Sewer Backup Prevention

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wrote:

I am not sure of the correct terminology. But, every property that I have ever seen or owned (in and near New Jersey) has had a sewer line vent at or near the curb. Taking off the vent cover shows a vertical sewer stack that goes down to the lateral sewer line that runs into the town's sewer system. There is usually (or always?) a trap in the lateral sewer line between the vertical vent pipe and the town's sewer line.
Here's one link that I was able to find that references the trap/vent at the top of the second page of the document.
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wrote:

Oops, duh, I forgot to add the link:
http://doylestownborough.net/Factsheets/9SewerLateral.pdf
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My old house has manhole cover over sewer line. It did have a hole in the middle. It was in the neighbors yard across street. My line came into that pit about two feet down, then sewer line several feet below. If pressure built up to shoot out hole, then it would enter basement. I had drains plugged, except for shower which needed to go over about six inches of barrier. Pressure was high that day, enough to shoot over barrier, even though my basement floor was below the manhole cover. It took me three hours to get home that horrible night. Traffic was bad, everything flooded. I even left work early. Had bad feeling when home phone would not ring. That's called suburbia not city.
Greg
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On 11/28/2012 3:12 PM, Daniel Csoke wrote:

both have sewer lines that go straight down into the basement floor. The basement is unfinished but I have plans to frame and start the finishing process during the summer of 2013. This includes adding an additional full bath.

and spills across the basement floor. Most incidents are minor and may get 20% of the basement floor wet, but once the entire basement had 2-3" of sewage and it came from the floor drain and the cleanout in the main stack from the upstairs bathroom. (cleanout is only 2" above the floor)

the same gravity feed system but with a pit to allow for use during backflow issues. This involves a double backflow valve, T splitter to allow sewage from house to spill into a pit when the valves shut, and an ejector pump to force the sewage out in front of the valves when sewers are backed up.

main line from house would dump into the pit, an ejector pump would pump the sewage 6ft vertically and then back down into the main line out of the house. This creates a mock overhead system to prevent backflow from the city.

floor drain would sealed shut, main stack from second floor bathroom replaced with PVC so that the cleanout is 2ft higher, and install an ejector pump for the laundry tub and future bathroom.

I had similar problems in the old house in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago. In my case, it happened maybe every 3 or 4 years. As the sewer line under the basement floor was cast iron, I put a rubber stopper in the one floor drain. However, I was awakened one morning at 3AM by the neighbor's phone call saying the sewers were backing up! None came from the plugged floor drain. However, there were 2 other drains; one in the laundry tub and one for the furnace (AC condensate, recuperative furnace and humidifier). Both of these had check valves. Check valves don't work when the water level rises slowly. So, it was coming out of the drain by the furnace and the laundry tub was almost full to the top. My wife then plugged the drain by the furnace. I siphoned the water in the tub to the sump pit. As there was now a large difference in pressure on the 2 sides of the check valve, it closed tight. I then vacuumed the water on the floor.
I went to the town's public works director and ask him when this might stop .... when the water gets up to the ceiling joists? He sent out one of his guys who checked out the details and recommended back to his boss that they put in a anti-backflow system. They contracted with a local company called Safe House or something similar. The bill was about $5K and was not paid by me. They installed a manhole in my front lawn with a removable 20" square grass pan for access. The unit itself operated via a float which would close the gate ... back pressure would then hold it closed. If you continued to use the drains in your house, the sewage would flow into an ejector pit at the bottom of the manhole and get forced into the backing up sewers (probably into my neighbor's basement). I never had a problem after that and I used it as a selling point, when selling the house. The town had maybe a dozen houses that were at the right (actually wrong) elevation, where this problem occurred. Apparently, they fixed them all. You might try this.
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I don't understand the ejector pump and pit solutions.
We've had excellent results with these:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3IFOSdM1Y8

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On 12/2/2012 6:09 AM, DanG wrote:

Nice idea, however, as I said in my previous post, simple check valve don't work when the water rises slowly. At 1st, there is no pressure on either side of the flap. Then as the water from the sewer rises just a little, there is always a little leakage, so it seeps through, evening the pressure on each side. This continues until the water apparently backs up, slowly. Maybe others have had success, however, my experience is that you need a rapid rise in order to close the flap tight and fast. As I posted above, there are others that use a float to close the flap. As to the ejector, in my case, it was there only if you continued to flush or run water down the drains, while the sewers were in a backup condition and the flap is sealed closed. Drain water from the house would push through another valve as pressure built up from the house side, and this sewage would then go into the ejector pit and eventually get pushed into the sewers by the ejector pump.
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That backflow preventer will stop the city sewer from flowing back into the house system and coming out the floor drain in the basement floor or the laundry sink, etc. That solves the worst part of the problem, which is unlimited sewage flowing into the basement. But it doesn't solve it all. Now, ask yourself what happens if the city sewer is backing up, the backflow valve is activated and you fush a toilet upstairs or take a shower?
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wrote:

I have no idea whether these thoughts might help you, but anyway ... My backing up problems were because of an obstructed sewer line to the street, plus the street sewer had backed up as well. A neighbor across the street had backups as well, even after his lateral had been fixed. So I asked the guy who did my lateral to take a look into the street sewer. He also does work for the town, so it was easy for him to convince the town that the street sewer needed fixing.
Once those were fixed several years ago, no more backups.
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