Main Drain Blockage

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Old 08-09-08, 05:07 PM
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Main Drain Blockage

I'm dealing with a store front about 50 or 60 feet long. There is no cellar and no second floor. There are 2 bathrooms side by side towards the back of the building. The main drain is buried in the concrete slab. The trap is about 50 feet away just before the front wall. The trap is not a typical trap. It looks more like a clean-out. I removed the cap closest to the toilet and there is a pipe the goes down at least 2 feet. I can see about an inch of water at the bottom.

The problem is both toilets are clogged. I removed them and tried to snake it but the snake just goes from one side to the other. It won't make the turn towards the front of the building and the same thing if I try to snake it from the trap. I can't get the snake to turn toward the toilets. I've been using hand snakes and I'm about to try an electric snake as soon as I can get one. I also tried heavy duty drain cleaner in the pipe after I removed the toilets.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 07:53 AM
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it sounds to me like they are back to back toilets, and you can't get down the cross.your gonna have to go down the vent. if you can't get in any other way. it should be a sheetrock ceiling. but can you see up in the ceiling,from the hallway? to see if the vent goes straight up. you go on the roof, and snake down. or cut the rock, and install a access door. behind the tank what you think moderator?
 
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Old 08-10-08, 11:02 AM
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The toilet themselves ARE the trap.

You are just dealing with probably a wide sweep "Y", with clean out plug. Have someone pour water down toilet hole, from a bucket, as rapidly as they can, while you watch that 1 inch standing water. Does it grow in height? Then you'll know if slow drain, if it does. Often slow main drains will toilet flush the first time good, but not the second or third, perhaps.

IF all this panned out good, then you could have two plugged toilets. Trying to unclog toilets can sometimes be tricky or deceiving. Some brand toilets require very vigorous plunging, if only duty/paper is in them! Snakes can go around some obstructions, yet remain, and upset the syphon action. Take them outside and with them sitting up on blocks, fill tank with water and flush and see what then.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 01:44 PM
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I solved the problem with a rubber bulb that has gets connected to a garden hose and placed in the pipe. When the pressure builds the bulb expands against the sides of the pipe and water is shot through a pin hole through the drain. They come in different sizes for different pipes.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 02:52 PM
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i like those things, they work pretty good. i have heard of plumbers yousing them to find which direction a sewer goes
under ground. by the noise they make. [ the rubber ones]
 
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