My Happiest day cleaning a sewer line


I lived in the house about 9 years and the washer drain began overflowing. When the washer emptied the kitchen sinks would fill with water. I used drain cleaner a few times and it helped the problem, but it kept recuring. So I finally decided I would find the sewer line, dig it up and install a cleanout. This would allow me to snake out the pipe. I figured it would be a weekend job, digging a hole around the pipe big enough to cut and install the cleanout. I used a 1/4" rod and probed the yard until I found the sewer pipe. Had the pipe pretty well marked out and was ready to dig. I took out the sod and 2 shovels of dirt before I hit the---- CLEANOUT. That was 6 years ago, I'm still beaming about it. Mike :-)
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Ah, you were definitely smiled upon by the home improvement gods that day! But be careful, because they are a foul and crabby lot and they will place a water pipe behind ever hole you drill from now on if you displease them in any way!
Paul F.
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Paul Franklin wrote:

Too true! :)
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On 1/16/2010 16:02, Mike wrote:

Congratulations on finding the cleanout. That will save you labor expenses when your main sewer line needs service. But with the trouble you described (water backing up in the kitchen sink) if the stoppage was was beyond that cleanout point and that drain line served lower fixtures such as a bathroom on the same or lower level, you would have water backing up there. Chances are the clog is occurring at the point where the 2-inch kitchen and laundry lines drain into the bigger main line.
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Bob wrote:

I don't think he's worrying about it anymore.
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my happiest day?? discovering that rocksalt kills tree roots:)
The entire line was inspected by camera, terracotta pipe with tree roots everywhere. This was over 10 years ago.
Copper sulphate was expensive as root killer.
Hey how about ROCK SALT?
nearly dirt cheap it kllls roots leaves trees unharmed is eay to do and near FREE.
i came up with idea since salt kills grass.
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Someone gave me this tip after my lines clogged about 6 times in 2 years. Color me skeptical. Then I tried it, and have had no clogs for the past year. And my house is +100 years old, God only knows what the sewer lines look like.
Which brings me to my actual contribution to this discussion. I had no cleanout for my lines. Sewer snakers beefed every time they came out. I mentioned it to my pal from DPW (if you own an old home, get a pal in DPW, by the way), he came over a couple days later with old, old, OLD hand-drawn maps of my lot and found THREE cleanouts in about 10 minutes. One had been covered by the deck, two were covered by flower beds, about 3 feet down. A friend helped me dig down to one of them and we installed an extension last summer, so now I have a cleanout. Just in case I forget to buy salt ;)
So, ask around before you dig, if you don't have the OP's luck, and it might make the job a lot easier.
Jo Ann
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my terracota lines had roots at every joint but one.
when they did the camera thing there was a Y that me and the plumber had no idea where it came from, it was packed full of roots coming out from it.
then by accident I overheard a conversation between the president of the sewer company trying to get fed funds to upgrade the sewer plant when it rains.
He reported that all the brown and vaughns homes built it the early 50s had a gravel bed with a sewer line connecting to it, so there would be not wet basement troubles. this would never pass building inspection rules today. and leads to flooded sewer plant. which ultimately was tripled in size tpo prevent raw seweage discharge.
the rock salt works great
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Bob wrote:

I was shopping for a new washer several years ago and found one with an "automatic" lint filter. I asked what that was and how to clean it. The sales person told me that the filter cleans itself and flushes into the drain line. I could never figure out the expected benefit, but could think of a few problems it might cause.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Kind-of defeats the whole purpose of a lint filter, you think?
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wrote:

I thought that too at first, but then it occurred to me that the lint filter's main purpose is to remove the lint from the water so it doesn't settle back on the clothes as little wads of, well, lint.
So having it automatically flush it down the drain saves you having to clean the filter, and probably doesn't hurt anything unless you have a septic system, in which case it would be a real bad idea.
Paul F.
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Paul Franklin wrote:

I'd much rather have what little lint there is come off in the washer or dryer than be flushed into plumbing to clog up a drain :o)
I can always spot the features designed by new engineers on their first day at work....like the "temp control" on my d--- Kenmore washer. Our hot water is termed that only because it comes from the faucet with an "H" on it....only a tiny bit too warm to shower with only h. If I set the temp control on the washer to "hot" (that's what the dial says), it squirts off and on constantly while filling to start/stop cold water. Drives me nuts, but rarely use "h" for laundry.
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Mike wrote:

I'd still be smiling too!
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