So in that list of remedies that Lee posted a url for, when it said
floor drain and recommended a plug or a standpipe,, it meant just that,
a drain in the middle of the basement floor, right?
How can someone put a standpipe in the middle of the room? I guess
they'd build a box around it so it looked like a post holding up the
Yeah, although my situation might be different. The water level int he
stream rises slowly but when it gets higher than the manhole, at first
it's just a trickle but when it's an inche or two higher, it pours in
pretty fast. Of course it still has to fill up the entire sewer, maybe
for miles downstream, so maybe the water level in the sewer rises as
slowly as the water level in the stream.
I went to the manhole today, and the top of it was at least 3 feet below
how high the stream has gone up at times. Where did I get the idea
they made the manholes higher? I thought they were maybe 6 inches too
low, but this one is more than 3 feet too low. The next one upstream,
I don't know if it floods, and I found a third one, not quite 600 feet
upstream but a lot farther from the stream, and it might not be on the
main sewer. It's right by a a couple houses. No one outside today, but
I'll try to find someone I can ask if it floods there. Other than
that, it will be hard to find more manholes.
You could see it flapping? Look down the hole and see it. I guess if
I could my head close enough to the wall and had a flashlight, I might
be able to see it too, but otoh, the water is not clear, I assumed.
Although maybe it is? You could see through the water? . You coudl
hear it flapping?
I tried that, but I had a hard time setting up the siphon. I was using
a random garden hose and it was much too long to just reach the sump .
That's a darn good question, because though I've only had 1/8",
yesterday I figured out that steam level is five feet above the basement
floor. Sure when the water reaches the sump, that pump kicks on, but I
don't know which carries more water. Now I have another reason to get
a second or a bigger sump pump.
Ugh. Still, probably worth it. I wonder if one of thse could service 4
houses, right adjoining each other, each 21 feet wide.
Oooh. So if it worked for four houses, maybe the fifth house would get
the part that's pumped out.
Manually is bad. I can never predict when it will flood, and I'm not
always around. I can't just close it every night it might rain, and
every day in rainy months. I could close it every time I went out of
Still I loved this story and it's good to know others have had this
This is the relevant quesiton on the disclosure form. What would be
the proper answer? The required answer? The answer that isnt' a lie?
2. Basement: Any leaks or evidence of moisture? o Yes o No
o Unknown o Does Not Apply
Well, if the sink backs up, is that a leak? I've had 30 years to talk
about my backup and I've never called it a leak. There is no seal
that's not sealed, no joint that's not joined, no valve that should be
closed that isn't fully closed.
Evidence of moisture? Only when the sink backs up and they've kept
that plugged for years. By the time they unplug it any unwanted water
has gone down several feet. Well, the trap is always wet. So maybe the
answer is No.
It seems to me that one could almost? reasonably say there is nothing
wrong with this house. The problem is that the manholes are too low,
and I, the owner, am not in charge of the manholes. Than the plaintiff
will say, it's not that the manholes are too low, it' s that the house
is too low.
And the defendant prior owner will say, I didn't hide from you how high
the house is. You can see how high the house is just by looking.
Is the question badly written? Should there be another question to
cover this sort of thing?
I don't know if the prior owner is off the hook both legally and
ethically because the question isn't well written, or only legally, or
neither, or what. I'm glad the cost of remedying this is, I expect, at
most 2000 dollars.
The prior owner, the wife here, bought the house on a short sale, and I
think that means she got no disclosure statement at all.
Also the form keeps saying "your personal knowledge" of the problems.
So assuming for the sake of argument, it never backed up when the owners
owned it, perhaps because they always kept it plugged up, and their only
knowledge of the problem is that I told them about it, is that their
personal knowledge? In Maryland. Any lawyers here?
As it turns out, I will probably be putting in one of those heavy duty "pit"
type sewage pumping systems in the next few months. It is for a below-grade
(basement level) apartment that I am completely re-doing. In my case, the
lateral sewer line is about 8 to 10 inches above the basement floor and it
runs out through the wall where it is about 5 feet below the ground level.
From there, it runs out to the main sewer line in the street about 15 feet
from the front of the building, and there is an air vent by the curb.
Rarely, but every once in a while, there is a clog or backup between the
curb vent and the sewer line in the street. When that happens, raw sewage
backs up onto the ground through the curb vent. The problem is that the
basement level apartment will have sinks, a tub, and a toilet that are all
below the level of the curb vent opening by the street. So, if there is a
sewage backup, it would end up backing up through those basement level
fixtures into the below-grade apartment.
One option is for me to use an above-the-floor upflush pumping system. And
the other option is to do the "pit" type sewage pumping system.
My plan right now is to go with the "pit" type. When I dig the pit, I will
either make it a pit with solid walls and a solid floor, or use one of the
"pit" type pumping systems that comes with its own solid pit container, or
maybe do both. I will, of course, need to locate the pit in an area where
the top of the pit can be opened and accessed for any needed repairs etc.
This option is definitely more expensive, but one reason that I am thinking
that I will choose that is because the apartment will be rented out and I
want a pumping system that has the best likelihood of surviving the kind of
crap (no pun intended) that tenants may flush down the toilet etc.
For a homeowner like you new neighbor who just needs a basement level bath
for their MIL, the above-the-floor upflush systems would probably be an
easier and definitely less expensive option.
I suppose so. They said they were hiring a contractor. I'll sneak
this line in with one of the posts I'm forwarding, so they won't think I
Well they're not renting the room. She's a member of the family. And
the rough-in is already there for the bathroom, at least the toilet**
and the sink, I'm sure. If this were any of the other 100 homes in the
n'hood, there's be no construction difficulties. The HOA had been rude
and obnoxious under the old president, but not very intrusive I think.
We have no gas here, so that's one source of fire we don't have.
**This reminds me. I may be the only owner in the n'hood who has
blueprints. I called the builder soon after I moved in, 4 years after
the house was built, and he referred me to the architect iirc, and he
ony charged me 10 or 20 dollars. Then they were on actual blueprint
paper. Is that still true?
There is only one blueprint for all of the houses, even the mirror image
ones I think. A couple variations are shown too.
Renting doesn't have anything to do with it. They didn't come up with
egress codes to protect _tenants_ they wrote them to protect _people_.
Basically, it sounds like you're saying "They don't have to worry about
egress and safety codes because she's "family". When you look at that way,
does it make any sense at all?
When I was a young boy, my grandparents remodeled their basement so we
would have a place to sleep when we visited. The basement had your basic
ground level, 18" x 24" basement windows. In the room that became the only
real bedroom with a door (for my parents, of course) Grandpa dug a window
well on the outside, removed a few courses of block and installed a side
hinged window, large enough to climb out of if we were trapped in the
basement. For as long as I can remember - going on 50 years now - there has
always been a wooden chair under that window. One step up onto the chair,
one more step up and you are in the backyard.
On Sun, 6 Jul 2014 23:21:02 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
I was thinking about other things Tekkie said, whether her residence
there was legal. If she were not part of the family, it might not be.
But yes, that does make sense. Someone part of the family, present
when discussions are held and decisions made would know if the family
knows about a law it's ignoring.
Someone loved by the family, especially her actual child and the almost
grown grandchildren (if not the child's spouse too), would not be put at
risk if the family didn't think the risk was very small.
OTOH, a non-family member might be treated cavailierly. "Sure there
may be a CO leak from on of the appliances, and sure there is no CO
detector or it's 20 years old, but we don't know this guy. Let him
complain or move if he doesn't like it." They woudln't treat the
grandmother that way.
That was a good idea.
But despite this conversation here, I know more about plumbing than I do
about escape. So I told them what the people here told them about
Maybe I'll tell them what you just said, but otoh, I slept in the
basement all summer the first year I was here and I wasn't worried about
fire at all. And I just cleaned off the sofa and plan to sleep in the
basement again tonight and as long as it's hot or humid upstairs. (My
AC is broken and I'm not in the mood to fix it.) I don't think this
woman is in more danger than I am, and I don't think I'm in any danger.
I wanted to tell them about the Saniflo, because I felt bad that they'd
already bought the house and no one had told them about the flooding
basement or problem putting in a toilet, BEFORE they bought it. And
specifically my friends, the previous owners. I wanted to get them off
the hook, or at least reduce the hook to $2000 and not, "Oh my gosh, we
have to move again. Pay the 5% commission again, and the moving company
again, plus all the shopping and trying to sell this house." Now that
would be a real actual burden they would face immediately, and maybe it
would be my friends' fault.
In 31 years, there have only been 2 fires in the n'hood, one started on
the 2nd floor by a kid playing with matches or something, which the
water to put it out did a lot of damage to the kitchen. And another
that also started on the second floor.
What happens is that maybe 10 people die in a year when they can't
escape the basement, in a country of 300,000,000, and the fire and
consumer people get busy and want more regulations.
They don't need me to point out there is only one exit from the
basement. Your grandparents figured it out and so can they.
On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 3:16:09 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:
My brother left our invalid mother alone on almost a daily basis...he would leave and Life-Alert would call me because he left his cell in his truck!
She would have died alone if I hadn't talked to her nurse about what was happening...it's all about the money. She was 92...and a great mother to us.
On Friday, July 4, 2014 10:45:54 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:
As others have said the best is to put a check valve on your main sewer line.
Get a 3" inflatable waste test ball. You can inflate them with a bicycle pump. Push it down the toilet past the lower flush jet and inflate it.
micky posted for all of us...
And I know how to SNIP
The manhole is not in the stream. The sewer has some pressure to it and the
stream may have little water. They may be playing you with the manhole
cover routine. Situation like this are caused by inflow of ground water into
the sanitary sewer. Around here the poop authority videos the line to stay
under (state or federal) regs.
The stream can be as shallow as 8" where it is 20 feet wide. I guess a
foot or so where it is 15' wide. For about 300 feet it has two
parallel channels. Used to be a tree would fall down across one and
that would block twigs and leaves and some trash and stop the flow in
that channel and all of it would go in the other channel Then after a
couple years, there would be a "flood" that washed away everything
blocking the water in the first channel, and later there's be a blockage
in the second. It went back and forth a half dozen times in the first
15 years. But lately both channels are open, but the main one passes so
much water, the other one is dry in some spots with no or almost no
current. Might mean mosquitoes. Fortunatly for me, they haven't
bothered me since I'm 20.
That was 25 years ago, but maybe. The guy from the county said they
woudln't help, which might have been false, and he said he'd put 2 of
them on, which sure seem to have not been done.
Right, when the stream rises because of rain. Some of that is
underground water seeping into the stream or its tributary, and much is
surface water coming from streets and parking lots into storm sewers
into the stream. The stream goes 4 miles upstream before it peters out
to 6" across and 1" deep! The valley it serves with tributaries is
about a mile wide, maybe. I should use my car to measure from top of
hill to top of hill.
It only flood my basement every year or two, so it works okay the other
729 days in two years.
I'm going to start another thread later, after I check out info that I
learned in this one.
Good luck on your project. Yes, you might get stupid little kids as
tenants who throw all knds of things in the toilet. I can't remember
before 4 but after 5 I know I didn't do things like that.
I watched the videos at the url you gave me
and the video talks about how easy it is to get the cover off to change
the blades and do maintenance. It also shows device chopping up one
of those women's pads and an action figure. I'm thinking that if people
don't put anything like that, anything that shouldn't be in the toilet,
the blades should last 10 years. ??? I think it also had a battery
that had to be replaced once in a while that finishes the chopping if
the current fails, even though it said the chopping only took 9 seconds.
OTOH, the Saniflo page said that no maintenance was required. Do you
suppose that is true? Maybe it doesn't have replaceable blades, or
sharp blades that can become dull. Maybe it just has something like
spinning flat screwdrivers that will last 50 years. It doesn't take
sharpness to chop up human waste.
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