We arrived home from dinner with friends to find our drain in the basement had backed up. Let's just say there was some undesirable "stuff" in the water. We immediately called a plumber. After several hours of snaking out our pipes, the diagnosis was this.
Our Ginko tree out front, here he is:
Was growing INTO our pipe out front. So the growing roots within the pipe were causing a back-up INTO our house.
This line was totally blocked up. When the cap was removed (by the plumber) "stuff" came out.
These pipes were also backed up. And were causing this drain.....
and this sink to overflow.
Once the roots were cut out of the pipe we were almost back in working order. It turns out that our special drain cover in the sink wasn't doing much to block the lint from our washing machine from going down the drain, so the plumber cleared out that line too, just to be safe. After all the pipe cleaning, Jeff and I gave everything a good wash with bleach (twice).
I'm hoping this is the only time that I have to deal with doody this year!
Special Tip: The plumber advised us to skip the special hose attachment that you can pick up at home improvement stores and just throw an old sock (hoisery only) onto the end of the tube. It's been working wonders so far!