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Roots grow 365 here. sub tropical with Oaks, Pines, Magnolias, etc.

We kinda know roots.

Like i said, most building drains here are 3". you clean roots through a toilet flange and you'll be wrapped up in roots and not be able to pull your wad of roots back through the 3". I think that makes sense everyone.

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Plant Leaf Tree Umbrella Shade
 

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Reverend, R.S.E., Master Plumber
Nice Head, what’s in the bag?
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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.
 

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Reverend, R.S.E., Master Plumber
Nice Head, what’s in the bag?
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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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Pornstar, Service Plumber
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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.
Because no, not every house has a basement cleanout. Also, want to open a cleanout over someone's workbench/boxes of stuff, or even over a trash barrel when there's 80gal+ of sewage behind it? Or you'll get whole house traps buried in the crawl space between the basement and the street. Can't dig up a yard that doesn't exist.

I know I know, you'd tell them to cleanout their **** and you'll be back in the morning to snake it when there's room to work or you'll just bring an excavator......
 

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A proper cleanout is crucial to doing a proper job. When I clean a sewer I clean the entire line all the way to the street. That’s a 6” lateral in the street. The sewer is typically 4”. House drain typically 3”.

No way I’m running 75-150 feet from a closet flange cleaning roots. I’ll pass……

Thats what I’m saying.
 

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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.
Commercial here is minimum 4” but residential with two toilets or less is typically 3”” around my area.

I charge more for drain cleaning than I do plumbing and here no trade license is required to clean drains.

I make a ideal situation when I get drain calls or I don’t do the work. If they refuse the work to make it serviceable then I refuse the work.

I’m not into poking a hole in the blockage and leaving. I like to go all the way out into the main and slowly pull my cable back while I’m running a lot of water. I don’t use auto feeds.
 

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I had to throw in the towel on an island kitchen the other day. It was one of those older triple sinks with the disposal in the middle. Cabinet doors were half height, and each side basin was individually trapped into a sanitary cross with a loop vent. Of course, there's no cleanout, and no room to add one without gutting it. I try every trick I know off to get my cable down that cross, to no avail. I even cut the vent loop to the dismay of the customer. No dice.

The guy was dogging me from 20 min into the call. Said the other 4 companies that had been out over the years had been in and out in 30 mins and he couldn't believe I couldn't do the most basic plumbing task. I finally told him sorry for the inconvenience and that we wouldn't charge him anything per my managers instructions. He says he's going to call a lawyer and I tell him we have nothing else to talk about.

Fun day.

Hey (not a) customer, enjoy that lawyer conversation.........
 

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There's a town near us that is right on Chesapeake bay that doesn't even have a sewer system, it has a vacuum system. We had an issue at a shopping center that was stopped up at the county "manhole" got the local utility guys out and they showed us how it worked, was pretty darn cool. They have to use a vacuum system because they are so close to sea level that if you dig down too far you hit water, said that there were only a couple in use throughout the country...check it out
 

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Whenever someone calls me for a drain issue that someone else has already dealt with before I press them really hard to find out why they called us instead this time. There's only a handful of reasons and most of them aren't good.

-The job sucks/will be a literal schitshow.
-The last guy did it right and the customer thinks the charge was too much, probably won't want to pay us either.
-The last guy got it clear but told them he wouldn't come again because it needs to be fixed/is too risky to snake again.
-The last guy didn't actually fix the issue which is why I am there, in which case it might need to be replaced and snaking isn't the answer.
-The last guy was an azzhat in which case I definitely want to hear the whole story!
And probably broke a cable off in the pipe
 

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Commercial here is minimum 4” but residential with two toilets or less is typically 3”” around my area.

I charge more for drain cleaning than I do plumbing and here no trade license is required to clean drains.

I make a ideal situation when I get drain calls or I don’t do the work. If they refuse the work to make it serviceable then I refuse the work.

I’m not into poking a hole in the blockage and leaving. I like to go all the way out into the main and slowly pull my cable back while I’m running a lot of water. I don’t use auto feeds.
How do you charge for drain work Terry???
 

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Find the stack bathroom and install a clean out on it. Houses here majority are basements but we have slab on grade and crawl spaces. Ontario close to log tec. Here's what I would attempt to do. I would install a clean out above flood level rim of toilet and bathtub and work from that. However if they can't afford 200 dollars then they can't afford a working toilet. Sometimes when they've been plugged for a long time just a snake will not do it needs to be jetted. Trees grow all year round I've seen roots in drain from tree 4 houses down. You can tell the type of tree by the smell of roots.

Conifers have stringy roots usual large clumps but not particularly dense

Deciduous roots are thinner but densely packed. Sometimes you'll get a tap root grow through a joint then it'll grow down the drain and grow our of that and be sprouting out off that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Find the stack bathroom and install a clean out on it. Houses here majority are basements but we have slab on grade and crawl spaces. Ontario close to log tec. Here's what I would attempt to do. I would install a clean out above flood level rim of toilet and bathtub and work from that. However if they can't afford 200 dollars then they can't afford a working toilet. Sometimes when they've been plugged for a long time just a snake will not do it needs to be jetted. Trees grow all year round I've seen roots in drain from tree 4 houses down. You can tell the type of tree by the smell of roots.

Conifers have stringy roots usual large clumps but not particularly dense

Deciduous roots are thinner but densely packed. Sometimes you'll get a tap root grow through a joint then it'll grow down the drain and grow our of that and be sprouting out off that.
You know I thought of that a few days after I left the job, They did have a 3" sewer vent that I could have opened the wall and installed a cleanout in and snaked the sewer with, better that a roof vent for sure. I did not know there was roots until I tried to clear it from the roof vent I was hoping for a soft blockage or minimal roots. The tree roots were from queen palms they had about 5 of them in the front yard.
 
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