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Thread: Cable or Jet?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Default Cable or Jet?

    *sigh*

    It's happened again.

    2 years ago we had the main line back up. We had it hydro jetted and camera'd from the cleanout in the middle of the yard. He went from the cleanout to the main sewer line in the street. He went backwards some, too with the jetting line, but wasn't able to get the camera to go in that way. So, we don't know how far he REALLY got between the house and the cleanout, nor do we know what that line looks like.



    Cause was mostly roots and a bunch of grease. (We had just moved in a few months before. Grease wasn't from us.) Neighbors told us that less than a year prior, a tree was cut down that had been right over the lateral. I've been told roots from it can grow up to 8 years.

    The stack is CI, and the sewer lateral is 6" clay from what I was told. It wasn't in bad shape at the time. (No big cracks found, or holes, etc)


    Now again the main line is backing up. Same time of year. Actually within 2 weeks of when it happened 2 years ago.

    I'm thinking I really have 2 options;

    1. Have the line opened with a cable-type drain cleaner
    2. Have the line hydro jetted again, but this time with them going up on the roof as well and getting the whole line for sure, and camera-ing from there as well.

    I have no cleanouts besides the one in the yard. The old closet bend under the one toilet we have is pretty tight, and I think it'd be a real pain to go in from there. So I'm thinking the roof is the best option.


    I'm being told ~$250 or so to just auger it from the roof. ~$750 for hydrojetting it from the roof with the camera as well.

    Wondering if you guys think it'd be worth the difference to have it jetted.

    Or, should I just have it augured and start a schedule of normal Root-X application?

    What would you do in this situation?

    Any input appreciated.

  2. #2
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Ok here is my 2 cents. power rodding is perfect for tree roots and any hard obstructions. A jetter is more for sludge, and grease blockages. Why would you want to rod from the roof? The clean out in the yard is perfect for power rodding both directions. I can see the other guy might have trouble pushing a camera up hill from the clean out back. Oh and here is one other little fact, since you do have tree roots, you need to do maintenance and rod your sewer at least every two years. Our company guarantees main line roddings fro two years and tells home owners that it should be rodded every two years as preventive maintenance. Roots do grow back and need to be cut, just like grass grows back and needs to be cut every two weeks.

    After the power rodding start using Root-x once a year, it does work. I had a homeowner that had to have the rodding done every two years like clock work. We started her on Root-X, its been 5 years now and counting. We just show up once a year to retreat her sewer on the third year we ran the camera down the sewer and seen that the root growth has stopped.
    Last edited by SewerRatz; 03-23-2009 at 06:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default sewer

    Where is the stoppage? IF there is water in the cleanout then it is between there and the main sewer. If not then it is between the house and the cleanout. Jetting has its function, but unless they use a water powered cutter it will not do much with roots except drill a hole for the hose to pass through them. Until you know where the stoppage is you cannot make a decision, but augering is effective 99+ % of the time, when you have roots. And the roots can grow for 25 years after the tree is cut down, not just 8.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Had a drain cleaner come over. He quickly determined (per HJ's suggested method) that the stoppage was between the house and the cleanout. He couldn't go from the cleanout towards the house as it's 7 feet down from cleanout to sewer, and at a 45 towards the street. Once he found out the toilet was on the 2nd floor, he was resistant to going in that way. He wanted to rod from somewhere on the first floor. (No basement) We had no way for him to get a root cutter into the line from the first floor, though.

    So, he recommended we have a cleanout installed and he'd come back to rod it.

    So, we removed the pig slop after using a jack to relieve pressure on it with a couple riser clamps, too.

    Had a tough time finding riser clamps and 4" street fittings. Not something sold to consumers much.

    So, we killed 3 birds with one stone:
    1. Added cleanout
    2. Got rid of Pig Slop Fernco job and replaced with 2 metal banded couplings
    3. Upgraded clothes washer branch from 1 1/2" to 2." (upper santee) 1 1/2" is legal here in WI for a clothes washer, but I plan on combining the clothes washer, tub and lav into that 2" line when we redo the kitchen. We also got rid of the backslope on the kitchen sink drain (lower santee)

    Had the drain cleaner come back. He pulled roots out. Roots intertwined with condoms, tampons and baby wipes. Yuck. We also found that the kitchen sink drain was literally 1/2 full of grease. All results from the tenants the house had before we bought it 2 1/2 years ago, as my wife and I don't flush any of those items!

    So, now we know it's clear from the house to the street. Hopefully just RootX once a year will take care of everything until this sewer needs replacing.

    That jack was just there to temporarily remove pressure from the pvc line. Didn't really move the CI up at all, just enough to relieve pressure to allow the swap of old and new PVC. We have a riser clamp we will install more permanently to keep the weight off of the PVC.

    Went from this:




    To this:

  5. #5
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    That looks much better. It is sad that whom ever put in the outside clean out used a wye combo, I normally install tee's outside so I can rod both directions. On the plus side it made you install a nice clean out on your stack and get rid of that unshielded fernco.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    That looks much better. It is sad that whom ever put in the outside clean out used a wye combo, I normally install tee's outside so I can rod both directions. On the plus side it made you install a nice clean out on your stack and get rid of that unshielded fernco.
    Yeah, I would've fixed it anyway and installed a cleanout when I re-did the kitchen, but either way it's done now.

    It is a shame. Someone spent the time and effort to dig the hole 7 feet down and put in a CI cleanout line up to grade, but didn't bother to make it a tee or have a second one going the other way. Oh well, problem solved now.

  7. #7
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    I just sold a job where I am installing a Clean Check outside and I will be installing a Clean out tee there as well since Clean Check manufacture does not want you to use their Check valve body as a clean out. All is good

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    When I install outside cleanouts I configure them like shown on the left side of the picture below...
    It doesn't cost much more plastic is cheap....
    Digging the hole is what costs the big bucks...


  9. #9
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Lol, please what ever you do if you want to power rod your own sewer do not follow this guys advice. http://www.move.com/home-garden/do-i...-cleanout.aspx

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    Lol, please what ever you do if you want to power rod your own sewer do not follow this guys advice. http://www.move.com/home-garden/do-i...-cleanout.aspx
    That was funny right there...
    I don't care where you're from...

    Snakin a main with that little drill snake....

  11. #11
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Brought a pea-shooter to a gunfight.

    Also recommends a gardenhose which made me think that those drain bladders that connect to a hose seem like they are a cross contamination begging to happen. Comments

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Well... While it is a cross connection...
    When the blow bag looses pressure it tends to come flying out of the pipe...

    We had a guy that had deficient skills working for us that tried using a blowbag to clear a line and somehow filled a bathtub on the floor above...

    The homeowner came down and asked why the tub was filling and the idiot stut off the bag...

    Things got a little bit messy and wet real fast!

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default advice

    Yes, the sewer is plugged up, but be sure to use a fan to remove the noxious sewer gases that are coming through the stoppage.

  14. #14
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    Default

    You can not lay a tee on its back here in NC.Even though our approved two way c/o is basically just that! I would face the two combos together then you KNOW which way its traveling when liquid blocks your vision etc...

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default condoms

    Relative to finding condoms in the sewer, I hope it was not like a septic tank a cleaner told me about. He opened the lid and found a layer of condoms inside the tank. He called the husband and told him they should not be flushed down the toilet. He told the cleaner than he had had a vasectomy many, many years before, so HE did not need to use condoms.

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