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tater_salad
Sep 15, 2007




melon cat posted:

Flooding problem. At noon today our local city authority ran an annual "hydrant flushing" maintenance. All residents were advised that "this may cause discoloured water temporarily" and to run "the lowest tap in your home for 10-30 minutes ... to clear anything that that has dislodged."

So we did that. We also flushed our basement toilet while running the laundry room utility basin tap. Then immediately started to experience flooding.



It's sewer water. And it bubbles up and starts flooding every time we run a tap or shower in our house.

Any thoughts as to why this would happen? Is this something a sump pump would prevent? I spoke to the city who's obviously claiming it's not their fault but this definitely happened at the same time as the hydrant flushing was underway.


If they were doing Supply line based stuff (hydrant flush possibly getting old rusty hydrant water back into the supply) it's supply based.

You have a drainage issue. Call a plumber to snake out your main line to the sewer considering that any faucet is causing water backing up through your floor drain.

same with other poster, get your main lines cleared out and hope it's not anything more.

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Zarin
Nov 11, 2008

I SEE YOU


tater_salad posted:

If they were doing Supply line based stuff (hydrant flush possibly getting old rusty hydrant water back into the supply) it's supply based.

You have a drainage issue. Call a plumber to snake out your main line to the sewer considering that any faucet is causing water backing up through your floor drain.

same with other poster, get your main lines cleared out and hope it's not anything more.

Other poster here; I dealt with a tree root intrusion for years but as those trees died and got cut down, that seemed to lessen. Back in maybe October or November I had a backup; they didn't think it was roots but weren't sure.

Then in February we had a backup during a hard freeze; I figured maybe the two were related, but now I'm not so sure.

I'm submitting this one through a subscription-based claims service, so we'll see how it goes!

Zarin
Nov 11, 2008

I SEE YOU


Zarin posted:

Other poster here; I dealt with a tree root intrusion for years but as those trees died and got cut down, that seemed to lessen. Back in maybe October or November I had a backup; they didn't think it was roots but weren't sure.

Then in February we had a backup during a hard freeze; I figured maybe the two were related, but now I'm not so sure.

I'm submitting this one through a subscription-based claims service, so we'll see how it goes!

Update: They got out here fast and did good work. It was a root ball at the end of my yard, apparently. Going to need to go pick up some foaming root killer and start using that pretty liberally. Otherwise they said the sewer pipe looks to be in really good condition overall, so that's good!

Tipped 'em each what I hope was a pretty reasonable amount for their trouble.

melon cat
Jan 21, 2010



tater_salad posted:

If they were doing Supply line based stuff (hydrant flush possibly getting old rusty hydrant water back into the supply) it's supply based.

You have a drainage issue. Call a plumber to snake out your main line to the sewer considering that any faucet is causing water backing up through your floor drain.

same with other poster, get your main lines cleared out and hope it's not anything more.

Update: City contracted plumber came out and says we have a serious blockage in the main drain at the backflow, about 12 feet out from our backflow valve access hatch in our basement. Big rocks and a tennis ball (wtf?). As if a child crammed the main drain full of rocks and junk at the backflow valve at some point.

...We don't have a kid. But we also just moved into our place a year ago so who knows what the hell happened before we moved in.

I'm wondering if the hydrant flush pushed the rocks (and tennis ball?) further back into our main drain causing the blockage. Either way need to find a plumber with a flush truck to blast it loose nice and clear. Apparently it's tough finding a plumbing company with a flush truck though so I'll have to do a lot of calling around.

melon cat fucked around with this message at 21:45 on Apr 8, 2021

GoonyMcGoonface
Sep 11, 2001

Friends don't left friends do ECB

Dinosaur Gum

PainterofCrap posted:

They do sell PVC trap sets, but you will need a compression/slip joint eventually, at the sink drain tailpiece.

I think the J tube I linked already has a slip joint? Bullnose.

Is the other end just a normal NPT connection? Because then I could just get a regular ol' 90 degree PVC joint with a male end to screw it into.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

melon cat posted:

I'm wondering if the hydrant flush pushed the rocks (and tennis ball?) further back into our main drain causing the blockage.

The fresh water system/hydrants is not directly connected to your wastewater system in any way.

melon cat
Jan 21, 2010



Motronic posted:

The fresh water system/hydrants is not directly connected to your wastewater system in any way.
Huh, interesting. So I guess the sewer backup and hydrant flush were coincidental. The timing was pretty much perfect from when the backup started and the hydrant flush occurred. Down to the minute.

melon cat fucked around with this message at 21:55 on Apr 8, 2021

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

I get it, and I'm trying to come up with some way that this is possible. I think you said you ran a bunch of water because it was recommended so the only thing I can come up with is that this was gonna happen anyway the next time your washer was draining and you flushed a toilet at the same time.

melon cat
Jan 21, 2010



Motronic posted:

I get it, and I'm trying to come up with some way that this is possible. I think you said you ran a bunch of water because it was recommended so the only thing I can come up with is that this was gonna happen anyway the next time your washer was draining and you flushed a toilet at the same time.

Yeah I think that's exactly what happened. We're usually very light on water usage so for the first time we had multiple fixtures running at full to drain the lines during the hydrant flush, which meant bigger strain on our drainage system.

Shop vac (Milwaukee cordless) came in clutch during this literal shitshow. To anyone reading this- get a loving shop vac. Goddamn we would have been hosed if I didn't have one.

melon cat fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Apr 8, 2021

Zarin
Nov 11, 2008

I SEE YOU


melon cat posted:

Yeah I think that's exactly what happened. We're usually very light on water usage so for the first time we had multiple fixtures running at full to drain the lines during the hydrant flush, which meant bigger strain on our drainage system.

Shop vac (Milwaukee cordless) came in clutch during this literal shitshow. To anyone reading this- get a loving shop vac. Goddamn we would have been hosed if I didn't have one.

I hate to say it, but my Shop Vac is probably the gift that has seen the most use at my place. I'm not sure any other gift has come close.

With enough pipes, it's pretty great for cleaning the gutters too.

SourKraut
Nov 20, 2005

POST QUALITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION




Bird in a Blender posted:

I think your only option for material is copper. Plastic pipe doesn't like to be outside because of UV degradation. I think you have the right idea to just run it above ground and slope it downward so you can drain it. Typical slope is 1/4" per foot, so over a 15' run means you need to drop the pipe by 3.75". Keeping a consistent slope is important, you don't want to end up with any low or high points that could trap water.

Another option is just putting some hooks along your patio and just running a hose with a valve on the end. It would be less permanent, and you would just need to bring that hose in every winter. Could just run the hose along the ground too.

I don't know about where the OP lives, but a lot of places (including mine) have NSF-certified carbon steel pipe available at Home Depot/Lowes/etc., and usually in threaded options. That would make it a faster and much cheaper option to copper for what he's looking to use, and would give him the winterization factor too.

Also, while plain white PVC will suffer significant UV degradation, putting a couple of coats of even a cheap paint will significantly improve it, to the point that as long as he paints the exposed portions every 3-5 years as the paint wears down, it'd be fine. Otherwise, the main limiting factor is ambient temperature and its impact on the operating pressure of PVC.

Edit:

Motronic posted:

I get it, and I'm trying to come up with some way that this is possible. I think you said you ran a bunch of water because it was recommended so the only thing I can come up with is that this was gonna happen anyway the next time your washer was draining and you flushed a toilet at the same time.

A lot of municipalities will run a line from a hydrant to the closest MH, popping the MH lid and terminating the hydrant hose right at the MH rim or just slightly within, with the idea being that there's enough of a drop to act as an air gap.

They do this because no-one likes to just discharge hydrants to grade anymore during flushes, and depending on how long they're flushing for, it's nice to say that they "recycle" the flushing water... by putting it into the sewer, where it will go over to a wastewater plant and be treated.

So I could absolutely believe that a hydrant flush could create enough turbulence to push materials back up the sanitary service lines that feed the MH. It's part of why most jurisdictional regulations disallow drop MHs except in very, very specific circumstances.

SourKraut fucked around with this message at 15:33 on Apr 9, 2021

Rakeris
Jul 20, 2014



Huh, kind of wish they would do that were I live, we live near a water tower, and when they need to waste water out of it they just let the hydrants go to grade and it floods the streets for several blocks occasionally.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

SourKraut posted:

A lot of municipalities will run a line from a hydrant to the closest MH, popping the MH lid and terminating the hydrant hose right at the MH rim or just slightly within, with the idea being that there's enough of a drop to act as an air gap.

TIL, I've never seen this anywhere around here. If they're not running to grade they run into the storm sewer, not the sanitary sewer. I don't see how there would be a "recycling" difference.....it's already clean treated water, it doesn't need to be treated again and all munis that I'm familiar with discharge treated water to the same places that the storm sewers discharge. This experience may be "living along a river" things.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Look at this guy who doesn't live in a city with combined sewers. Must be nice!

SourKraut posted:

I don't know about where the OP lives, but a lot of places (including mine) have NSF-certified carbon steel pipe available at Home Depot/Lowes/etc., and usually in threaded options. That would make it a faster and much cheaper option to copper for what he's looking to use, and would give him the winterization factor too.

Also, while plain white PVC will suffer significant UV degradation, putting a couple of coats of even a cheap paint will significantly improve it, to the point that as long as he paints the exposed portions every 3-5 years as the paint wears down, it'd be fine. Otherwise, the main limiting factor is ambient temperature and its impact on the operating pressure of PVC.

Yea, you could paint the PVC, I didn't really think about that. I just reflexively think to never use PVC outside. I don't think I've ever seen someone use black carbon steel pipe for plumbing. I would imagine that would start rusting immediately unless you coat it.

SourKraut
Nov 20, 2005

POST QUALITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION




Motronic posted:

TIL, I've never seen this anywhere around here. If they're not running to grade they run into the storm sewer, not the sanitary sewer. I don't see how there would be a "recycling" difference.....it's already clean treated water, it doesn't need to be treated again and all munis that I'm familiar with discharge treated water to the same places that the storm sewers discharge. This experience may be "living along a river" things.

Plenty of places in the US will try to flush to sewer when possible vs. the storm drain, so I'm guessing you don't live in a state where drought comes up enough that state regulations/laws requires municipalities to account for more than a certain % of water loss, because usually a small % of "lost water" can be attributed to hydrant flushing under the justification that it was sent into the sewer system and not "lost".

And often enough, when it's contractors doing pipeline/watermain flushing, they're often usually required to flush to sewer instead of grade because of the shear quantity of water involved. Sometimes they'll be allowed to put a meter on so the volume of water flushed can be recorded, if they want to flush to grade or the street, but most contractors just seem to opt to go to sewer since it's faster/cheaper than the permits and rental of the meter involve.

So yes, that experience is definitely "living along a river", versus living in the western half of the US (outside of the PNW coastal areas).

Bird in a Blender posted:

Yea, you could paint the PVC, I didn't really think about that. I just reflexively think to never use PVC outside. I don't think I've ever seen someone use black carbon steel pipe for plumbing. I would imagine that would start rusting immediately unless you coat it.

The CS pipe I've seen usually have a basic epoxy lining to help with internal corrosion resistance. We also have NSF-61 galvanized pipe available also here, but most seem to avoid it given the bad reputation galvanized earned.

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melon cat
Jan 21, 2010



SourKraut posted:


A lot of municipalities will run a line from a hydrant to the closest MH, popping the MH lid and terminating the hydrant hose right at the MH rim or just slightly within, with the idea being that there's enough of a drop to act as an air gap.

They do this because no-one likes to just discharge hydrants to grade anymore during flushes, and depending on how long they're flushing for, it's nice to say that they "recycle" the flushing water... by putting it into the sewer, where it will go over to a wastewater plant and be treated.

So I could absolutely believe that a hydrant flush could create enough turbulence to push materials back up the sanitary service lines that feed the MH. It's part of why most jurisdictional regulations disallow drop MHs except in very, very specific circumstances.

Bird in a Blender posted:

Look at this guy who doesn't live in a city with combined sewers. Must be nice!

My city definitely has combined sewers. The infrastructure here is... notoriously messy. So based on what you (SourKraut) wrote up it is possible that the hydrant flush pushed the obstruction backwards into our main drainage pipe? Because I have a drain and sewage company coming to our house with a flush truck on Monday to blast the obstruction out from our drain. Any specific questions that I should be asking them to determine if this blockage and subsequent flooding had to do with the hydrant flushing? Any measures I can take to cover my rear end if it turns out the city's hydrant flushing WAS responsible for the flooding?

Because on Thursday (day of the flooding and hydrant flushing) the city's contracted plumbing company came in, drew up a Sewer Lateral Management Assessment with a diagram of the blockage. They may or may not send me a bill for their plumber's visit (they didn't do anything since they don't have a flush truck). It all comes down to whether they deem the flooding to be my fault, or theirs. When I spoke with a rep from the city on the phone to schedule their plumber's initial visit she was in full-out damage control claiming the city "definitely is not" responsible for the blockage and flood... despite the fact that their plumber hadn't even arrived on-site and diagnosed the problem yet. Really seemed like they blowing smoke up my rear end.

melon cat fucked around with this message at 03:52 on Apr 10, 2021

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