanitary sewers in our part of town two years ago. Shortly after they had gone through, I was getting backups and drain problems. Called the sewer guys I've used in the past for clearing roots; they ran a camera down the line and we saw that the cut made at the connection point was much too small, and also quite a bit higher than the bottom level of my house to city line, so there was blockage and no clear flow into the city line. I contacted the company, they were very quick to come out, viewed the video and agreed it was their problem. They did reimburse my expense for the sewer camera. A few days later, they came out and sent their little robot down the pipe to redo mine and all the cuts along the line on my street.
--
Chuck Reti
Detroit MI
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Doug Boulter ( snipped-for-privacy@nospamhere.speakeasy.net) said...

You only own the line to the property line. Beyond that, it is the city's problem.
A friend of ours had a problem with his drain line and had a guy out to diagnose it. Four hours on a Sunday evening and the guy determined that the blockage was beyond the property line. At that point the guy had to contact the city's works department to get someone out.
The city had to fix it, and pay for the diagnosis fee.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible"
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I won't repeat what the other posters suggested but I recall seeing years ago a sewer valve called a back-flow valve which will stop sewage from backing up into your house from outside in unusual situations like this.
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wrote:

sanitary sewers are the same in my old neighborhood and when we'd get a torrential downpour both rainwater and raw sewage would back up through the basement floor drain when the sewers could no longer carry away the volume of water. I fixed the problem by replacing the ball in the chamber below the drain which was supposed to float up and seal the backflow problem. The ball had worked at one time but had split in half and no longer raised/floated up to seal against a gasket that was slightly smaller than the ball. Check out the "FLOODGUARD" at link below. This is similar in concept to what has worked for me.
http://www.contractormag.com/products/0306/index.html
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wrote:

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