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It has been decided that this deserves its own thread.. Welcome to drain tech diaries.. a day in the life of a drain tech.. no soldering here no faucet repairs.. This is the down and dirty side of plumbing.. When skat hits the fan this is the kind of scenarios you will see.. My area has it all New build, old , older and oldest.. so your going to see the different ways things are set up drainage wise and hopefully we'll get a laugh or two..


I'm going to try keep this thread alive by minimum weekly posts depending on what i am doing but Strictly drain cleaning and drain related stuff.. I'm a workaholic so honestly it shouldn't be an issue for material its getting footage that'll be hard.. If anyone has any ideas all I've got is a cellphone right now maybe an upgrade in equipment will come depends on how things pan out.


And make sure you guys like and subscribe maybe one day it'll help me out Im a broke azz Canuck ehh. I appreciate all who read and watch , dont be afraid to tell me im a idiot or at least let me know what you want to see.. like give me ideas too.. Im only so creative.




Starting a thread to post the worst of the worst you have come across... I'm talking about stuff that plumbers nightmares are composed of. Horror stories. Poo and anything that comes out of the drain nice root pics are encouraged too. I'm gonna start with a pic and a video.. Stories encouraged..pics and video links to provide visual.. better..

Sewer spoons.. ratatouille next to boiler

Sludge factor
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Yea I posted in that too... I as gross as it is I rather go into a dirty house to do a dirty job rather than a spotless house and snake the sewer it stresses me out like There is not enough preparedness or cleaning supplies in the world to not make some kind of mess..

Today was in multi million dollar house was ther for like close to 4 hours snaking this line.. pluggered solid.. sludge line lady said never used this toilet just cleaned it today and flushed and it backed up....

It had dried out and was 40' of papier mache.. just had to push it all the way to the septic tank and run water and snake and all sorts of fun..

lately it's been all septic tanks.. had one where they used a 2.5" galv fence post as the pipe from house to tank lmfao
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've pulled other companies cables out with my cable.. more than once...

Pulled one out of an apartment building toilet stack it was a 5/16" cable about 35' long coiled up on mine made it hell of a job to get it out..

Another was a mainline cable 5/8 or 3/4".. pulled it out of a 4" stack cleanout at a house came out easy though..

Hockey sticks in manholes are common around housing complexes here were Canadian Eh!
 

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I've pulled other companies cables out with my cable.. more than once...

Pulled one out of an apartment building toilet stack it was a 5/16" cable about 35' long coiled up on mine made it hell of a job to get it out..

Another was a mainline cable 5/8 or 3/4".. pulled it out of a 4" stack cleanout at a house came out easy though..

Hockey sticks in manholes are common around housing complexes here were Canadian Eh!
Why do guys cut their cable in a pipe and you are able to retrieve them? They get stuck cut them off and leave the job? How and why do you get them out and they can't?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maybe I'm not sure sometimes it's like they didn't anchor it to the drum so if you let go gravity pulls it in.. or if their cables are old and weak it snaps.. maybe they give up maybe they just get paid leave and hope for the best..

I ve only once used camera to retrieve a cable and it was our own it was worn and broke k1500 cable we just hooked it with retriever and yanked it out..
our fault really and I'll be first to admit it.. we got it out and got a dig job out of it still because sewer was broken bad and infested with tree branches
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pulled out a handy hacks cable out today...

Well I didn't the guy I was working with did lmao.. I loosened the monster root ball they had on the end and he finished it off..

They had dug up the floor and this that and the other.. I first worked the home depot rental machine to get the cable loosened then once I got it spinning again I knew we'd get it out...

So I worked machine back and forth for over an hour then let took a break and let the senior man give it a shot and it came out with about 50lbs of roots on it..

We looked around I found the main c.o buried under a kitchen sink under tile...

Set it up to go back and clean it properly with a real machine and camera...

Twas a nice last call of the day.. the handymen came while we were working on it... we got cable out and they wrapped it up quickly and we off.. they had brought a come along to try and get the cables out..

I've had my snake stuck in mega roots like that so many times it's not even funny just gotta keep working it she'll come back.. That's why h.d won't even rent you real blades to clean your drain just ones to poke a hole in it..

Most people look at the auger bits I put on and go holy! Your gonna put that in there...

I've gotten calls where guys been cleaning it himself for 10 years and now I gotta go and clean a pipe with a tree trunk growing in it.... Not fun
 

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That's why h.d won't even rent you real blades to clean your drain just ones to poke a hole in it..
Here HD rents the general and ALL the cutters!. Sometimes I get calls from diy who tried their luck clearing their main line and failed. I decline them all. First I'm not risking getting stuck with my medium sized machine and second if they were so cheap to do it themselves what give me the guarantee they won't cause me trouble and blaming me for a broken pipe or whatever story they are going to come up with or that they will be paying?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We don't want to do those calls trust me.. But we have been slow and I these people begged our office to send us.. h.d here rents up to a 3" cutter.. our sewer laterals are 6" to front of house or building trap whatever comes first here.. Hardest place to get all roots out is 4x6 clay reducer..

It was the general but open cage I use a speed rooter 92... I've had to use my cable to dig out other cables before too.. I use 5/8" cable does the job... for heavy root infiltration k1500 is what you want though turns roots into coleslaw in no time
 

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Crappy video quality... but my 1st call today

https://youtu.be/qpnfxmoxCSc

first off...better you than me...:vs_laugh:....thats why i dont do drain cleaning...welded waste lines??? WTF...you need to add a charge for having to work in that slop....get yourself one of those 2 gallon sprayers and mix up a bleach solution to at least kill some of the smell and bacteria in that crawl space...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yea it was fun.. we got the job to excavate and repair.. even though I did most of excavation already... hopefully dry out before next week a bit... also found another leak on main water feed so we got that repair also shes just happy to have everything figured out

I told her she should call someone but she wasn't interested not the worst one I've seen..

welded waste lines are not common here I've seen them before though..

I'll go back and fix it up.. I'm tired today been a busy one lol 6 calls 3 mains and 2 kitchens... last one was a grocery store flooding out and already had people there trying to figure it out.. I think we got it fixed though plugged catch basin.. if it doesn't fix it its gonna be the water main
 

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Crappy video quality... but my 1st call today

https://youtu.be/qpnfxmoxCSc
Wow! That's a serious mess that needs bio hazard suits and H2S monitor. The insurance would take care for the mess but not the repair. I bet it would also need an entire perimeter dig and decontamination. 20 000$ or more?

That's one reason I don't really do mains. laterals are usually clean.
 

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Yea it was fun.. we got the job to excavate and repair.. even though I did most of excavation already... hopefully dry out before next week a bit... also found another leak on main water feed so we got that repair also shes just happy to have everything figured out

I told her she should call someone but she wasn't interested not the worst one I've seen..

welded waste lines are not common here I've seen them before though..

I'll go back and fix it up.. I'm tired today been a busy one lol 6 calls 3 mains and 2 kitchens... last one was a grocery store flooding out and already had people there trying to figure it out.. I think we got it fixed though plugged catch basin.. if it doesn't fix it its gonna be the water main
In the video you mention the boss only supplies you only one drain machine? If I had that many calls my employee would have the whole line up of drain machines, cables and tools. Does your boss have the greedy and cheapness syndrome?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Crappy video quality... but my 1st call today

https://youtu.be/qpnfxmoxCSc
Wow! That's a serious mess that needs bio hazard suits and H2S monitor. The insurance would take care for the mess but not the repair. I bet it would also need an entire perimeter dig and decontamination. 20 000$ or more?

That's one reason I don't really do mains. laterals are usually clean.
In this job sometime you just gotta do what you have to do... honestly not even that bad I've had alot worse.. yes should definitely do some de-contamination I won't even tell you how I deal with that stuff you don't want to know..

It was maybe only a 5x5 area that was affected I built a platform out of 2x4s and ply wood over affected area.. wasn't to bad I was pretty clean... usually I'd wear a tyvek suit in there but i had run out..

When I go back I'll dig out most of the poo and do some more decontam with the stuff the restoration guys use and I'll be fine.

Didn't even stink like I said it's still cold out.. if it was dog heat of summer It'd be a different story...

Once had to cut floor out of trailer to get under it had sunken to its axles over 50 years In a swamp
Had to get under there and hook up the sewer it had fallen apart... I said dont use toilet for 1 month I'll be back and that's when I did repair...

If I can I'll post an after video... You guys haven't seen nothing yet.. I might invest in some better recording equipment and start showing a Day in the life...

I've been a "Drain Technician" for ten years my company only signed me up last year as a plumber as my boss was afraid I'd leave after I got my gas license (G2 400k btu and under) We dont have apprenticeships for gas fitting like other provinces do..

UH OH! I got a call Major Flood stay tuned 😜 I like drain cleaning more than plumbing truthfully when you see the water drain it's so satisfying
 
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