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Thread: Clogged Exterior Drain

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bush8989's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Ridgefield, CT

    Default Clogged Exterior Drain

    I have a 2'x2'x2' collection basin at the bottom of my steep driveway. 4 inches up from the bottom of the basin is a 4 inch PVC pipe. That pipe runs under the driveway and deck and runs about 45/50 feet. I'll have to dig a little to find out where it comes out but I know "about" where it comes out. The pipe is completely clogged.

    First. I'm going to rent a drain rooter but will one with a 3/8" cable be enough or should I go with 3/4"? Both have the same motor size (1/3hp).
    Second any tips on clearing what I think is compacted silt in the pipe?
    Third, How do I prevent this from happening again, some sort of screen over the inlet pipe?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    1. A 3/8" snake in a 4" line will "coil" up and probably kink, thus destroying it. IF it is compacted silt, you have to develop some means to "flush out" the material the snake dislodges or it will just settle back behind the snake's head and possibly wedge it so you would need to connect your truck to the snake to pull it out, also possible destroying it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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


    Sometimes the best advice we can give to a DIY is to call a pro. This is one of those times. In addition to the problems HJ listed, the large power snakes can be lethal in the hands of an inexperienced novice. Fingers, hands, and even arms have been lost to these things. Even pros have had problems with them.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Wrap some wet rags around a garden hose and turn it on to see if it will blow it free. They do make garden hose jetters too. One for that size pipe will be around 30 bucks. Try the hose first. OR: Make sure it is full of water and take a wet vac hose and do the same thing. Wrap wet rags around it and you might just suck the stoppage free. If you have a wet vac, try this first. If it is full of rocks and dirt you will probably not get a cable through and if you do they will just fall in around. HMMM, in other words the cable may go through but not clear it, like going through a grease clog. Yes put a screen over it. You might have to do the wet vac thing more than once. Until it no longer holds water keep trying.
    Last edited by Hairyhosebib; 03-17-2013 at 05:45 PM.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member jackmitchell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    2144 Isaacs Creek Road New Douglas, IL 62074


    I thought you must go for some specialist commercial who can easily solve your problem.

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