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Thread: Alien nest?

  1. #1
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    Default Alien nest?

    I've never seen anything quite like this before - I half expected to look back up over my shoulder and find Sigourney Weaver standing there instead of my client.

    The material is rock hard, and it appears to be a some sort of once-liquid and now- solidified resin-like substance.

    The floor slab is completely covered in vinyl flooring, and the foundation walls our parged and painted, so this is about all I could see.

    Any idea what I'm seeing?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Alien nest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post

    Any idea what I'm seeing?
    .
    ...
    Mineral
    ..
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Alien nest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    ...
    Mineral
    ..
    .
    I don't know Billy....It does say that Fluorite has a low melting point (for minerals), but at 1360 degrees Celsius I don't think that even your flame thrower could melt it.


    Fluorite: Fluorite mineral information and data.
    Thermal Behaviour:Melting point 1360C.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Alien nest?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post

    I don't know Billy....It does say that Fluorite has a low melting point (for minerals), but at 1360 degrees Celsius I don't think that even your flame thrower could melt it.


    Fluorite: Fluorite mineral information and data.
    Thermal Behaviour:Melting point 1360C.
    .
    flowstone (mineral deposit) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
    .
    Can it Dissolve in Water ( over numerous events ) and Redeposit.
    * much like calcium does.
    .
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Alien nest?

    Yep, mineral deposit over time from the water.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Alien nest?

    I'd suspect prior basement wall crack repairs, i.e. wherein they remove portion near crack and slab near footer, install drain tube inserting to founation drain "tile" (corrugated) then inject crack with 2-part epoxy. Have seen some DIY and "slammer" versions where they first filled area with "great stuff", then used hydraulic cement.

    IIRC Chicago doesn't separate storm and sanitary in the city, older homes in the burbs esp. former unincorporated areas, also common to have floor drains in basement tied in with sump. As I recall it was very common to have floor drains, sanitary and foundation drainage all ending up in the building sewer.

    IIRC also some aquafers in the suburbs had become very nasty, some contaminated - was the residence previously supplied by private well or local municpal well (even if on "lake water now") ? Thinking also about foundation planting watering, condensate drain or water softener.

    Suppose also gypcrete or epoxy repairing floor slab entered floor drain which is tied into foundation drain to sump or some serious backup from sanitary or some drain clearing chemicals in the "tile"?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Alien nest?

    Whilst you are cogitating on that, you can contemplate the rest of the setup:

    The left-hand line travels the length of the basement, exits the foundation wall, and then dives down into the dirt next to some mystery PVC.

    I assume the intent must be to dewater to the sanitary system most of the time, and close that valve and pump to the exterior if the sewer backs up.

    Thing is, I don't see what the exterior discharge of the pump can be connected to over there beside the foundation wall, except the foundation drainage tile system....

    Property is on the west side of Wilmette, Illinois, BTW

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  8. #8
    Ed Garrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alien nest?

    Nice paint job ...

    ... per the deposit,

    looks exactly like a mineral deposit we made once by using one of those spray on shower stall cleaners ... the type you are suppose to use every day to keep from getting water spots ... after about a month we had to carve out a similar looking deposit from the drain!

    .. we have a lot of boron in the water here. I did not investigate the chemical reaction of the sheeting agent we were spraying on and the minerals in our water, just noting the same type of formation and coloration. I wonder if this is a combination of various impacts ... does not look like an epoxy to me ... unless what I expect is backed up water behind the deposit is actually hardened epoxy... but there is only so much you can tell from a picture.

    Ed


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Alien nest?

    From second set of pics and your description, FWIW I'll guess that the "left line" which has a valve (closed) which runs the foundation, exits and dives into the dirt just to the building side of the cleanout I'm guessing this dives to an underground, unvented (except via the lateral to the board covered sump pit) building sewer and the big question here is - is there a trap, and since the cleanout is new I'm guessing no - and hence perhaps some of the mysterious accumulations are due to the burping and possible backflow of the public sanitary via the home.

    The "right" line which has a valve (open) seems to indicate that the sump is elevating its effluent and dumping to the main stack which at that point is a wet vent. I'm not seeing a vent. This may also explain some of the accumulations in the sump basin and the corregated pipe under the floor. Is the garage attached at the same level, and if so laundry or floor drain there as well?

    I think I'm seeing hubbed cast iron sewer to ABS DWV with PVC homemade ejector in unlined former foundation sump and possibly corrugated foundation used inside under concrete perhaps inserted in former failing or cracked tile pipe or cast iron. IIRC Ill Plumbing Code allows only one PVC/ABS transition per residence.

    It appears they are using as an ejector backup for their sanitary waste via the foundation drainage pipe . I'd be concerned about some obstruction, pitch problem, break, or collapse for the main sewer under the basement floor and/or before the now exterior clean-out. Perhaps there was an old collapse or break of the building sewer that has since been repaired but wasn't properly decontaminated, doesn't quite justify the homemade triple backup ejector into the sewer.

    I'd call for a master plumber to review, trace, diagram and sign off on the waste and foundation drainage systems, and at least want to see a camera/trace of all the waste/sewer, & floor drains. Perhaps dye testing waste and foundation drainage if necessary to confirm integrity. Grease is bad enough in the waste lines but if in (grease) the foundation drainage system (and other contamination) its worse. Doesn't quite "smell right" with the Ill. Plumbing Code and IEPA restrictions. How did it smell? freshly bleached for your sniffing pleasure? BTW, whose glasses are up to the right in the latest picture of the sump?

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-12-2010 at 06:14 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Alien nest?

    Hi (again), All &

    Never mind 'Sigourney';

    Is that Mother Theresa or some other famous face on that 2nd pic at the top (original Post) ???

    This could be worth 'millions' !!!


    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

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