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 water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: nattyboe (IL)

Hello,

I live in Chicago and have a typical bungalow.

When it rains heavy water comes up through the basement floor drains first through the one at the front of the house which is closest to the street and then the drain at the back of the house. This first happened a month ago. I had a rodding company rod out the main line but the plumber said he didn't encounter any resistance and he didn't pull out any tree roots or any thing else. He said he went out about 120 feet which would get out to the city's main.

Since then I have disconnected the downspouts from the house's sewer system. But last week after a heavy rain, again water is coming up from the floor drains although not to the extent when the downspouts were connected. The city says their sewer in front of my house is not the problem since it is "down and flowing."

So how could this water be entering the sewer drain for my house if my downspouts aren't connected anymore?

Thanks

Rob

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: cheese4420 (AZ)

You'll want a Chicago plumber to check this out but I suspect it has to do with the "Daily" drainage plan. I used to work for an architect in Chicago and in the 90's, they put some sort of a regulator on the city drains so that the water would sit in the streets longer and not overload the sewer system. I don't know exactly what they did, but old time residents were seeing sewer back-ups when they never had before. Is it possible that some sort of new parking lot or development went in recently in your area and is increasing the water load on the main system? If you call a plumber who's been in the city for some time, they will most likely have dealt with this problem before and have a reasonable solution for you. You're probably on a standard Chicago lot, 25'x100' so the 125' would be more than enough to get all the way out. You've already contacted the city so you're pretty much done because as you know, the City of Chicago are just WONDERFUL to deal with.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: Vern H

Hi,

I live in Chicago too and have dealt w/this for many years. The problem is that the sewer system is "combined", there are not separate storm sewers. When it rains very hard, the sewers get overloaded and the water seeks the lowest point to escape. As your basement is lower than the street, the water appears at the lowest fixture which is obviously the floor drains. In my neighborhood (far NW side) many people here either have a flood control (backwater valve and a pump) or overhead sewers(the sewer exit is raised, any basement water is pumped up). These will eliminate the problem but it's not inexpensive. Due to forum rules, I won't mention any company names or what my neighbors paid for their systems. A Google search on "sewer backup chicago" will explain this much more.

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

Almost a decade ago black plastic bouys were induced into the city street grates to prevent or slow down the process of water from the streets entering the sewer system. Chicago also developed and executed the deep tunnel project to handle excessive storm water that plagued the city for decades.

You can have your line camera'd to ensure that it goes directly from your house to the main without any side connections to ensure integrity.

You can also check into a device by Rectorseal called a Clean Check Backwater Valve (800-231-3345) They have a good record in the suburbs in preventing massive flooding due to back waters. The concept is most unique.

These clean check backwater valves are not cheap, but once your's is installed and your basement is dry after the next heavy rains, your neighbors will be begging to have one as well.

If you have had major insurance losses in the past, maybe your insurance company will pay for the process or share the cost. Its worth your time to investigate vs mopping your basement.

Best Wishes

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: redwood (CT)

I really like those Clean Checks!
I have been mentioning them for some time now....

Any backwater valve will require periodic servicing/cleaning. Other brands require access close to the actual valve meaning it has to be installed close to the surface like in your basement or if outside a manhole for access.

With Clean Check valves the servicing/cleaning is accomplished through a cleanout at surface level with the valve up to 13' below. Sweet! :thumb::thumb:

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

www.cleancheck.net

For a video demo of the concept and product info.
Best Wishes

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: hj (AZ)

Down and flowing now, does not mean it is down during a rainstorm, although if it were a city sewer problem you should not be the only one with the problem unless your house is the lowest one in the area.

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: PBwrencher (WI)

I like the clean check and they are great to use on new work however; on old work I found them hard to connect because there is about a 1/4" difference between inlet and outlet.:eek:

9-8-08, 8:50am

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: redwood (CT)

Yea, you have to dig a little more but most of the time we're using a machine anyway so whats a few more scoops.

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains
Author: PBwrencher (WI)

I wish they could change that part of there design.:) Most of the building sewers are 10' at the footing in the older sections of town houses are close together and most of the time we can only get a Tonka Toy machine in there, then find a place to throw the dirt.:think:

Its very tough on the inside and with little pitch on the building drain I hate to manipulate the pipe using unshielded couplings that 1/4" so it fits.:?:

9-9-08, 6:40am

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains - side connections
Author: nattyboe (IL)

Hello Wheelchair,

Thanks for the response. What do you mean by side connections? Are you suggesting that maybe one of my neighbors' sewer line connects into mine before it meets the main?

Thanks

Rob

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 Re: water coming up from basement floor drains - side connections
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

Side connection is only a "fool's speculation" when it comes to brainstorming. Its truth is obtained when using a camera thru the main line to the street. This way you can eliminate any speculation from the mix of ideas or suggestion. As the camera makes it way thru your sewer line to the street, the operater will look for so many different potential problems, including any tie-ins or connections to that line.

Once you know the facts and have a copy of your video, you can begin the process of further protecting yourself from future flooding.


Best Wishes

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