Snaking a Clogged Pipe


The pipe attached to the basement drain of my 1971-built home is partially clogged. (If I run a hose for about 10 minutes, the water starts to back up.) I believe that the drainage pipe needs to be snaked, but I am afraid that if someone does it improperly, matters will get worse rather than better. (I suspect that a clogged pipe can be easily broken). So before I hire someone to do this, I would like to know what to avoid when the pipe is snaked and how to find a competent person who will charge me a fair rate. I should add that there is a silver maple in the front yard where the pipe drains, and I understand that those types of maples attack pipes vigorously. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
JD
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

Yep, Maples are about the worst. If they find a 1/16" opening, they can fill a 6" pipe with fine root hairs.
It takes a pro sewer machine to snake large drains, esp over long distances. If you are up to the effort, you can rent one. It may cost ~$200 for someone to do it. YMMV
I wouldn't be overly concerned about damaging the pipe.
Alternate: Apply root killer and hope for the best/.
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in addition to snaking, plumbers may also use a jetter and pipe camera
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[snip]

Buyer beware: I've been quoted US$760 (an independent plumber) to US$1500 (national chain) for this option. While it seems like a good idea -- especially when you know the pipe has a break near the city-owned entrance to the sewers -- it's often a grand waste of money and time. A good roto-rooter guy can have the job done in 30 minutes and tell you exactly what's going on causing your backflow problem. (We have liquid amber lining our street so drains up and down the neighborhood clog regularly due to roots finding access through the pipes.)
My single recommendation: Don't go with that national company with "Roto" in its name.
The Ranger
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

To tell you the honest hard truth, if you want to fix it you are going to have someone do some digging.
What happens is the pipe (especially the stuff using at the time your home was built) was never totally waterproof. The roots follow the water into the pipe and make the leak larger. You can clean it, but the next time it will be back sooner.
With the pipe replaced and totally waterproof the tree roots will think it is a rock and go around it.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

I would say it has a lot to do with what types of pipe you have. In my 34 year old house, the pipe under the basement floor is cast iron. Good, I thought. Outside of the house to the street it is plastic. When it plugged in a similar fashion to that of the OP, I tried renting a power auger. I apparently was not aggressive enough. So, call out the plumber. He used a smaller auger, went in through the cleanout whick I installed, and charged $400. But, he did fix it. Cast iron, through the years rusts inside, and gets smaller diameter (due to the rust) and rougher. It catches lint, etc. Now, if the OP has clay tile pipes and the tree has done it's damage, I'd say it might be a dig job. However, I had a friend with such a problem where a bi-yearly routing did the trick.
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On 6 Oct 2006 08:35:31 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com"

Just in case, you might try calling your city engineering department. Mine will come at least twice a year to clean the roots out of the sewer line.
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On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 21:56:31 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mcgill.ca wrote:

I should have added "at no charge".
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roter rooter. with a root cutter on the end most gice a guarantee for a year.

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