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Old 05-05-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
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Stuck Snake


Does anyone sell a snake that can actually grasp the head of a stuck snake? I need it to be 5-15 feet long and it has to fit in a 3" cast iron pipe (or smaller, depending on what's under the house). I'd like to put it down my new cleanout and grab the snake from the front end.

I have about 25ft (half) of a 50ft snake stuck in a cast iron washing machine drain pipe somewhere in the concrete slab under my newly tiled kitchen floor, right around the point where it joins up with the the bath and kitchen drains and exits the house. I have a new PVC cleanout just outside, maybe 5-15 feet from the head of the snake (exact model here: http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-Products.../dp/B000VL7EVQ).

The snake can't be pulled out the way it went in because everything was tried: three guys pulling on it, ratcheting it out, etc., and all that did was begin to pull the cast iron pipe (via the laundry wall cleanout) through my brick wall. Plumbers used a locator to tell me that it was, yep, right where we had guessed, and I cut the snake and closed the cleanout. Their suggestion was to leave it until I ever have a problem with the washing machine drain (no problems the last two weeks, since this happened, but I'd hate to leave it in the drain nonetheless). Cutting the slab up isn't an option, although I do plan on replacing the cast iron tub in the next year and the snake is probably within 5ft of that drain (small single story house in Texas, built in 1963).

Any suggestions are appreciated. I spent $330 on plumbers to clear the blockage and install an cleanout, and I'm guessing it's cheaper to buy my own camera and snake w/ claws at this point.

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Old 05-05-2009, 01:46 PM   #2
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Stuck Snake


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Does anyone sell a snake that can actually grasp the head of a stuck snake? I need it to be 5-15 feet long and it has to fit in a 3" cast iron pipe (or smaller, depending on what's under the house). I'd like to put it down my new cleanout and grab the snake from the front end.

I have about 25ft (half) of a 50ft snake stuck in a cast iron washing machine drain pipe somewhere in the concrete slab under my newly tiled kitchen floor, right around the point where it joins up with the the bath and kitchen drains and exits the house. I have a new PVC cleanout just outside, maybe 5-15 feet from the head of the snake (exact model here: http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-Products.../dp/B000VL7EVQ).

The snake can't be pulled out the way it went in because everything was tried: three guys pulling on it, ratcheting it out, etc., and all that did was begin to pull the cast iron pipe (via the laundry wall cleanout) through my brick wall. Plumbers used a locator to tell me that it was, yep, right where we had guessed, and I cut the snake and closed the cleanout. Their suggestion was to leave it until I ever have a problem with the washing machine drain (no problems the last two weeks, since this happened, but I'd hate to leave it in the drain nonetheless). Cutting the slab up isn't an option, although I do plan on replacing the cast iron tub in the next year and the snake is probably within 5ft of that drain (small single story house in Texas, built in 1963).

Any suggestions are appreciated. I spent $330 on plumbers to clear the blockage and install an cleanout, and I'm guessing it's cheaper to buy my own camera and snake w/ claws at this point.
considering a used camera in not very good shape will cost about 3 to 5,000 dollars and a used snake about 1000 to 1500 dollars I would call a plumber.

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Old 05-05-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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Stuck Snake


I have called the plumbers. They said to bust up the concrete or leave it. I know I can get a basic 50ft snake like the one I got stuck for $8 w/ free shipping and a camera for around $100 (less if I get a used one). If nobody sells a small snake or wire or cable with a grasping claw on it, I'll probably just end up building one.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #4
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Stuck Snake


I think getting a pro with a camera is the correct move.

Either that or one of these:
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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Stuck Snake


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I have called the plumbers. They said to bust up the concrete or leave it. I know I can get a basic 50ft snake like the one I got stuck for $8 w/ free shipping and a camera for around $100 (less if I get a used one). If nobody sells a small snake or wire or cable with a grasping claw on it, I'll probably just end up building one.
I'd like to see what an $8 snake and a $100 sewer camera looks like. Do you have a link? The ones I use are a couple grand.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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Stuck Snake


There's a link in my first post to the snake that got stuck. And I'm talking about miniature IR bullet cameras here, which range from $20 on up, depending. There are also 100 ft sewer cameras selling for $295 on ebay, which would be overkill for my needs.

I'm just looking for something to grab the little round thing on the front of the snake, which is probably about six feet from my cleanout, and pull it out. Someone, somewhere, has to make something for this, even if it costs a billion dollars.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:44 PM   #7
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Stuck Snake


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There's a link in my first post to the snake that got stuck. And I'm talking about miniature IR bullet cameras here, which range from $20 on up, depending. There are also 100 ft sewer cameras selling for $295 on ebay, which would be overkill for my needs.

I'm just looking for something to grab the little round thing on the front of the snake, which is probably about six feet from my cleanout, and pull it out. Someone, somewhere, has to make something for this, even if it costs a billion dollars.
Well i don't see you getting it out with a flat snake like you have there. You might get it with a electric snake with a retriever head on the end of it, But more than likely you will end up with 2 snakes in there rather than 1. If you do get it out go and buy a lottery ticket that day cause you are the luckiest man on earth. good luck.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:34 PM   #8
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Stuck Snake


And let me know the numbers you pick

I hate to say it, but I've got to agree with the plumbers you had out there. Its HIGHLY unlikely you're going to be able to get it out from EITHER direction. I'm not saying its impossible because I believe anything is possible. I just dont see it happening.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:29 PM   #9
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Stuck Snake


Its a LONG shot. But I would at least TRY to take a 10 foot piece or two of barbed wire and see if you can push it in from the front. Then twist the living hell out of it till it catches on the head,,,that stuff can wrap up everything else,,,hope it wraps your snake. It all depends on how the head is positioned in the sewer,,,if its someplace centered it MIGHT work,,,if its jammed in a corner,no way. IF that doesnt work you could fashion a hook on that end and try to hook the head. Why on earth did it stick to the point of not being able to pull it out the back as it went in??
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:39 PM   #10
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Stuck Snake


A hook of some kind is a good suggestion, I may try it. As for your last question, we're all stumped. It's gotta be wedged (or something) in a junction...one of the reasons I may buy a camera or have the plumber use theirs, to see exactly how it's stuck. (And no, I don't want two snakes stuck in the pipes.) The plumber used a locator to find the end of the snake, within a few feet anyway. And no, I wasn't going to use the same sort of snake that's stuck, that was just a picture for reference and proof you could buy one for under a thousand dollars.

The good news is that it hasn't affected the drains at all. This isn't an urgent thing, just a don't-want-to-leave-it-forever thing. I was hoping somebody somewhere sold a cable of some sort with a camera and a claw on the end. Seems simple enough, and like I said before I may build one.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:19 PM   #11
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Stuck Snake


A snake charmer may not be your answer, but it got the snake back up out of this guys drain. LOL
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Stuck Snake-snake-charmer.jpg   Stuck Snake-snake-charmer-2.jpg  

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:24 PM   #12
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Well sure you can get one of THOSE for $8 or under. We dont use THOSE though. Try getting one of THESE for $8. If you can, let us all know and we'll corner the market.
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:13 AM   #13
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Well sure you can get one of THOSE for $8 or under. We dont use THOSE though. Try getting one of THESE for $8. If you can, let us all know and we'll corner the market.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:12 AM   #14
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Stuck Snake


Don't need one of those professional models, just something about ten feet long to pull the stuck snake out. I'm not sure why a homeowner would need to own one of those, unless you had a row of 20 willow trees growing above your sewer line, and had to cut the roots every 3 hours... lol.

Aren't there any plumbers on here who have had to remove a stuck snake? It sounds like a fairly common problem from what I've been hearing. Anyone..? Anyone..? Bueller?
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:05 PM   #15
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Stuck Snake


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Don't need one of those professional models, just something about ten feet long to pull the stuck snake out. I'm not sure why a homeowner would need to own one of those, unless you had a row of 20 willow trees growing above your sewer line, and had to cut the roots every 3 hours... lol.

Aren't there any plumbers on here who have had to remove a stuck snake? It sounds like a fairly common problem from what I've been hearing. Anyone..? Anyone..? Bueller?
I have been plumbing for 35 yrs. I have come across sewer snakes stuck in lines several times. Only once was I able to retrieve one. So it is possible but not likely. Like I said earlier if you get it out go buy a lottery ticket fot that day. But if you are not ready to bust up the floor to retrieve that snake then I would not even consider putting another snake down into the pipe.

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