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Old 05-09-2019, 09:04 AM   #21
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Thinking it over night I'm not sure I want to do this. 2 feet away is a shower sitting and connected directly on top of the main. That means 2 -3 feet from the abs clean out I installed is the main which is right by the foundation and footing. I probably have to remove the shower stall. What if the connection to the main is bad(cast iron) then I'm up $hit creek as its right at the foundation footing. I'm not about to dig under the foundation or have a backhoe dig the front yard.

I think it's too much risk for it to go wrong as a one man shop.
That's why you need to video inspect first. You do a video inspection of the main, shower and any other drains in the vicinity of where you'll be digging. The more information you have the better. Going in blindly is just asking for trouble.
If you do a video inspection of the line you snaked you may not see anything but at least you can use a locator to follow the pipe. That should give you an idea if you're going to have to mess with the shower.
Don't they rent equipment like that up your way? If not, call someone who does and pay them to do it for you once you make a deal with the homeowner.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:31 AM   #22
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That's why you need to video inspect first. You do a video inspection of the main, shower and any other drains in the vicinity of where you'll be digging. The more information you have the better. Going in blindly is just asking for trouble.
If you do a video inspection of the line you snaked you may not see anything but at least you can use a locator to follow the pipe. That should give you an idea if you're going to have to mess with the shower.
Don't they rent equipment like that up your way? If not, call someone who does and pay them to do it for you once you make a deal with the homeowner.
The main 4" with a brass plug is 2-3 feet away from the 1 1/2" C/O where I snaked it. I probably would have to cut the 4" plug to see inside. Once removed I doubt about sealing it with a new plastic cap.

3 doors down 10 or more houses get flooded several times by the city, another problem if I remove it. I'm responsible if it doesn't seal well.

I could use my chinese 50M camera and locator on the main to locate the branch and see it there's mud. There's only one place where they rent a single camera for large pipe and its not always available.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:09 AM   #23
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I had to unclog the laundry line. The kitchen line was also connected to it underground.

My 3/8 and several bits wouldn't go further than 2 feet and about 6 inches after the underground elbow. I think I hit clay.

I tried the 5/16 with the same results. I think the underground pipe is broken and filled with packed clay. I still charged the 2 hours I spent there including the installation of a C/O

What are opinions about this?
That's definitely broken and clay... so I'd just give them a quote to fix it and hopefully they bite... more than likely it's just the 90 gone... your cable probably went into the ground and went a little furthur
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:31 PM   #24
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I would go into this situation with the guess that its a broken P-trap. Give them an estimate to replace this area.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:33 PM   #25
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I would go into this situation with the guess that its a broken P-trap. Give them an estimate to replace this area.
There's no underground 1 1/2" p-trap around here...

You have them???
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:41 PM   #26
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I've ran into it..


There almost looks like the concrete where the pipe is is slightly different; maybe an add on at some point. Either way; the next step is to cut it open.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:11 PM   #27
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What I'm afraid of is a back water valve outside the house from 1974. 6-8 feet deep underground. How the heck do you deal with that!
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:08 AM   #28
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What I'm afraid of is a back water valve outside the house from 1974. 6-8 feet deep underground. How the heck do you deal with that!
Again, that's a lot of wondering. Do a video inspection or have someone do it for you and you'll know exactly what you're getting into.
I just did a similar job today except I was able to get mine unclogged. It was for a branch line that serves the laundry, kitchen and basement tub. The cable came back caked in mud. Ran the camera found the direction the pipe was going until the camera dropped into the hole where the pipe corroded and I couldn't go farther in. Removed the toilet and found where it wyes off to the branch. Was able to give them an estimate on the spot.
I know we don't give prices on the site but let's just say I could buy another used micro reel for what I quoted. They can choose to spend big money once and not have to deal with it 2 to 3 times a year as they have. Or they can continue spending hundreds every time they call a plumber out. At least I gave them options.
This customer for example. They've spent over $2,000 snaking the drain with several companies and nobody has ever bothered to do a video inspection. Now the homeowner knows why it keeps clogging and they can choose how to proceed. Even though I charged nearly double what the last guy did they still gave me a $20 tip.
It seems to me you do a lot more drain cleaning than water heaters. Wouldn't it make more sense to save up to buy a halfway decent micro camera and locator than a stair climber?
I understand if you don't want to get into digging up main lines outside because of all that red tape they have in your area. But surely they'd allow you to dig up the pipe inside, or are they that strict?
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:12 AM   #29
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Again, that's a lot of wondering. Do a video inspection or have someone do it for you and you'll know exactly what you're getting into.
I never tried it, but does your camera see though fecal water or clay filled water? 3" to 4"? I guess it's more about locating the head than seeing forward. Second issue people complain about drain cleaning prices and if I have to add a camera fee on top and I have to say it on the phone, no way will they hire me. Then again it steers away people who aren't going to pay.



Quote:
This customer for example. They've spent over $2,000 snaking the drain with several companies and nobody has ever bothered to do a video inspection. Now the homeowner knows why it keeps clogging and they can choose how to proceed. Even though I charged nearly double what the last guy did they still gave me a $20 tip.
Will people actually pay for a camera inspection(camera fee plus time using it)? I don't have enough experience but from my limited experience and vibe I get that would be a no. At that stage they are probably thinking I'm about to rip them off.



Quote:
It seems to me you do a lot more drain cleaning than water heaters. Wouldn't it make more sense to save up to buy a halfway decent micro camera and locator than a stair climber?
I own a brand new ridgid Navitrack II. My chinese camera works on 3" and 4" if there aren't too many bends. Will your micro reel navigate 2 to 4 x 1 1/2" vent 90's? Real common around here!
I did only 2-3 water heaters last year. I Probably did over 20 branch drain lines, over a dozen toilet clogs, half dozen lav cleaning...



Quote:
I understand if you don't want to get into digging up main lines outside because of all that red tape they have in your area. But surely they'd allow you to dig up the pipe inside, or are they that strict?
I can do inside, it's a plumber licence. I can dig outside I have that special licence too but that's a lot of anxiety for a small one man shop, no employees, and I never dug myself or worked in a trench other than my own house.

Last edited by Tango; 05-14-2019 at 07:53 AM..
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:14 AM   #30
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@V.A Hydro-ooter

What exact model is your micro drain camera? I'll look for a used one if I jump on that.

I just checked this video, the 90's are long turn which aren't the ones plumber's use around here. The guys use these one. There not supposed to but they do because they'e cheap, and also hacks use them in abundance hidden in walls. My 5/16 drain cable without the special lead won't go through.





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