View Full Version : Going to be one of those days

05-13-2012, 11:25 AM
Typical Sunday morning....cup of coffee....walk outside with the wife to plan the days activities........

And I see a drip of water coming out of the new clean out at the back of the house....I pull the cap off and water pours out....that's not good....

I pull out my 25' hand snake.....start shoving it in.....

More water is coming out....."Kids, I told you not to flush the toilet"......"But we didn't'.

Walk around to the front.....washing machine is on a drain cycle...

Lets see....the new addition is about 18' to the back of the existing's 33' to the front of the house where the washing machine is....that means the blockage is between the front of the house and the street....


My 25' snake is not going to reach....guess I'll be going to HD to rent a 'real' snake as soon as the wife gets back from church.

Happy Mother's Day honey....

05-13-2012, 11:36 AM
Sewer backups always seem to occur on holidays...

Good luck!

05-13-2012, 12:26 PM
Sounds like you might need to borrow those HF knee pads from your wife?

05-13-2012, 12:47 PM
For that I would be tempted to call a rooter guy, wouldn't cost much more than renting the machine, and you can take your long suffering wife to brunch while the kids wait for the plumber.

05-13-2012, 01:41 PM
She's probably worn those out already:lol_hitti same sh&t here today, flushed the terlet... You know the rest :shocking: Gonna wait til after lunch tho. Good luck ddawg :beer:

05-13-2012, 02:01 PM
Spend some time with your wife and call Rooter McSnooter. Don't worry there will be another time to show your manliness by unclogging the drain!

05-13-2012, 03:15 PM
My house used to have a mix of cast iron, (very little), orangeburg, & concrete pipe as the main drain line, replaced some of the line outdoors w/ ABS but there was still about 5 feet of orangeburg under the house, roots had gotten into it & if a bit too much TP was used it would back up, :( if the washer was being used it would back up into bath #2 's shower stall & overflow, could always tell it was clogged just from the burping sound coming from the toilet, glad it was fixed & even happier that have cast iron snap cutter when it was done.

Few things about orangeburg pipe, one it was not allowed to be used in a building & two, it was last manufactured in 1973 because PVC overtook it, & three if you did not know it was a paper & asphalt product that tree roots loved because the pipes were just pressed together at the coupling.

05-13-2012, 04:15 PM
Orangeburg sucks !!!!!!.....Had to dig up alot of that crap years ago when i was working with a plumbing rolled up tarpaper.....always was crushed !!

05-13-2012, 04:31 PM
I Googled it... Interesting stuff to be read.

05-13-2012, 04:42 PM
The couple of days after my Dad passed away, there was an epic back-up in his house. Considering the things that happened afterwards with "family", I'm inclined to believe he showed a few people what he thought about them.

05-13-2012, 06:32 PM
Well....the shitter is back in operation.....

Went to HD...rented a 75' snake.....they have 'powered feed' ones...but without knowing more, I would rather feed it by hand....I figure it's less likely to break pipe....

Anyway...good news and bad....pipe is open...but only for a short time. Roots....

Best I can tell is that it's almost to the sidewalk. I have that orange clay is 60 years old....and 2 people on the street have already done the 'dig up the front yard and replace the pipe' trick....I guess I'm next.

We have a friend who is also a plumber that lives on the other block.....yea....I could have called him....but this is Sunday...and even though he is a friend....I'm not going to bother him.....besides, I would expect to pay weekend/emergency rates...even if he is a friend....sorry...I don't take advantage of friends...

But I am going to call him and have him run the camera down the pipe...might as well find out where and how bad the problem is....that way I can figure out how long I have before I tear up the front yard....

Side note....I am REALLY glad I installed that clean out at the rear of the house on the new addition....nice straight run down my sewer....I can push the snake in about 20-30' before I need to turn on the motor....

For any of you plumbing guys....I think I already know the answer...but is there anything that will delay a root problem? If I can keep it working for at least another year so I can finish up the 2-story addition....I would be a happy camper....

I prefer to plan a big expense vs an emergency some cases you can get a price break from a plumber when you can plan it ahead....

05-13-2012, 06:39 PM
Change your routine to a preventative rotor to every six months when it is convenient for you. Repair when you can save up and afford it.

05-13-2012, 09:10 PM
I have the same problem with a clay line that goes right near a big oak tree.

When you have it cleaned out, to keep roots out of a line use copper sulfate crystals every two-three months. It is sold as root killer. Use about 1/2 cup and flush the stool while you pour it in. You want the crystals kind of spread out through the line. Let it sit for a while before you use more water. The copper kills the roots and should not harm the tree. Any leakage into the soil will act as a root repellant.

My parents house had that paper-asphalt sewer line. It collapsed and had to be replaced. I think they make roofing panels out of the same stuff nowadays.

05-13-2012, 09:26 PM
Similar situation here. Roots growing in the line and just about at the street so I have to push 50+ feet of snake in before I start cutting anything. The benefit I have is I have cast iron pipe and it only needs to be cleaned out every 4-5 years. All the neighboring houses were built about 20 years before mine so a lot of them still have clay.

There are some chemicals you can drop down the line that will burn the tips of the roots but I don't know how effective it would be if the roots are creeping in from the top of the pipe. If you did a good job cutting them out I would think you should be safe for at least a couple years depending on the kind of trees.

05-13-2012, 09:56 PM
oh man, it's been 20 years since i had to deal with that. 2 weeks after i bought my first house, the basement got flooded with crap. literally. lovely home wearranty covered roto-rooter but not replacement of the root-damaged lines.

get a scope down there and see what you're up against. i had to use the foaming copper-based root killer stuff 2 times a year and that kept it at bay for the next 6 years or so we lived there. try to time it so you have it in the lines for as long as possible, like before you go away on a trip or something. there's also a best time to apply, when the roots are thirsty.

05-14-2012, 12:45 PM
If your lucky you may be able to get the clay pipe relined in place. this way you keep the roots out and get the benefits of plastic pipe without having to dig up the yard.

If relining is not an option pipe bursting may be where they drag a new line right through the old one using a metal cone to break up the old clay as they go.

05-14-2012, 02:27 PM
I pull out my 25' hand snake.....start shoving it in.....

Happy Mother's Day honey....

My ADD kicked in and this is all I got out of that :lol_hitti

Then I realized we were talking about plumbing.