Are there toilets that can be plugged like one plugs a sink with a
rubber stopper? Not to keep water from going down but to keep it from
Are there bathroom style sinks whose drain can be closed with a valve
when not in use? Like a ball valve. Automatically-closing check
valve doesn't seem reliable or tight enough.
Some of you may remember my story of the stream behind my house and how,
when it rains right, the stream rises, overflows the sewer manholes,
fills the sewers, and backs up water into the laundry sinks and then
onto the basements foors of the 4 lowest houses in my townhouse n'hood.
It's never been more than 1/8" plus whatever soaks into all the
cardboard boxes on the floor, Mostly the only damage is to the
cardboard boxes, some sizes of which are hard to replace.
And the water has never smelled bad, maybe because it's diluted at a
million to one.
I tried a check-valve in the laundry sink drain. It may or may not have
helped, but it didn't totally prevent the problem.
So after about 5 years I learned to put a rubber stopper in the drain,
and a piece of 1x2 wood (actually I use one side of a picture frame)
stuffed between the stopper and a shelf above it. The shelf has a lot
of weight on it and is screwed to the shelf brackets which are screwed
to the wall.
When new neighbors move into one of the other 3 houses, I tell them
about the problem. I tell them about the stopper and I assume that's
what they do. Sunday and monday, new people moved in. Wednesday I
brought them a cake, but I didn't want to tell them bad news right away.
But it rained heavily yesterday afternoon, Thursday, so I told them.
Aha! They plan to have the mother-in-law (or mother, depending) live
in the basement, and it's hard for her to go upstairs to use the
bathroom so they plan to hire a contractor to put in another bathroom.
The rough-in is already there for a sink and a toilet and there is a
light already there, Just no fixtures, walls, door, or more than a
Is their plan stymied or are there toilets and sinks will work here?
For you, and the other "laundry-sink-only" people, I think there are a
couple of possible solutions.
One is to just put in a CPVC ball valve in the laundry sink drain line.
They come in sizes up to 2 inches and maybe even larger. Then just shut off
the ball valve in the laundry sink when the problem occurs -- meaning during
heavy rain etc.
Or, do a check valve and a ball valve in the same drain line. If the check
valve doesn't work, shut off the ball valve.
Or, put in a Saniflo or other brand upflush pump for the laundry sink and
have it pump the sink drain fluid up to a higher point in the stack that is
above the outside ground level so there is no drain opening that is below
the outside ground level for the sewer backflow to back up into.
For the toilet-in-a-basement people, it's a bit more complicated. It
depends on how deep the lateral sewer line is underground on the outside of
the house, or if the lateral line in the basement is above or below the
Maybe they could put in a backflow preventer valve in the lateral sewer line
to prevent a backup into the new toilet and sink. Or, put a whole house
main backflow preventer valve in the lateral sewer line either inside or
outside the house. If it is outside the house, they make them where you put
in a vertical stack to the surface at the same time and can access and
remove the backflow preventer valve from above via the new vertical stack.
Or, they could install one of the Saniflo upflush systems for the new
basement toilet and sink and have it pump everything up high enough so there
is no open toilet or drain sewer line that is below the outside ground
Thanks for a great answer, and thanks, Pico, too.
Just for the record, there are a lot of heavy rains but only once every
year or two does the stream rise enough to flood things. Unfortunately,
try as I have, I can't tell more than 15 minutes in advance when that
will be. I try to keep track of when it's been raining a lot thinking
the current heavy rain will do it, but it's never happened when I
thought it would. And it has happened when I thought it wouldn't.
Plus sometimes I'm asleep when it starts raining.
All this means is that the valve would have to be closed except when the
sink is in use. For me that's only when I'm using the washing machine.
Maybe I should change to a ball valve. Long ago people suggested the
check valve, which doesn't work well enough. Maybe because my washing
machine doesn't have a lint filer, it has a lint chopper, which is
supposed to chop up lint so small it won't clog antyhing, And I also
have a litte tube in the drain, maybe 6" long, with litle holes at the
bottom and bigger holes higher up, so that when the little holes clog
with lint, the water rises to the bigger holes, and after they clog, to
a level higher than the tube and everything goes down the drain then. .
By examining the lint in this thing, I can tell there is way more than
enough to go into the hinge of the checkvalve and keep it from closiing
all the way
I'm not in the mood to fiddle with my arrangement but I'll suggest this
to the neighbors.
Really can't rely on knowing if the first valve works. Sleeping, at
work, on vacation, once the water level outside is high enough, takes
less than 10 minutes I think to fill the sink and pour out on the floor.
(Based on taking the plug out once and seeing how fast the water came
in, until I plugged it again.
Is this subject to clogging from the lint?
It's below the basement floor. I presume that means it slopes down,
at least a little, from the house to the sewer outside, right? The
sewer runs underneath the sidewalk or the yard near the sidewalk, with
an occasional manhole IIRC, from the one time we had a "fat log", the
ladder down went deeper than my basement does.
Are these more reliable than my checkvalve has been? Are they just a
hinged door like the checkvavle? Because they'll get not just lint but
everything that goes through the garbage disposal. and anything someone
drops down the toilet. They don't have little kids but the next
owners might, or their daughters might soon.
This sounds good. I don't have to go next door to look since our houses
are mirror images of each other. The main drain from the 2 upstairs
bathrooms is 4" and is only 2 or 3 feet from where the toilet and sink
would be, and is probably inside the powder room walls. And it's only
3 or 4 additional feet to the laundry sink. They could all use the
same pump and connect to the drain just under the heating vent, which is
about 7.5 feet high
Would this have to be cleaned periodically for lint, mixed with feces?
(I looked,, it says no maintenance.) Even if yes, it seems worth it
since they can't make the mother-in-law young again.
(This main drain, the drain from the kitchen sink and the one from the
first floor powder room must merge under the cement floor. )
BTW we know how high the water gets because there are 4 more house
connected together, in pairs of two, and each pair is a couple inches
higher than the previous one. Houses 3 and 4 also flood, but maybe not
as much since they're higher. OTOH, although a normal toilet would
overflow before the laundry sink did, because the laundry sink will take
10 minutes to fill up, I'm not sure it will overflow more often, even
though it's a foot lower, because once the sewers fill all the way to
the tops of the manholes (and maybe there is additional water pressure
from the height of the stream above the manyhole), there is water enough
to overflow both. The top of the manhole near me is 8 feet above the
ground, and the sewer is buried, I don't know how deep. But the
stream, which is normally 6 or 10 inches, gets higher than 8 feet.
My grandparents had one of these in their basement.
I don't recall that the knife was exposed, so it was probably a different
style valve, but it had the big red handle like that one. Back when Grandpa
built the house, the storm and sanitary sewers were one and same. They had
to remember to close the valve before a big storm or the water would back
up into their basement fixtures. Actually, it was more of a "might back up"
as opposed to a "would back up" since you never really knew if it would
happen. It was all based on how much rain they got and for how long and a
bunch of other factors.
Once the valve was closed, you couldn't flush or use the sinks since it
closed off the entire drainage system. I also recall that they always had a
stopper and a brick in the utility tub as "all the time" protection. I was
very young at the time so I don't recall all of the specifics...maybe the
utility tub was the only basement fixture.
It's hard to believe that someone who thinks about this as much as you, hasn't come-up with a cheap way to raise your stuff 1/8" off the floor!
At least you have warned the folks with the MIL and they can see what the plumber can come up with.
On Fri, 4 Jul 2014 20:38:25 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
I know that feeling.
At least one of them has a good job. And people are pickier these days
than in your grandparents' time. I can't quite imagine people choosing
to do without running the water or flushing the toilets on the 1st and
2nd floors while they wait to see if the stream will rise, or every day
when they leave the house and it looks like rain. I'm betting they'll
pay the 1000 dolllars or more once the contractor and plumber gets
involved, to use Tom's Saniflo upflush. Even I would do that. But I'll
forwad your post to them with no change from what you wrote, except I'll
delete your name and email address as I normally do.
I tried a stopper and a brick, maybe 2 bricks, but it meant nothing to
No, but my laundry sink is below the water line when the stream rises
and floods the sewer. And any toilet in the basement would be, too.
The hgh water line is at least 10 feet, probably 12 or more, above the
top of the sewer line. The ciounty thought that was enough or maybe
they wouldn't have permitted these 4 houses to be built so low. They
could have put in a few thousand more yards of fill of some sort, right?
Or more likely, maybe they would have just made the manholes higher
above the sewer. I wish they'd done that.
More than once I've been outside and seen the stream rise to less than
1" from my property line***, both horizontally and vertically.
(The property line is 5 feet outside my fence line, and everyone in the
n'hood has the right to walk on those 5 feet, though in practice only
one guy does and only when he's taking the lawn mower from the front of
the house to the back. He mows several neighbors front lawns, for free I
think, so none of them have to move the lawnmower. When the n'hood was
newer, the cable guy used to go back there often, but everyone who wants
cable has it now, so I don't think he come around much. The telephone
line including fiberglass is in the front.)
***Well I actually haven't measured if the path outside the fence is 5'
wide. Maybe it's less and the stream covers some of my property. I'll
The ground rises maybe a foot before it gets to my house and then it's 3
bricks up to the only basement window, the bottom of it, which is about
a foot from the ceiling. So the stream gets as high as 3 feet from my
8' basement ceiling. IOW, 5 feet above the floor.
Fortunately, it doesn't stay that high that long. Maybe it's between 4
and 5 feet above the floor for an hour, and above the floor level for 3
hours? (I'll have to pay more attention) and the water doesn't seep
through the ground to my house that fast, or water would be seeping in
though the cinder blocks? (It never has.)
** (I was told that after Hurricane Agnes -- I think it was Agnes --
about 1977 --- washed away 4 or 5 houses downstream from me, they
prohibited construction of one of the houses in this n'hood, but I dont'
think that's true. I can't see anywhere that is land that we or the
builders own that is too low to stay dry. But they did prohibit
rebuilding on the lots of those 5 houes that were ruined. I was also
told they moved some other houses from that area downstream to about two
miles away to a street not yet built on, but when I was walking by, I
stopped and asked an old guy, and he said his house was built there, not
moved from someplace else, and that he was the first owner. )
I had a similar problem in my previous house of over 35 years. The
basement floor drain, the sink and the washer drain were on the town's
sanitary sewer line. Through the years it went from just a little water
on the floor to a full laundry tub of backup. I plugged the floor drain
with one of those rubber plugs, which worked well. On the sink, I put a
check valve which covered the sink, the washer drain and a 3rd drain for
the furnace/AC condensate. Well, the check valve was a disappointment.
When the water rises, it comes up rather slowly at first. Check
valves don't work well in this situation. You need a pressure
differential between the input side and output side. The last big storm
I was awakened by a call from the neighbor saying that the sewers were
backing up again. I went to the basement and found a small amount of
water on the floor from the furnace drain which was lower than all the
other drains. The check valve was basically flapping in the water
because there was never a big differential. I siphoned the sink into
the sump where the pump sent it out the the back yard, which is downhill
away from the house. Now I had a pressure differential and the check
valve closed hard ... the backup stopped. The next day I talked the the
village public works director and I asked him when was this going to
stop, at my ceiling joists? He sent out one of his guys who recommended
a "Safe House" system to be put by the town. This thing was in my front
lawn. It is accessed by removing a pan which has dirt and grass in it.
It was almost invisible. This was basically a manhole with a ladder
to go down to service the unit. The unit was a backflow preventer which
was a check valve, but it was operated by a float. When the float goes
up due to rising water, it cranks the check valve tightly closed. If
you continued flushing or running water down the drain, there was
another valve that allowed the sewage from the house to go into an
ejector pit. The pump would then push the water into the sewer (and
probably into my neighbor's basement toilet, to). It worked well, but
you are supposed to service it every year by the company, to make sure
everything was working. I did it once in about 5 years. He did replace
some parts. I saw the bill for the unit and it was $5K.
BTW, I've seen seen a check valve with a large knob (probably 8") to
manually close the valve. I've never seen another one ... this house
was built in the 60s. BUT it must be operated manually.
On Fri, 4 Jul 2014 13:57:32 -0700 (PDT), BenDarrenBach
I have. I don't like them. I could put them on skids (is that the
right word?), pallettes, but I'll never get pallettes the same size as
each box, which means either there will be a lot of wasted space, or
pallets will span boxes and boxes will span pallettes. The latter
will make it hard to move things around.
I could get big Rubbermaid conrainers, and when someone was giving away
a bunch, I took them for this purpose, but those too waste space, both
outside and inside. I'm not storing clothing that can be folded into
any dimensions or stuffed in corners. It's mostly hard stuff
I have a heavy duty cardboard long narrow box that I use for metal rods
and pipes, (Uncut dowel rods of different diameters go in a dresser;
along with small tools in the short drawers on top and a lot electronic
parts in the two big drawers.)
AndI I have a heavy duty cardboard almost long wide box that I use for
flat things, a box the ramps came in for working on the car. Don't want
to throw that box away because the pictures on the outside remind me
what is inside.
Some boxes fit on a big TV table from 70's, and other boxes sit on
boxes. Only the bottom box gets wet.
What I learned is that if I do NOTHING after a flood, everything dries
out. If I don't lift the boxes, well I don't know if the bottoms get
their strength back but at least the sides still work. And in some
cases I can slide them across the floor pretty well too.
I do have a wooden tool box -- Does that mean it's an antique? -- with
tools, that a woman gave me after her father died He was in his 80's
and that was 10 years ago. and that is resting on 2 pieces of
semi-round fence picket, plus it's in the room that only got wet once
and shouldn't again since I put a threshold in the doorway.
I do that with everyone, 5 or 8 families so far but this was the first
one who wanted to put in bathroom. I've also never made a point to tell
people so early --- Maybe I sensed the MIL would live in the basement
-- and it's a good thing I did, becaause now I expect they were going to
call the contractor Monday, a week after they moved in. I can't tell
how old she is and I certainly cant' tell how weak or sick she is, but
when I went down to look at the sink, the room was furnished with a bed
and I think she's sleeping there now. So it's up and down, up and
down.... well they do make things for bedridden people, but I'm not
getting into that. Anyhow, I'll bet it's their first prioity.
Wonder if you can get something done through the country? At least
around here, the county is responsible for sewer backups, and cleaning
up the basement (or maybe just removing the water; I never had occasion
to call). Maybe if they had to clean up enough, they'd do something to
prevent it? I saw mention of one municipality that subsidizes
installation of one of those back flow prevention valves.
Meanwhile, there are some other suggestions online. (I have NO idea
if/how well these work... my only plumbing knowledge is how to call a
plumber). Eg -
- maybe the standpipe idea would work?
Until the neighbors figure it out, maybe they can get a portable commode
for the MIL, at least to tide her through the night.
Did the neighbors buy the house (vs renting)? And did the previous owner
also have this water in the basement problem? If so, wouldn't they have
been obliged to disclose that?
On Sat, 5 Jul 2014 01:22:14 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
Nothing's gotten moldy yet, 31 years and counting, though the first
flood wasn't the first year. Pretty surprising in a way considering
how humid Md. is part of the time, and that it's a basement, and maybe
because I'm so close to a stream, although that seem
Mold twice in other places that were wet for a long time, for other
reasons, but easy to kill. Never bothered me either. The mold was
black. Does that mean it was "black mold"? I guess so. Maybe not
all the black mold is the same.
You suggested that in your previous post. I said "oh, wow" but maybe
you didn't fetch or read that yet. As I said, I'll send it to them.
Well 20 or 25 years ago I called the county. Someone had told me what I
needed was waterproof manhole covers, and I found the right guy without
much trouble and told him the problem and that I wanted them. He said
he didnbt' think they'd do me any good, but he'd put them in if I
wanted. He asked me which ones I wanted changed and I said the one
near me, but for the second one, I didn't know which one to say, and I'm
still not sure what I should have said, upstream or downstream, but I
picked the next one downstream.
A little while later I saw that work was being done on the manhole near
me, but I don't think I ever saw the guys who were doing it so I
couldn't talk to them And I never hunted for the next manhole.
Since it's been 25 years, I could probably call again and a different
guy has the job now and wouldn't know I called before, (although he
would ask why I don't want the one near me changed and I'd have to say I
think it was changed, and he'd say Why do you think that? And maybe it
never was. I should take a ladder down there and climb up and look at it
and pour a bucket of water on it.) And if I call, maybe get the two
manholes upstream from me waterproofed. but A) if the Tom hadn't
suggested the upflush, I'd think it was the neighbor's only good remedy,
and I'd be happy to have it benefit me too, but I don't expect I could
get such good and quick service this time as I did last time, not that
much has changed but last time everything went so well. Well I'm a
little angrier than I used to be and I'm not sure I can ask as nicely as
I did the last time. Or maybe I coudl in this situation. B) I have to
go find them first. I don't want to be ignorant like I was the last
time, C) I've been satisfied putting the stopper in, except for in the
last 3 months the rubber stopper seems to have shrunk or the drain got
bigger!! Because water has seeped around the stopper even when it's in
tight, the wood is in tight, and it shouldn't leak.
I bought another one at home depot and it didnt' seem any better. so I
bought 3 sizes at Ace Hardware (They had 3 sizes, every eighth of an
inch 1 1/2, 5/8 and 3/4. So much better than HD. ) but mostly I'm
looking for a different maker who will make it a trifle bigger. I have
t he new ones right here, haven't tried them yet. Shame on me.
If this doesn't work I'm going to try to wrap something around the
stopper to make it a tiny big bigger but I don't know what.
I don't think that is true in Baltimore County. At least no one here has
ever suggested it and 3 of the 4 (but not me) had water in the basement
10 years ago. Unless it's their fault, which it surely is.
Anyhow, for the first flood I tried to sweep the water into the sump
and later I got a wet-dry vac for this purpose, and it worked, but for
the last 10 years or more, I just let the water evaporate, or maybe it
seeps into and through the cement floor???
and the floor dries within a day. The boxes take longer. I don't know
how the county could help me. They would pick up the boxes and
everything would fall out and the boxes wouldn't even have sides
anymore, let alone bottoms.
Thanks a lot. Quite a good webpage for a little place like Wood River,
Illinois, wherever that is.. I have to read this a few times, but I
The first two suggestions, plug and standpipe make repeated references
to "floor drain". Do they mean a drain in the middle of the basement
floor? We had one of those in the house I spent my first 10 years (and
the basement flooded enough that we basically didn't use that room, and
the bottom of the furnace was rusting and the washer and dryer had to be
on wooden boxes!)
If that's what they mean, I don't have one.
Or do they mean where the drain pipe from the house enters the basement
floor. Because that I have two or three of. I have plastic drain pipe
and the two that I see have cleanouts about 3 feet above the floor,
Y-pieces where one fork is vertical and the other at a 30 degree angle
or so, with a plug in it, but no way to put in another plug or
standpipe. They just go straight into the cement floor and disappear.
I'm sure they join together under the house, or conceivably in front of
That's too personal for me to discuss with them, especially since it's
the mother and mother-in-;law, though in fact she's probably younger
than I am. Their kids are 17 and ??? which might make them around 40
and the MIL around 60 or more but I'm 67. Oh, and I don't know the
etiquette rules. Even if people know they're from a different culture
and know they shouldn't expect Americans to act the same as they do,
people have a visceral reaction, even if it's only a weak one, to
violations of their own etiquette rules. I'd guess they've been here 10
years more or less, from Pakistan. The 17-year old has no other
accent than American and she also does most of the talking.
They bought it. And soon after I told them this problem, one of them,
probably the 17-year old, asked, What did you tell the [previous
owners]? I immediately realized the mess I was in, and internally I
"gulped" and said, "The same thing, but like I said, it only happens
every 1 or 2 years", as if maybe it never happened to them. But it did
happen to the woman, who bought the house when she was single maybe 4
years ago. . I nagged her to keep the stopper in place, becaues I didnt
get enough feedback to think she was taking it seriously enough, and
apparently she did use it, but the time it flooded she said she'd
forgotten to put it back in. ;-( After that, I stopped nagging
because I figured the flood was a better reminder than I could be. And
I think the stream rose again after her new husband moved in, although
this time the stopper was in place.
I don't know if we have disclosure laws in Baltimore County. They
didn't 31 years ago!, but I know things have changed.
OK, as of fall of 2005, not so long ago, the whole state of Maryland has
The buyers did get an inspection and the iinspector found 10 things (Of
course he's never going to find this, because it only happens every year
or two. Sometimes a flood leaves a water mark on the wall, but not when
there's only an eighth or even a quarter of an inch of water and it
doesn't reach the walls.) So the husband was fixing all 10 things,
although he thought the list was sort of stupid and I think most of the
regular posters here would think so too. He considered them simple
things. One was caulking between the cement in front of the house
(hard to describe) and the brick house. Another was change the furance
filter. I don't know what the other eight were.
Anyhow, the new husband is a verrrry nice guy. Early on he'd rented a
ladder to clean the upstairs windows and while up there he pulled my
vines out of my gutters and offered to do more. He said he had lots
of tools and offered to lend me any he had (I only needed a pole saw and
he didn't have that) He lent me his lawnmower when mine broke at the
start of the season. He lifted it up and put it on my side of the 44"
fence, which I'm sure was easy for him, but still. My gutters have
never had leaves in them, even though there are trees 10, 20, maybe 30
feet taller than my house nearby, but for some reason the rear gutter is
clogged and water pours over the side in the middle of the run. He
offered to clean the gutters for me, if I got (paid for, I think) the
ladder. He was probably going to get it for me since he has a pickup
truck with a plastic liner and HD is only a mile away. Even when he
moved, he offered to come back and clean my gutters for me, and he meant
it. I suppose this is partly because I gained a lot of weight, my
back has been bad for about a year now (I'm stalling around and not
getting the MRI), and I don't look capable of doing this stuff (and I'm
not but I expect to be soon. I can't let other people do all this stuff
for me or I'll be OLD at 67, instead of 77 which was the plan, or 87. )
The rest of my health is just fine.
And the girl sent me a Thank You note before they left for being a good
neighbor!!! Who does that, even when someone is a good neighbor? She
mentioned the sink stoppper issue, where I didn't save her even though I
tried.. And her Honda wouldn't start in the hot weather. I looked that
up online and found that there's a main relay that fails and sometimes
all it needs is to open the car door and let the inside cool off some.
(That's what happened the first time it wouldn't start) Or you can
replace the relay, which I said I'd do for her, (she'd pay for the
relay) but the next day I found another webpage that said the problem
was solder connections. Just resolder all of them. That sounded even
better, and I offered to do that. I even bought a bottle of liquid
flux, which I suppose I should have used for the last 40 years, though I
never missed it and everything got soldered, but the webpage
recoommended it. But then she said the car never had the trouble
again (which is pretty amazing since the solder didn't fix itself and we
had plenty of very hot days) and later her husband said it was fixed
but didn't say how. He's an electrical engineer and he probalby bought
a new relay but didn't pay the dealer or a shop to put it in. So she
thanked me for two things I didnt' really do, but I was wiling to do
them so I suppose that counts. Of course, I love fixing cars, so I
shouldn't get points for that .
So what I thought about posting last night was that even these two very
very very nice people aren't so nice all the time, a sobering thought.
But I'm not so sure now. Two of the new people, but I'm not sure which
two, said they had never met them. Maybe none of them had. They were
hoping to meet them at the closing but the first closing failed in the
middle for lack of papers and at the second, the previous owners were
done and left 5 minutes before the new owners arrived, they were told.
So they probably weren't asked in person what the problems were.
I dl'd the Residential Property Disclosure form and I;m trying to make
the text bigger.. Dang, it didn't occur to me that saying what I did
to the new owners would be great evidence if they sued my friends, the
old owners. Though it did occur to me when I was gulping that I can't
afford to lie to the new owners who will be my next door neighbors for
years to come. Plus I don't like lying. But it seems the new owners
can get out of this mess for an added 1000 dollars, or 2000 with markup
on the toilet and some extra labor. I guess my friends can pay that,
but if the new owners want me to testify, I'll also say it couldn't be
more than 2000. So what happens if they got taken and paid 5000 extra
over what the bathroom would have cost without the special toilet?
2. Basement: Any leaks or evidence of moisture? o Yes o No
o Unknown o Does Not Apply
What do you think would be the proper answer for this question?
17. Is the property located in a flood zone, conservation area, wetland
area, Chesapeake Bay critical area or Designated Historic District?
o Yes o No o Unknown If yes, specify
I've been here 31 years and I still don't know if I'm in a flood zone.
I'm sure it's not a historic district however.
Pipeline Maintenance Division
*Emergency Sewer Service Group* - "Mops basements when main overflows."
Might be worth calling the next time. Who knows, maybe if they have to
pay to help clean up, they might be more inclined to look for a solution.
For you, maybe the easiest and best option would be to do two things:
1) Install the CPVC ball valve in the laundry sink drain and leave it closed
except for when you need to you the sink for things other than the washing
2) Re-route the washing machine outlet hose so that it ties into the sewer
line stack up high, above the level of the ground outside. You would have
to figure out a way to include a trap in the drain line that goes into the
sewer stack (between where the laundry outlet hose goes into the new PVC
drain line and where that drain line ties into the stack up near the
ceiling) to prevent sewer gases from coming out of the stack and into the
basement area. If I were doing this idea, I would skip the whole lint
filter part and just let whatever comes out of the laundry outlet hose get
pumped directly into the sewer line.
I was originally thinking of suggesting one of those Saniflo pumps for under
you laundry sink, but you don't need that since the washing machine has its
own pump and the laundry sink is used almost entirely just for the washing
machine. So, let the washing machine do the pumping. If you do that and it
works for you, maybe you could then suggest the same thing for the other
neighbors that only have laundry sinks in their basements and no toilet etc.
I wrote before,
I think probably yes. Saniflo and other companies make different types of
pumps, some "macerating" and some not, etc. They are made to be able to be
opened up and cleaned if needed, and I think that would probably end up
being needed every once in a while due to lint or whatever. That's another
reason why just relying on the washing machine to do the pumping would make
the most sense to me -- plus that eliminates the need to buy any type of
Saniflo or other brand upflow pump.
Thanks for the added details and follow-up information. That helps.
Regarding the possibility of any in-line back flow check valves possibly
getting clogged with lint etc., I think that, yes, that is possible. And,
overall, it doesn't seem like any of the back flow check valve options would
be fool proof or the best option.
With that setup, I think the neighbors who want to put a MIL bath in the
basement should definitely go with an upflush option. If the don't, they
definitely will experience sewer backups into their MIL's basement area
sooner or later. Also, the distance from the new basement bath to the stack
is not very significant since all of the upflush pump systems can easily go
up and pump horizontally (across the ceiling) a fairly long distance.
There are different ways of doing upflush systems. One is the Saniflo-style
pumps that sit on top of the basement floor. The other option is to break
out the basement floor, create a "pit", and put in a more serious and more
powerful upflush pump. That last option is more bucks, of course.
Here are couple of links showing a powerful pit-type pump and some other
Hope this helps.
Thanks. This will definitely save me some time. This sounds like
it's lower on the totem pole than whomever I talked to 25 years ago,
which is good because in addition to mopping, they're more likely to
understand why it's flooding, whether waterproof manhole covers work,
and where to put them.
I looked at google images for waterproof manhole covers and I don't
think I have one after all. Maybe they just made the manhole higher,
but still not high enough. 25 years ago, I had no internet and there
wasn't too much to have, so I unless I went to the DPW in person, I had
no way to know what a waterproof manhole cover looked like
I guess that does indeed include me.
They also list here, with a separate phone number even, the Inflow and
Inspection Group. It says "Investigate complaints concerning storm
drain and sewers." If you saw another thread, that's a big problem
I'll bet I can get them to come out and look at the road and the drain
and write a report that says the opening is not big enough anymore, so I
can keep our not-so-good property manager from arguing against that
idea. I wonder if owning our own streets mean we own our own storm
drains too? At the very least, I'm sure they'll discuss the problem
with me and no one would know better than they how big a storm drain
opening should be.
Well this shouldn't be hard. The washing machine is to the right of the
sink and the drain from the kitchen is just to the left of the sink.
Yeah, I only worry about chopped up lint because I thought it was
clogging the check valve, but art suggests it was just the slowly-rising
water that let the water through.
I watched a video at one of the links below that said 25' up and 150'
across. Makes me wish I had 2 more levels of basement.
And looking for trouble. On the theory that digging is always looking
for trouble. Esp. in this case where if the plumber leaves a water
leak, it will be washing soil from under my house too!!! Any leak
above the floor will either be noticed or will reach their sump and be
I thought I needed a ladder to climb up and look at the manhole cover,
but iti was only as high as my armpit (and I'm only 5'8") Go figure.
Well, it's a steel cover with two holes the size of a quarter, and a
circumference that doesn't seem waterproof. No wonder he was so
coopertative. He wasn't planning on doing it!!!! Or at least it
didnt' get done.
I found the next one upstream and it's about 600 feet away in the middle
of a field that I drive by twice a day!!! Field is next to the stream.
I don't know if it floods because at times like that, I'm usually home
watching if my basement is still dry. But I will check in the next big
It will be hard to find more manholes because I can't just follow the
stream. The sewer is always somewhat near the stream, but only when
the sewer crosses under the stream is there any chance the manhole will
be in the stream, and there's a good chance it won't be close enought to
be visible. And I can't walk in the back yards of house. Maybe
someday I'll find a map with manholes on it.
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