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AngelaSteele5 07-07-2014 07:36 AM

Sump pump running, flush toilet and water comes up into bathtub
Hello and Help! :( The water from our washing machine is routed into our sump pump pit which then ejects that water to the main pipeline. For years, every time we wash clothes and the pump starts ejecting the water, the toilet gurgles several times and almost all of the water gets sucked out of the bowl. Rarely, water would also simultaneously back up into the bathtub. We think the previous owners had what appears to be some kind of check valve installed in the pipe that connects the pump to the main line. Anyway, there have been one or 2 occasions where if someone just happened to flush the toilet at the exact same time the pump started running, it would flush but come right back up into the bathtub. Downstairs in the basement, water would be leaking from the pipe that comes out of the bottom of the toilet at the same time and spraying all over the basement floor.

All this came to a head this past Father's Day weekend when everything seemed to be backed up and we couldn't shower because the water wasn't draining at all, and we could flush the toilet but it would just go straight to the bathtub. We had our main line snaked with a huge auger and there were no blockages until it reached the street. Once that was cleared, we didn't seem to have any issues. We washed clothes and watched the water in the toilet - it would move as though there was still some suction going on, but it would never gurgle. Well, after a few days, we were back to the gurgling every time we washed clothes. This morning we happened to flush the toilet right as the pump started running and same thing as before - it all backed up into the bathtub and you could hear a loud "swishing" in the pipes under the bathroom like the water was trying desperately to find somewhere to go.

So, I say all of that to say this. Everyone we talked to said that these issues were likely due to a blockage in our main line. Well, we just had our line snaked and cleared out, so that's obviously not the issue. Thoughts? Suggestions? Opinions? I welcome anything because we are ready to pull our hair out. THANKS!

nealtw 07-07-2014 07:48 AM

Is the pump chamber vented?

AngelaSteele5 07-07-2014 08:01 AM

I'm sorry to say that I am not 100% certain. How can we tell? We are not avid do-it-yourselfer's (obviously!) :D

nealtw 07-07-2014 08:09 AM

I think there should be two pipes going into the chamber. one ties into the stack higher up or out thru the roof.

AngelaSteele5 07-07-2014 08:15 AM

Ok I'll check this evening and post again. Thanks Nealtw!

Wuzzat? 07-07-2014 09:28 AM

You may want to force water down your vent pipes with a garden hose and one of these

to make sure they are clear.

But, have people stationed downstairs to make sure the water you are forcing into your piping is not going somewhere undesirable.
I had the opposite, using one of these to clear a disposal clog - chopped veggies were landing on my roof from the vent pipe so I had to use an inflatable bladder to temporarily clog the vent so the water pressure would get high enough.

AngelaSteele5 07-08-2014 07:12 AM


We only see one pipe running out of the sump pump, and it runs upward to the basement ceiling, then it curves and runs parallel to the ceiling for 2-3ft and then connects to the main line. In that 2-3ft section, there's some kind of check valve - or at least we're assuming that's what it is. I can post pics tonight of the entire set up to give you a clear idea.

nealtw 07-08-2014 07:53 AM

Post some pics of how it is hooked up.

bud16415 07-08-2014 08:33 AM

Could that “check valve” be an air admittance valve sometimes called a cheater valve. It could also be a check valve to keep water from back flowing thru the pump and back into the sump after the sump pump shuts off if the sump pump doesn’t have a foot valve.

When you put water into a pipe and it travels downhill it wants to draw a vacuum on the pipe behind the flow. The vent pipe is there to bring in air behind the water. If you don’t have one or its plugged it will suck water out of traps trying to get air. Once the water is out of the trap and the water flows thru the pipe is open to let sewer gas come back up it the trap is supposed to stop that but if the water is gone it will let gas in the house. If there isn’t quite enough suction to do that that’s when you hear gurgling.

Photos will help a lot.

AngelaSteele5 07-08-2014 06:28 PM

Pics of set up
3 Attachment(s)
Ok guys, here are some pics that show the sump, and how it's attached to the main line.

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