I have a recurring problem which has cost me two plumber visits per
year each year since I left the home to tenants. Just outside the
basement wall about four feet beyond the cleanout the pipe has a joint
which appears to be a bell type joint. Roots grow through there and clog
the pipe causing overflow damage to the 60 year old house. When I was
close to home I would open up the cleanout and use a curtain rod bent
like a J to cut the roots and pull the clog out. The roots seem to be
coming in 360 degrees of the pipe and it would seem if I could get the
tenants to pour in copper sulphate or some such, it would only get the
roots on the bottom part of the pipe. Is there any service or product
available that could correct this or is excavation necessary, which
would be under concrete steps. Many TIA, Doug
you really should think about replacement.
Replace the whole thing while you are at it if it is cost effective
Remember you can ditch that old pipe and run a new one somewhere else
Just move a few feet over from the steps, dig there.
Look at the plumbing and how much room you have to redirect it while
If removal of the offending tree is not an option, I would also suggest
excavation. You may want to have the line video inspected to see if there is
damage / intrusions anywhere else. If the rest of the line is in good
condition, you may consider excavating a *safe* bell-hole and redoing that
one joint. However, this will probably only be a temporary fix at best, and
you would be digging it up again in 5 - 10 years. There are also systems
available that will pull a new liner through your existing line that you may
wish to investigate. Be aware that this procedure will cost considerably
more than digging down and replacing your existing line. The only benefit
would be that you don't have to dig the entire yard, just a small hole at
each end. As far as the steps go, they're probably "poured in place" and can
be moved out of the way with a backhoe, and either repositioned after or
replaced with a precast model.
Aside from that, you should find out what the plumber is using for a cutting
tool on the drain cleaner he's using. Generally, if the correct tool is
used, it should take a couple of years for the roots to grow back (at least
that's what we find in Alberta). For more information on drain cleaning
tools, go to the Ridgid Tool website. Perhaps if you were only hiring a
plumber every year or two, you may be less inclined to dig up your yard?
Best of luck,
Thank you both Mr Flanders and the Wigmores for giving me more options
than I had thought of and ideas that I had not heard of anywhere else. I
figured that by asking this question to a forum such as this would be a
good step to be better informed when I talk to a plumber and you have
gone out of your way to take the time to help. I regard your responses
as making this a better world to live among. And as I was reading over
the other posts I found a page about slot car racing. We had a
neighborhood track in the basement where the pipe in my question is and
I enjoyed finding out my old hobby is still alive. Thanks all. Doug-NJ
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