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I don't know how to post a pic. The lateral is inside the house in one corner of the basement and runs under the french drain across the basement to the street. The french drain is on the inside permineter of the house. No idea when it was put in. I bought the house 6 years ago.
You call a "dirt plumber" yet?
if you can't post a picture on a message board in 2012, i'm pretty sure you need a plumber.
bump for update.
Sorry, here you go. So I rented the snake from HD on Monday night and snaked out 80 feet or so. Still had the issue Tuesday morning when I finally found a cap the right size to fit my cleanout. Ended up calling a plumber to come out. Guy was as confused as I was at the setup and basically told me he needed to put a camera down there to figure out what was going on. Turns out I had a couple of huge root balls that had the sewer completely backed up. Another plumber came out and used a high pressure jet to clean out the drain. $500 later and the problem was solved. Basically what we figured out was that the former owner must have had issues with the sewer backing up and coming up through the floor drain for the utility sink in the basement. As a solution, they tied that drain into the french drain system somewhere as a backup measure. This, of course, is not right. However, now that the sewer was cleaned out the utility sink drains to the street and I can finally take a nice shit without it ending up in my yard.
Maybe I am just too old. Is 32 too old?
Actually what it sounds like happened is that the previous owner tied the french drain into the sanitary sewer so that the sump pump rarely runs.
In any event, it's an illicit/illegal connection that bypasses most of your storm/ground water to the sanitary sewer. Except for the times when the sewer backs up due to too much infiltration and other illicit connections, in which case it causes sewage to backup into the lawn via your sump pump.
I'm not saying you're wrong for not changing it. It's probably another $1,000 to make it right. But that's what it is.
If the municipality ever tried to investigate a capacity issue in this area they could smoke test the sanitary sewer to look for illicit connections in which case the smoke would come out of your sump. To CYA you would either have to deny them access to inspect or lie to them that your basement isn't filling with smoke.
I'm surprised you don't have issues with sewer gas in your basement as well as that would be an untrapped connection (That's the reason all the sinks have j traps in them. The water they hold keeps the sewer gas in the sewer).
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