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Old 01-23-2015, 09:55 PM   #1
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Main drain problem


I have a question about dad's house built in 1958 . In the past 2 years we had to rent a machine from home depot about 4 times to snake out the main drain because of back ups. Each time it takes about 3 hours and then it finally goes down . If we use up the entire 100' of line which goes all the way out to the street nothing happens to the water level at the cleanout . However if I feed it out a little at as time and go back and forth through the resistance I feel in the cable then it finally goes down and then seems to be OK for a few months . We can't understand why it takes 3 hours but I imagine it is time for a long overdue new pipe . Could it be a broken pipe or tree roots ?
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:15 PM   #2
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You probably have roots in the line. You need to use the proper type of cutter to cut the roots off. It sounds like you are only poking a small hole and they are growing back.
Even with the proper cutter the roots will grow back. It will just take longer. You need to determine where the issue is and dig up and repair that section.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for you response . Why is there no change in the water level when you feed all 100" out though without going slowly ? It would seem if a hole cuts through the clog there should be at least some amount of difference ?
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:42 AM   #4
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What size rod is the home depot machine? Also what did you have on the end of it?

Professionals use a 3/4 inch cable to 1 1/8 inch cable with a 4 inch cutter head on the end. And usually we retrieve a huge black slimy mess of roots.

So I suggest next time get it drained then rent a camera and run that down and see what the problem is. Pay attention to the distance so one knows where to dig out front.

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Old 01-24-2015, 09:40 AM   #5
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The cable is about a 9/16" and the largest bit we could use was almost 3" . It is a 3" main .
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:13 AM   #6
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If you ran a three inch cutter through then it could be a grease clog in a low spot. The cutter will just go through the grease and slice it. Eventually with enough slicing chunks will move out and let the water flow.
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:48 PM   #7
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Run a camera down and see if you have standing water or roots or grease (WHITE) IN THE PIPE.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:15 PM   #8
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With what you've paid in rentals you could have paid professional drain cleaning company to come out, and if the plumber is good he can tell more or less were or what your problem might be. we have a 30 min rule if we can't clear your drain in 30 mins or less you've got a serious problem in the system. we start with one machine and move up as needed. every time you run a cable with a cutter through that old cast iron all your doing is shaving rust scale off the walls of the inside of the pipe that are to heavy to get washed away with gravity flowing water from the house drains this stuff just sits at the bottom of the pipe catching everything that passes by. in solving one problem you could be creating another call a pro it may be time.
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:10 AM   #9
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when lines don't have the proper fall over the years they sludge up and then they start to pack up building what we call is peanut butter very pasty like you can snake right through it and it never moves.....working the cable back and forth helps to get some air and water into the mix and can be very difficult to unclog....but once it uncloged camera the line while you can run water thru it and see the action of how its draining...then proceed as to the need for correction ..
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:35 AM   #10
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You may need to jet the line instead of snake it. The water jet should clear and sludge the snake goes right through. There are hoses and attachments you can get for a pressure washer if you want to attempt it yourself.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:03 AM   #11
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Short of replacing the pipe what can be done to get the drains working for a more long term fix?

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Old 02-12-2015, 12:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhd42 View Post
Short of replacing the pipe what can be done to get the drains working for a more long term fix?

Dave
I have root intrusion in my 4" clay main drain. I use RootX once per year to keep them back. Excavating would cost me at least $4000 plus the damage to my landscaping. I can RootX for decades and still come out ahead financially. But you need to be diligent.

Another option would be cut out everything so that the drain is nice and clean, and then use one of those re-lining companies. They basically pour an epoxy down your drain and use a balloon to create a new pipe within your old pipe. I have no direct experience with this stuff, though. You'll need to do a lot of research. I can say that if your drain is very long, this might not be a much cheaper option.

In any case, you should really stick a camera down there so you know the full extent of the problem!
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:24 PM   #13
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http://www.efilterwater.com/bio-clea...FQiUaQodjjQAIA

For grease

http://www.newtechbio.com/rootxfoami...FQYJaQod4gsA1A

For roots after you have cut them out of the line.
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