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Thread: Possible blocked sewer pipe

  1. #1

    Default Possible blocked sewer pipe

    We bought a house about 2 years ago that was vacant for about a year. We completely gutted and remodeled the home. About 4 months ago we finally got the toilet working. This was the only running water source in the house for the last 4 months, no bath, kitchen, or bath sink. We noticed a leak in the basement sewer pipe and in the midst of fixing it, we figured we would have rotor rooter come in and flush out the lines. They claim that there is bloackage about 11 ft into the pipe and the think it's dirt. The pipe is cast iron that runs under a cement floor crawl space. My questions are -

    1. Because the house sat so long without running water, could it be old feces hardened causing some blackage?
    2. On that same note, we only ran a toilet for 4 months and nothing else. Could this pose a problem not washing the solids down properly?
    3. Does solid waste actually sit in the pipes until more water washes them down? The pipe is approx 26ft of run before connecting to the town sewer line.

    Thanks for any help given.

    Stephen

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    A properly sloped drain (1/4" per foot) should drain everything with the flush. Debris should not remain in the line waiting for more water to push it out. Contrary to Roto Rooter advertising, not all of them are qualified plumbers. I would question the company you used because if they couldn't cut through the blockage, they either didn't have very good equipment or were not well qualified. My advise is to contact a plumbing company. If the blockage is indeed dirt, then you have a real problem to deal with especially if the break in the line is under the concrete. Once the drain is cleared, a camera inspection will verify what and where the problem is.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Solid waste will often not travel the length of the pipe with one flush. It relies on water from other uses to flush the line clear after use...

    Just 1 more reason to wash your hands after using the bathroom.

    BTW I answered your question in one of the other forums you posted it in...

  4. #4
    Master plumber Jay Mpls's Avatar
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    If the Roto Rooter man was worth his salt he would have shoved a camera down and verify that the line *may* be broken.BTW...why not call the experienced neighborhood drain cleaner instead of the corperate newbbee?Dirt/mud often is bad news.
    No waste should remain in your line.A properly pitched line drains at 2 ft. per second.
    Thats moving!Good luck and post back here how you come out.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Here are the results of 3 studies that Terry posted earlier in another thread.
    All of these studies show that the solid waste is transported down the waste pipe a distance that varies with pipe size, pitch, and the amount of water used per flush. Additional flushes or flows are required to move the waste further.

    Evaluation of Water-Efficient Toilet Technologies to Carry Waste in Drainlines, A Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Project

    WASTE TRANSPORT IN PIPING SYSTEMS SERVED BY LOW-FLOW WATER CLOSETS, Texas A&M

    Appendix A — WaterSense Drainline Carry Testing Results, U.S. EPA


    The TOTO Drake is listed as the Gravity - 75mm (3" in) Flush Valve model above. Drainline carry is 80 feet.
    3" pipe at a 2% slope.
    Last edited by Terry; 06-13-2009 at 02:19 PM.

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