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As with a lot of homes, building traps are a normal staple in Toronto. Most of the time they go unnoticed, but sometimes they can be an issue.
Draincom customer support received a call from the customer one day and she was curious why she had a cap out on her lawn.
As we finished explaining everything to her, she had told us that her husband and son had decided that because it was difficult to get the lawnmower around to cut the grass, they had decided to remove the pipe and fill in the hole. Draincom specialists told the customer that inadvertently they had essentially “Blocked” their main drain and there would be some huge damage to their finished basement if they did not have a plumber come out immediately. They confirmed that they wanted Draincom’s expert to come out and assess the damage.

Here is the full story spoken by our professional:

When I arrived they were there to greet me. The customer had also told me that following out conversation, they had opted to stop using all the water in the house in an effort to reduce the chance of a backup. This was music to my ears, The customer and his son showed me exactly where the line was removed from, and also told me that they had put a bag of concrete down the hole just to make sure that it was filled!!

I phoned Draincom crew in for an “Emergency Drain-Ectomy”. Being that it was later in the day, we set up some lights and prepared for an overnight shift. The drains were approx. 10 feet down and when we finally got it excavated we found the big lump of concrete that they had put in the hole. The good news is that because of the soil that had fallen into the trap, the concrete never actually made it to the drain system. We cut the drain piping off at the footing wall and proceeded to change a 25ft section to the city side. Now when I normally do a drain of this sort, I like to have new cleanouts available for service, one headed into to house and one to the street. I redirected the caps to the garden area, where it would not bother my customer.

I called for inspection the next morning and I was surprised that he was able to make it right at 7am!! Apparently he lived very close and was able to pass by on his way to the office, I have to tell you that something like this is normally not possible, but we got very lucky! The customer was very relieved that there really was no damage to the drainage system, and was very apologetic about removing the pipe. Normally this is not an issue, I have found in many cases that a section of the cleanout is removed, capped, and then buried. The hard part is finding the cap after it has been buried and moreover if there ends up being a plumbing issue.

We cannot verify the presence of a building trap without the visible lawn cap, or looking at the drains with the camera. Beware that even though installing a building trap is no longer common practice, but the one that you may have access to out on your lawn is still a very important part of your plumbing system.

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