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Old 12-14-2015, 08:01 PM   #1
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Please help with drainage problem


I own a 4 bd/2ba single family home in Southern California on slab foundation and iron plumbing. It was built in 1963. When I purchased it 2 years ago owner told us that she would do hydro jetting to remove the roots from the sewer mains every year. She did this just before we bought the house i.e. 2 years ago.

Since beginning we have no problem in the bathrooms but the washer drain would keep overflowing off and on. We will snake it ourselves and it will be ok for a while and it will start again. We've been dealing with this for a while but this weekend on top of the usual overflowing from drain pipe the black dirty stuff came out of the bathroom tubs and the toilets won't flush anymore. We called plumber and he snaked the main line and his tool broke but he took out a very long hairy looking roots. He said he can't push further and has to hydrojet. Hydrojetting cleared the mains and the cable went all the way to street. Toilet flush, bathroom sink etc worked again.

Then I put a hose pipe in the washer drain and the water came out. Then he put a camera in and he found water stuck in it. He snaked it and snake went all the way through but didn't bring out anything except black sewage that was stuck to it. Then he asked me to turn the kitchen sink at full speed and he saw water coming near the base of the washer drain.

So basically hydrojetting fixed the main line but we still have thick black gunk clogging the kitchen/washer drain lines. He is planning on pressure cleaning it tomorrow. He said the washer drain is going to be a ongoing problem as the new washer drains too fast.

1) Any idea how to permanently solve this problem ?
2) Is pressure cleaning pipes going to solve it ? Can I do it myself on regular basis ?
3) Can this be a vent issue ? I know for sure that nobody has looked at the vents for the washer/kitchen drain till now ?
4) Can the dishwasher and washer soap be the culprit for this build up ?
5) If we have to replace the pipe how can this be done as they are in foundation. What are approx. costs ?
6) The previous owner had the washer drain into a large sink next to the washer. We removed the old sink and connected the new washer directly to the drain pipe. Do you think that using a sink is better solution which will allow water to go through the drain a bit slowly ?
7) Some people recommend using a drain cap to prevent the overflow from washer but wouldn't that just shift the problem to my kitchen sink then ? Also this can cause siphoning.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:17 PM   #2
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This is always going to be an issue until you bite the bullet and replace all of it with PVC pipe.
Hydro jetting on roots it just not going to work.
Using chemicals down the drains to kill the roots is a temp. fix at best.
What size is the drain line for the washer?
It needed to be a 2" line.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:19 PM   #3
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Ok , first mistake you bought the place knowing it had drain issues. No normally functioning system needs to have its drains cleaned on a regular basis. Maybe it's a really nice place and now you have to fix the problem. I bought my house knowing had issues, but I (nor my inspector) found the termites. That caused a 4000 dollar ouch or my pocket. Sometimes you get dealt a bad hand.

If you have root issues in the mainline, remove the offending tree or shrub. But it probably also indicates that line may need to be replaced so have a drain specialist examine it and don't pick one with rooter in its name. Normal use of detergents etc will not clog drains. Excessive use of a garbage disposal, pouring the bacon drippings down the drain, etc will clog them up pretty fast. Could be the galvanized pipes are failing and have a very small passage left. In which case, they need to be replaced.

I know this is a DYI board, but if the was my house I would hire plumber to assess the situation. If you can learn the codes some of the fix could be DIY. Other than dealing with sink drains under the sink I leave the drain matters to the pros. Personal preference. Just kind of nasty, Kind of like, I have no trouble cleaning a fish, but I don't hunt as I don't think I could deal with a deer. I just get my venison from my buddy . Nicely butchered and neat . Plumber deals with my drains. Friend deals with the deer.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:24 PM   #4
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So I have a concrete driveway under which the main goes from the house to the city sewer line. To replace the main would require a new driveway

The clogging of washer/kitchen sink line I am hoping can be resolved by pressure washing and installing a Laundry sink where the washer can drain to.

The plumbing is 1 1/2".
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gav_sharma View Post
So I have a concrete driveway under which the main goes from the house to the city sewer line. To replace the main would require a new driveway

The clogging of washer/kitchen sink line I am hoping can be resolved by pressure washing and installing a Laundry sink where the washer can drain to.

The plumbing is 1 1/2".
Hydro jetting is basically the same as pressure washing. You're just dealing with a smaller pipe and a different head on the hose.
It might get you flowing, but I'd be a little concerned that the pipe has holes in it under your slab.

People have remedied this issue by moving the laundry closer to the drain stack- a tee and vent is added to the stack to receive a new drain line for a laundry sink.

As for the exterior sewer line- take some time and explore your options.
There are 3 common approaches for line replacement:
1.Common/conventional dig and replace
2. Trenchless pipe bursting
3. Lining the interior of the existing pipe

Each has their pros and cons depending on your site conditions. Your root scrub will buy you some time to explore your options, but you'll eventually need to do one of them
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:32 PM   #6
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Plants seek water and leaking pipes attract their roots faster than free beer attracts fans at a ball game. Once in action, roots will bust the pipes. The only fix worth the time is complete replacement.

Belive it or not, our local municipalities and inspectors that will work with and enable homeowners to design and install complete septice systems. As long as you understan water flows downhill, its not rocket science.

I suggest you start with you local sewer authority and inspectors. You may be surprised.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:09 PM   #7
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It is completely possible to reline the pipe to the sewer and not tear out your drive way.

http://water.arlingtonva.us/sewer/se...ewer-relining/
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:43 PM   #8
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I have attached a pic of my laundry drain pipe connection Please help with drainage problem-img_0214.jpg

If I wish to connect the Washer hose to sink and connect the sink drain to the existing washer drain how would I go about it. I am assuming I can simply connect a horizontal(sloped) connection between the sinks base to the T stop of the washer drain. I might have to raise the laundry tub to make sure there is enough slope for the sink water to naturally drain.
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