Forum Title: Sewer back up issue and plumbing vent issue
To All: This is my first post on this forum and I would like to thank everyone in advance for their advice and help. We just moved to a new home in April and just had a sewage backup in our basement. We have a 3 inch floor drain next to our HVAC and a full bath on opposite sides of the house. We had a backup of sewage that was mostly contained in the shower but spread about 30 ft in diameter from the HVAC drain that ruined our finished basement. We had the carpet ripped out and had it professionally cleaned. We had the county come out and check the main line, no backup. We had a plumber TV the lateral line and no back up. We had 2 other plumbers come and the pipe that connects both drains appears to be bowed and has standing water in it. Their recommendation was to tear up the basement floor and replace the pipe. We contacted the prior owners (who seem honest and reliable) and asked if they had any issues in the past. They said they never had any problems with any type of backup. During our home inspection, there was a vent pipe that was open into the attic and there was black mold growing above it (see picture below). The mold was cleaned and we were told the pipe was fixed, but what they did was just run a metal sleeve in an upside down U shape and vented it through the soffit. (see other picture). I had a plumber come today and he said that he didnt think that pipe was a sewage vent pipe, but he also said he had no idea what else it could be... My two questions are: Can anything else be done besides tear up the floor and replace the pipe? Did the vent pipe "repair" play any role in the backup and is this repair suitable? Thank you all Jovan
Category: Plumber Post By: CONNIE REYNOLDS (Lake Elsinore, CA), 08/01/2017

No. That vent repair is not suitable. The flexible metal ducting is not approved by plumbing code to be used for drainage or venting purposes. The pipe must penetrate through the roof, or be connected to another vent that penetrates the roof. It cannot be vented through the soffit. As for the drain repair, you will have to expose the pipe and fix it. The shotty vent repair wouldn't of played a factor.

- CLINTON PADILLA (Medford, OR), 09/16/2017

Matt, Thank you for your reply, I will have the attic pipe addressed asap. In terms of the basement pipe, are there any alternatives? Can we install check valves or an assist device to help push the sewage out so we dont have to rip up the basement. My concern is that the basement is fully finished very expensively and I dont want to redo it from square one which would cost thousands. thanks

- CLIFFORD BURTON (Kearny, NJ), 09/30/2017

I will advice you to consult some well know licensed plumber to get your pipe replaced in proper way. I am suggesting this so because an experienced person can give you a proper service, thereby saving much of your time and money. Either you can browse on to the link ( or else can search online about the professional faculty whom you want to hire for the plumbing repair. Hope this can help you in the maintaining your new home.

- Michael Blocher (, ), 11/04/2017

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