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A foul mess in the basement bathroom

Posted by Daisy on September 12th, 2000 06:56 PM

Our basement became flooded with raw sewage last night from the basement bathroom. A little history, we bought this old house built in 1922 last july and one of the things we did was renovate the basement and replaced the toilet and shower in the original basement bathroom with new toilet and deep soaker tub. We also removed all the old rubber backing red shag carpeting and vinyl tiles and replaced all the flooring with large ceramic tile (istalled right on the concrete floor). We re-drywalled and everything it turned out really nice. Well last night the toilet and tub started making some noise and then all this sewage stuff started coming up. We had the diswasher and washing machine working at the time but that was not unusual, most of the time we are also showering at the same time and this has never happened before. We had the plumber in last month because the tenant living in the suite downtairs complained that her toilet was emptying slowly. The plumber used a snake and removed some roots and paper, but he didn't think that it was that clogged up and suspected that the that problem may stem from the city sewer line outside the property line. We live on a tree lined street. After calling the plumber this morning he suggested that i have the city come out which they did and they found our pipe on our property clear and the same on the city end. They suggested that possibly our pipe at some point before the city connection was not connected properly or had shifted and this caused the back-up. Both the city and plumber also suggested that maybe feminine hygene pads and tampons were being dumped in the toilet and that clogged up the line. It is possible that the previous tenant (who moved out in the end of august) was doing this. Since she is gone and now our pipes have been cleared! Are we safe from this happening again? The city has never had any complaints from this address regarding sewage waste. One thing one of our neighbors brought up was regarding a sump pump and whether it was working properly. What is a sump pump? I don't see anything like what he described anywhere in the basement or under the porch. When we ripped out the carpets from the basement and my dad and husband started tiling i do remember a 24"X24" floor space covered with a piece of plywood and asking what that was but i don't remember anyone ever answering my question. I do know that that area was tiled over. Hubby is on a business trip and is back tomorrow, this will then become his mess. Can anyone out there explain to us what happened and what we could do to make sure it does not happen again.
Help Daisy and Brian C

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