: We moved into an older home about 6 months ago and have had drain backup problems for the past couple of months. We bought a snake and that fixes the problem for a while but then as soon as we do laundry it backs up again. We had a professional come in and they also used a snake, but a longer one and that helped for 3 weeks but again, it just recently backed up again. The house was a repo and was not taken very good care of - it looks like they had problems in the past. What can we do about this? We are having another professional come in that uses a camera to look inside the pipe but this is getting costly. Please help!!
You will find out what the backup problem is when you run the camera down the line. Usually the house sewer is 1 1/2 then 2 then 3 then 4 inch piping before it leaves your property. Lets guess that your house is connected to city sewer, and not a private septic system. When the house gets some age on it, the materials that were used at the time start to look like not such a good choice now. If the home is built before the 1950's it might use whats called Orangeburg pipe. This pipe has a tendency to allow small tree roots to enter at the couplings, and then swell up as soon as they catch the abundant water and nutrients in the pipe. If your line backs up because 4 inch pipe is packed full of roots and the rotosnake guy puts the snake in at a 1 1/2 inch cleanout, he drills a 1 1/2 or 2 inch hole in the 4 inch root mass. It drains okay for a week or two, but in these drought conditions, boy those roots grow quickly. The camera should bear this out. There is a chance that the pipe is broken someplace, but any capable rotosnake person would be pretty able to detect that. Anyway the camera will tell you that too. If there is a problem on your property, like tree roots at a specially lovely tree, you can hire a laborer to dig it up to expose the tree root pipe problem, and the plumber can replace just that section of pipe, and the laborer can bury and compact it.