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Old 12-12-2007, 12:41 PM   #1
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drains are backing up


OK , so this problem has been going on for about 2 month. The laundry ran and when it drained the tubs filled with water and the toilets filled up as well.
I rented an auger and snaked my vent lines down , of course I fed them down the pipe til the snake stopped. It worked the water drained. 2 weeks later the same thing happened , but it happened when my daughter let out her bath water. So i went to rent an auger again and I was told to use a hose and a high pressure connector on the end to knock it out. I did this it took much longer but finally the drains went down , the drains were free for about a week. and since then I have been doing this about every week. I cleaned the clean out it looks fine and even when the water is backed up I can see the water slowly draining out of the house. I have been reading that the main drain is usually the culprit when all the drains start backing up. I have found another clean out, its smaller and it looks as though it is attached to the vent /drain for the kitchen which I believe is the last vent in the series leading to the main drain that exits the house.
Do I continue to clean the vent lines? or am i just getting lucky each time? Or possibly feeding the hose far enough down to move the clog further down the pipe? ~confused~ give me some direction.

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Old 12-12-2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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drains are backing up


How long of a power auger are you renting?

Do you know how far it is from where your putting the auger in to the street line? Your clog may be father than your auger is reaching.

Most houses will have a cleanout on the main line between the street and the house which allows you to clean the rest of the line. Buried sometimes though.

Any trees near the line to the street could be suspect... Been dry in most areas and the trees are looking for water.

If you cant find the street cleanout, may be time for a pro with a camera to take a look at it.

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Old 12-12-2007, 01:00 PM   #3
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drains are backing up


Quote:
How long of a power auger are you renting?
I use a long snake about 40 feet or so.

Quote:
Do you know how far it is from where your putting the auger in to the street line? Your clog may be father than your auger is reaching.
I have located the clean out to the street, when the drains are clogged, I can open it up it is clear and there is a small amount of watter still flowing down it from the house.

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Most houses will have a cleanout on the main line between the street and the house which allows you to clean the rest of the line. Buried sometimes though.
see above
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:01 PM   #4
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drains are backing up


Again , I do get the clog unplugged and it last for about a week. using a hose and high pressure nozzle. however the clog reassembles and i go back to square one.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:15 PM   #5
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drains are backing up


If the clog is between the main clean out and the house you should be able to get it as along as the auger is long enough.

Is there a clean out on the back of the house you can snake thru versus down a vent? Might be losing some travel there.

Unless its a partially collapsed pipe, that should clean it out.

If that dont get it and its been two months, I would call somebody with a camera.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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drains are backing up


There is the main pipe clean out then another that is near the kitchen and thats it. The house if about 8-10 years old , All PVC pipe so I am apprehensive to think the pipes have collapsed. If I rent a snake again , I am thinking I may want to snake the whole house. Id there a technique. that works best. vents first , tubs first? I Imagine I need to figure out what is the main vent pipe and snake all others first then the main lines. Thanks
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:34 PM   #7
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drains are backing up


If the kitchen is on the back of the house then that would be the clean out that goes thru all of the main line.

If everything or multiple places are backing up then I would say its the main line and snaking every fixture probably wouldnt get far.

Gotta be real careful with PVC and a snake/power auger. It will scar and cut pipe pretty quick.

Is there any cast iron between the house and street?
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:38 PM   #8
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drains are backing up


Not that I know of, My wife just called and the tubs were backed up again. I went home during lunch and sure enough tubs and toilets full. she was doing laundry so it filled them up good. I took my hose with a power nozzle on the end and fed it backwards into the main clean out the one between the house and street. before I started i saw the water trickling out from the house down , but it was empty. So i sprayed it down and saw a bunch of stuff coming out, then the water just shot out from the house and drained. so hopefully that was the plug. is there some thing I can stick in the drains that will eat up any debris that may be sticking around?
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:56 PM   #9
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drains are backing up


You can get the natural enzymes at the hardware store.

Cant remember what the brand name is but it looks like sawdust..
Has to sit overnight to be effective.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:33 PM   #10
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thanks!
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:56 PM   #11
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Your welcome!
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Gotta be real careful with PVC and a snake/power auger. It will scar and cut pipe pretty quick.
This is a new one to me, you are not running a saw down the pipe, only cutter blades that are intended for that purpose. Sammy is right that you may need a camara. If you have pvc pipe the failure spots are at the bends (45's) when the ground shifts and can snap..... or you can try a better snake first capable of cutting roots as it doesn't sound like you used one sized for a sewer line, 5/8 dia. or larger cable is best and longer than 40'. (unless the stoppage is just under the house) Where is the main cleanout? At the street or next to the house? If the clean out is next to the house and your stoppage is under the house the smaller snake may only work for a time, if it keeps backing up you have larger issues (sounds like you do) and the camara is a good idea. The enzymes may help if it is a situation grease build up due to a belly (water sitting in a line that goes up at some point). Your pressure hose and blow bags will not remove anything like grease (unless it is a high pressure jetter designed for that purpose) or roots from the line.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jpplumber View Post
This is a new one to me, you are not running a saw down the pipe, only cutter blades that are intended for that purpose. Sammy is right that you may need a camara. If you have pvc pipe the failure spots are at the bends (45's) when the ground shifts and can snap..... or you can try a better snake first capable of cutting roots as it doesn't sound like you used one sized for a sewer line, 5/8 dia. or larger cable is best and longer than 40'. (unless the stoppage is just under the house) Where is the main cleanout? At the street or next to the house? If the clean out is next to the house and your stoppage is under the house the smaller snake may only work for a time, if it keeps backing up you have larger issues (sounds like you do) and the camara is a good idea. The enzymes may help if it is a situation grease build up due to a belly (water sitting in a line that goes up at some point). Your pressure hose and blow bags will not remove anything like grease (unless it is a high pressure jetter designed for that purpose) or roots from the line.

The clean out is right next to the house about 3-4 feet from the house headed towards the street. This last time it backed up I must of had around 20 gallons or more water backed up in the tubs. I fed my high pressure hose through the clean out towards the house and blasted it , I saw a bunch of junk come out and about 5 seconds latter water was gushing out of the pipes. Down to the street, and my tubs emptied pretty quick. So I am thinking that I must have kept pushing everything down to that point and hopefully have solve it with that last blast. However time will tell. It did look to be flowing really good out that drain pipe.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:07 PM   #14
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drains are backing up


I tried the liquid enzymes from HD... it seems a lie to me... do it so many times ... still slow draining in the sink...
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:21 PM   #15
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drains are backing up


I'm not a big fan of the enzymes either.. Plus PVC is so slick inside it shouldnt get a buildup like a cast iron or galvanized.

I have heard of people saying throw a handful of auto mechanics waterless hand cleaner down the drain to de-grease em. Never tried it and dont know if it works.

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