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Trouble clearing a sewer.

4181 Views 38 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  rooterboy
A few days ago I got a call for a stopped up drain, the customer called me back after a few days to come and clear it, Her husband tried but could not clear it. Anyways the toilet was already pulled and I could not locate a cleanout in the front yard. I brought my Spartan 300 into the bathroom with 55 mag cable and a 2 1/2" cutter on it. I went in through the toilet flange and thought every thing was ok? Unfortunately my cable went up the vent and got caught. It took quite a while running the machine in forward and reverse to finally get my cable out. Well my cable had some insulation wrapped around it. My guess it there was an opening in the vent in the attic and my cable went out the opening into the attic and twisted up in some insulation. The small camera would have been quick to check the vent from the roof to look for a hole in the vent. I did not want to try again from the toilet flange so I went up on the roof with the K60sp and tried to clear it. I was out about 100' and was not able to clear it ran into a root stoppage that stopped the K60 and even caused it to run backwards when there was a lot of torque on the cable. I gave up after about three hours.
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Sheity, this is why I don’t clear drains..

I hate clearing drains.
I Sold my K-1500 years ago, I’ll still use my K-50 on occasion, and I’ll auger a w/c-
but if the KWR or hand snake won’t clear a vanity/tub/shower drain I sub it out.
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When the ground freezes conifer roots keep growing below the frost line looking for water, water seeping out of rust holes or cracks. Yes, you do get roots that deep.
I 2nd this.
in Toronto Ontario, our frost line is 4’ deep, 99.9 of our houses here have basements, which means our main drains are usually on average 8’-10’ deep from ground level.
Roots growing into clay drains here are a huge problem and big business.

What I was told back in the day, when I was an apprentice:
(This may or may not be true)
- coniferous tree roots grow about the same circumference as the tree, but don’t tend to grow very deep.
-deciduous tree roots grow the same circumference as the tree and as deep as at least 1/3 of the height of the tree.
-and some trees roots grow further and deeper then others.
-tree roots can grow up to 5 years after a tree was cut down.
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Yep, you don’t have cleanouts outside but you have basements with cleanouts or at least access to o the piping . So why would anyone try to clean roots from the toilet flange ?

It’s either slab or crawl space here. Some on tall pilings on the immediate coast.
so if there was a building trap, there was a breather usually on the front lawn, or under a porch and a c/o in the basement where the main drains exits the building. Sometimes the building trap was under the slab so there was 2 c/o’s at the front wall in the basement.

So why would anyone clear roots from a toilet flange?
Answer- finished basements, basement apartments/rental units.

-there are a ton of ignorant home owners/yahoo’s/DIYers who have covered over c/o’s, backwater valves and floor drains with ceramic tiles, concrete, carpets, wood flooring etc while finishing their basements..
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building/main drains here are minimum 4”.

I’m not clearing that either way..
I didn’t get my Master Plumber so I could clear drains.
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