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Thread: I caused a city sewer back up?!

  1. #1
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    Default I caused a city sewer back up?!

    So I cabled the line 100 ft. No drainage. Pushed camera out before it was stopped at 110 ft, locate mabey 10 ft from the city sewer. cabled that distance with no problem. Would get water bobbing up and down at the floor drain while running water and cabling but it would never clear.Back and forth back and forth for way too long thinking I got a belly or soft stoppage I need to work out ( close to an hr ) I actually ran close to 140 ft at one point. with all the advance and reverse I lost my points of reference.

    Eventually I give up and start dragging the cable back in. I had quit running water mabey 15 minutes before. As i'm drawing in the cable all of a sudden water starts shooting out of the floor drain. We arent running any in the house.The whole basement, mabey 20 ft squared, is full of 2 inches of water by the time I get the 100 ft in the drum and hand pull the 50 ft extension. The idiot tenant is on the phone with the landlord cursing me up and down swearing I broke the sewer and flooding out the furnace.

    I call the city and the jet truck shows up and hr later at 9pm which opens it up and drains all the standing water. Scared the shEEt out of me. I have walked into city stoppages but never had one happen in the middle of the job I was on. The city sewer was mabey 12" diameter tops. The service line to it was probably 6". Either I opened it and it clogged the city or the city was clogging near the service tap, clogging the line with the sewage that was forced up it and when it opened we got all the back pressure. Thats the only sense I can make of it. I was there all of 5 hrs from roll up to roll out. I never pulled anything out or felt a stoppage of any kind. Not the worst job I have ever had, but I'll never forget it.

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  3. #2
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    Default I did that once

    Football Sunday, ate three bowls of 5 alarm chili and a plate of corned beef/sauerkraut dip.

    I wasn't plugged up at all but I did influence the line.


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  5. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fixitright View Post
    Football Sunday, ate three bowls of 5 alarm chili and a plate of corned beef/sauerkraut dip.

    I wasn't plugged up at all but I did influence the line.




    You OK... ???

  6. #4
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    Default

    I'd guess the main was plugged (or partially plugged) the whole time. Someone sent a slug of water down and it showed up in your basement.

    Regardless of how it happened it sucks.

  7. #5
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    Partially plugged mabey. The basement was dry before I got there. backups happened with major(clothes washer, shower) water usage but receeding very quickly. I cabled it back and forth with water running from the kitchen sink for almost an hr watching water come up high (mabey 2 ft diameter around floor drain) and go back down again as I would work in and out of certain areas. I thought the pipe just had a huge belly full of crud.Then I shut the water down and shortly after, started pulling in cable. Thats when all hell broke loose. weird.

  8. #6
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    Default

    My guess is the city was plugged, and the belly with the crud stopped it from coming into the basement. Once the lateral was opened it allowed all the city waste to come into the basement you were working on
    IF YOU CANíT FLUSH I WILL RUSH
    www.appletondrainandsewer.com
    1-920-284-7471
    Appleton WI

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  10. #7
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    Default

    When you see the water level in the drain coming higher, and no one in the house is running water, you can't get your cable out, and get the cleanout plug back on fast enough...

    Typically a partially clogged city line in a residential area will back up in the morning and evening when people are bathing or, doing the 3 S's... Shyt, shower, shave...
    Mid day the problem will fix itself....
    Lowest house before the clog gets it!

    Everyone has this experience once in a while, not much you can do about it...
    While sometimes you can pop a manhole cover and check, many times the street is too busy or the cover has been paved over.
    It should be covered in your hold harmless agreement signed at the beginning of the job,
    And the city should pick up the tab for any damage & cleaning in the customers home...

    When I find a city sewer clog has flooded a customers home I tell them, "Today is your lucky day."

    A couple of times I've told the customer to call the city the clog is "theirs," and the city employee taking the call argued, "It's impossible! Our line can't be clogged." Then I get on the phone and introduce myself, telling them how many years experience I have, and that I'm 100% certain the water is coming from their line. Then I add, "I've told the customer the city is liable for damages and cleanup."

    Typically they respond, "We'll be right out."
    "99% of Being Smart...
    Is Knowing What You're Dumb At"


    411 Plumb | Click Here For A Free Internet Plumbing Directory Listing | Plumb 411

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  12. #8
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    Default

    G'day guys, in our area, if we get a blockage in the main and we identify it to the authority, we get a spotters fee of about 90 bucks and we charge the customer aswell. Win win.

    And on a side note, how about Andrew Bogut. Playing pretty well by all accounts.
    He was a local junior from my area.

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    TheDrainGuy (12-05-2014)

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