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.
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/.
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.
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.
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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