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Thread: Camera Found Bit of Stuck Cable in Drain Pipe

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Danbeegirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Orange county, ca

    Default Camera Found Bit of Stuck Cable in Drain Pipe


    I would really appreciate some advice from the experts here. I apologize in advance if my descriptions are unclear. Sorry!

    Our ranch style house (on slab) was built in 1961. Roof (for vent access) is metal so footprints void warranty. Pipes are 3 inch cast iron. No external cleanouts except one small one outside kitchen sink. At one end of the house is bath#1 and a clothes washer that is right across from that bathroom. The sewer line then runs straight from bath#1 with feed from the kitchen sink and then stops at bath#2. The toilets for bath#2 and #3 are back to back but separated by a wall. Then it pivots and runs out straight towards the city line. The overview of house sewer line is a long "L" shape.

    Incident #1
    Flushed #3 toilet overflowed with backup in bath#3 shower. There were bubbles in bath#2 toilet at same time. Used Draino in shower and Rooter Co. came next day. Video through small internal cleanout behind toilet #2 showed no clog but that could be result of Draino. Rooter plumber recommended bringing up/installing cleanout in front yard for future hydro jetting.

    Incident #2
    Washing machine draining caused overflow of toilet#1. Heard gurgling sound in kitchen sink at same time. Same rooter co. came and video of toilet#1 showed some tissue blockage which video equipment loosened. Plumber showed me video of what looked like piece of cable caught in pipe 30 ft from entry which may be the culprit. Perhaps cable from previous snaking?

    1. Rooter guy can use cutter to grab cable. No guarantee he can pull it out or that it won't break and go downstream.
    2. Don't do anything and see how things go now we know what the problem is. Modify habits.
    3. Break slab and pull out pipe and cable. (Expensive!!!!)
    4. Install 2 cleanouts and hydrojet pipes.

    Any advice please? If we install clean out(s), where should it go??? Thank you!

  2. #2


    Pull toilet and use a retriever on cable. Never ,ever, use drano. It eats at our cables. We know You used it, our cables come back Hot. Some drain co's never tell the Cust. They left a broken cable in line. They just take aYour $$ and scram. Could be same folks that serviced Your line ! They will probably run a camera head just behind retriever , to hook on to it..You are better off with a small one Guy drain Co.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    Drain companies with the word "Rooter" as part of their name are generally not the ones to call. Many of these do not use experienced plumbers. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I would recommend a real plumber. Chemical drain cleaner are a scam, even those well known brands. There are biodegradable products that will keep a drain free for build up, but none that will clear sever clogging. You just have to get that broken line out of the drain. It will collect debris that will eventually build up and clog. Contact a professional plumber to evaluate the best way to solve the problem.

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