drainpipe clog

A drainpipe that runs underneath the house is clogged with grit from roof shingles.
I used a shopvac to suction out about 5-6 feet of the pipe, whereupon the pipe turned under the house. A snake won't break through.
A plumber said that the pipe would have to be dug up. Is this likely true? Am not interested in tearing up the basement floor and outside sidewalk.
Isn't there a more creative solution, like vacuuming out the rest of the line, being that is worked OK for the first vertical 5-6 feet of drainpipe?
Is there a narrower, longer vac hose available to negotiate the turn in the pipe? Will another sewer service be able to get this done?
Thanks in advance.
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We had a problem similar at work and one of the guys fastened about 20 ft of brake line on to a pressure washer and blasted it out. I have also cleared clogs with a garden hose. We have 100+ PSI pressure on the street side of the regulator. I have a hose bib connected on that side and normally use the high pressure water for wahing the car but it also works well for other things one of which is uncloging sewer lines.
You didnt say what the plumber did to diagnose the problem. Ripping up the floor would not be the first thing the plumber should try unless he has some really good data confirming this course of action.
Jimmie
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Jet cleaning will take care of it. Most sewer cleaners are doing it now, but it's not cheap. But neither is busting a floor just to earn someone some labor fees.

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Do you have a snake that rotates or are you just trying to poke?

My money is on that being the location of the clog. I like the idea of using air to open a small hole- then use water to flush it out.
Have you approached from the other end?
Jim
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Thanks for the responses.
I shoulda known not to make a long story short on this group. To answer your questions, I had a plumber out, of decent neighborhood reputation, who had advised me to suction the drainpipe out with a vacuum. He knew that the grit was apparently causing the clog. After suctioning, he inserted a rather sizeable motorized snake. After grinding that snake in the drainpipe a short while, he stated that the blades on the end of the snake had been torn off, he couldn't break through, nor did he want to risk damaging the pipe. He examined, but didn't try coming from the other end. He didn't think that a longer vacuum hose would negotiate the turn in the drainpipe for continued suctioning.
A different plumber has offered to come out and try to snake it out, but I was hesitant, cautioned by the idea that the pipe might be damaged in such a way, and was looking to find some alternatives first.
I've looked for narrower vacuum hoses without a wand end on them in order to negotiate the bend in the pipe and try my idea of continuing to suction the grit out, but haven't located one yet. Maybe I'm tilting at windmills here, but it seemed plausible and, that way, the stuff would be out of the pipe, not just scattered down through it, even if I managed to get a small hole through the clog. I suppose I'd have to jury-rig something.
I was hoping to get a little support for my theory, though I appreciate the other suggestions so far. Perhaps blasting or grinding through it is the only likely fix, if it's possible.
wrote:

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The blades are still in the pipe? You said he said they were torn off.
If that is the case, you're stuck digging it up. Have fun.
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When my Dad had a drain clog (the one from the eaves troughs) the plumber figured out it was at an elbow. He suggested my Dad dig down to the elbow, and the plumber would come back and finish the job.
The elbow turned out to be four feet down from the surface. Dad had help, digging. It was a heck of a lot of work. The elbow was some kind of ceramic, or like flower pot. The plubmer took something heavy, broke through it. Then cut out the elbow, and put in a new one using fermco connectors.
That doesn't help very much in your situation. The problem with long suction hose, it has to be rigid, so it doesn't collapse under suction.
Perhaps sump pump discharge hose for your vacuum cleaner? (Amazon.com product link shortened)
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Christopher A. Young
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