Sewer advice?


Hi,
I seem to have a recurring, and puzzling, sewer problem. About 6 weeks ago, I had tub drain gurgling for several days, then a backup when the toilet was flushed. Sewer cleaner went thru the roof stack, said he used 180 feet of cable, found roots, etc. All seemed well.
Three days ago, the gurgling started again. Definite smell of sewer gas, but no backup. Got the sewer guys out again. They could not get cable through from the roof (obstructed at about ground level). They pulled the stool, 150 feet of cable, yada yada, all was well for a day.
Yesterday, more gurgling, this time in response to either toilet flushing or kitchen sink emptying. LOUD, extended. Gurgled every time either was drained, all day yesterday, all night, first thing this morning. All drains seemed to be working fine.
Later this morning, I took a shower. No more gurgling upon flushing or draining.
My theory: There is an obstruction somewhere around the vent (which might account for why team #2 was unable to run cable via roof stack). The drains hold enough water to keep the trap full for a day or two, but flushing eventually empties the trap and gurgling starts. Showering this morning refilled the drain, which refilled the trap.
At the risk of making a horrible pun, does this theory hold water? If so, any suggestions for how to fix? If not, alternate theories?
Thanks in advance, Jo Ann
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Since it is draining you do not have a problem. The question about the location of the clog is an uneccesary one since it is draining. Some plumbers have a small camera they put down the pipe if they need to see where or what the clog is. In some cases the sewer pipe can be collapsed due to tree roots or agressive snaking and has to be replaced. this can mean digging up the yard.
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Lawrence is full of shit!
To say ".Since it is draining you do not have a problem. The question about the location of the clog is an uneccesary one since it is draining." is an assinine statement.
Of course you have a blockage. It may be further away than you expected and that's why it takes a bit of water to fill, then back up. It would be a surprise if those roots from a few weeks ago are the problem. I would not rule out the vent pipe as an alternative. Keep looking, you'll find it. Takes a bit of common sense.
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So true. There's clearly evidence of a problem even though the symptoms are not (yet) terribly severe.
If you wait until the symptoms get worse, the cost of the final repairs is only likely to escalate. This is especially true when water (or sewage) blockages/leaks are concerned.
Unless you can identify some other cause within the next day or three, a camera inspection of your lines would be a very prudent and sensible step to take.
Of course, if you really think it's probable that the problem lies in the city/utility maintained section of the lines, you might want to call them first. Some are extremely good -- last time I had to do that, they fixed the problem same day *and* cleared a secondary partial blockage caused by roots in a line that was my responsibility. For this, they didn't charge me a dime. YMMV.
I'd also talk to your immediate neighbors. Perhaps they have observed similar symptoms and/or have some experience with the local utility/agency responsible for the public lines.
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Interesting that you should mention this. On my way home from the post office this afternoon, I noticed that the nearest neighbor to the back of my house has had some recent excavation from the front of his house to the street; I would guess it was done within the past 2-3 days, as I go past his corner fairly often. It looks VERY much like a sewer line excavation to me. Think I will make a call over there this evening. Thanks for the suggestion!
Jo Ann

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

We had a similar problem. After several investigations and the addition of a vent, we ran a camera down our line, found nothing. We called on the City to investigate and they found their lines collapsed and filled with roots. Since they repaired the City lines, all is well. TB
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

We had a similar problem. After several investigations and the addition of a vent, we ran a camera down our line, found nothing. We called on the City to investigate and they found their lines collapsed and filled with roots. Since they repaired the City lines, all is well. TB
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Hmmm, dare I hope? At this point, drains are running and no gurgling. Contrary to what another poster noted, it IS a problem if it gurgles, even if the drains are running, because the "gurgle" is a belch of sewer gas. I really don't want the house smelling like sewer gas every time someone pulls the plug on the sink. Maybe I'll ask for the camera procedure if (when) it starts up again.
Thanks, Jo Ann
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Cheap easy possible fix worked wonderful here!
Dump some salt water down the sewers like put 25 pounds of rock salt or softener salt in a washtub and dissolve with hot water. then go out for the day. the rock salt kills the roots doesnt hurt the plants and is super low cost.
i have been doing this here for 7 or 8 years saved me 10 grand for a new sewer line
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Well, *postponed* it, at any rate! :) Ingeniously, tho. :) :)
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tried to buy copper sulphate, its illegal unless you buy a tiny amount at a horrendous price.
rock salt safer accomplishes exactly the same thing and is near free.........
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I've bought Root Kill at HD about $5.00 for a years supply. Copper compound.
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snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

I tried that, it was not nearly as effective as rock salt and besides salt wouldnt kill the tree,,,,,,,,,
copper can........
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Roots are fibrous. How long does it take for the rock salt to liquify them? At beaches all over the earth, salt tends to act as a preservative with wood.
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they must rot away wood on beaches usually isnt continiously in water.
all I kow is it works and I had roots in every joint in my terracota line......
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