main drain question

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Old 12-06-12, 05:17 PM
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main drain question

Had a plumber out last month. Floor drain in basement was backing up. He snaked and about 130' out caught roots. One month later and 3 loads of laundry through the day after 1 shower and drain backs up again.

Plumber comes and snakes and goes all the way out again yet he hits no blockage that he could feel, however, the drain clears. He said it must be "solids" not going down the drain and that sometimes happens with horizontal drains because there is not enough (top? I think) pressure.

This house is 80 years old and I'm sure the main drain is what they call ceramic tile and obviously I know there are breaches in it. I cannot afford to replace it at this time though. I've lived here 12 years and have never had this problem before, although I've had a plumber out every few years for the root issue. So, he really didn't have a good explanation of why all of a sudden the horizontal pipes would become a problem.

After he left something dawned on me so I called him and told him that about 2 months ago I got on the roof and put a hose in all 3 of my vent pipes to see if they were clear because I hear a glugging every so often in the kitchen sink and though the main vent was ok, the vent directly over the kitchen apparently has a blockage somewhere because when I got off the roof my kitchen was flooded and it appeared that water had blown through the pipes under the sink(though I can't confirm that because I wasn't there to actually see where it came from). I ran my 1/4" auger through the clean out under the sink and there is definitely some sludge going on, so started pouring boiling water down on a fairly regular basis.

When the plumber came last month he gave me some "GLUG" drain cleaner for the kitchen so I used it once. My question to the plumber today was could that blocked vent (assuming it still is) be causing the solids to not go down and he said absolutely not, that it would only be affecting my kitchen drain.

I am not a plumber, and I want to believe him, but this whole not draining issue doesn't make any sense to me if it's not the vent. So, here I am. Is he right that it would not be that vent causing my problem since it's not the main vent? Thank you for your time!
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 12-06-12 at 06:39 PM. Reason: Edit for better readability.
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  #2  
Old 12-06-12, 05:39 PM
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hi noguru -

. ..Plumber comes and snakes and goes all the way out again yet he hits no blockage that he could feel, however, the drain clears.
...

I am many levels below noguru but something seems wrong here. Why did the drain clear if the plumber didn't hit blockage? I'm sure the knowledgeable guys here will help.

 
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Old 12-06-12, 06:23 PM
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If the first plumber hit roots, those roots are back again. Some roots are soft enough where you won't feel them with the snake. I think it's time to dig.
 
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Old 12-06-12, 06:49 PM
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Noguru.


Please paragraph your text next time you post. It makes it easier to read. Thank you.

OK IMO if you have tile/clay piping it must be snaked very carfully. If an non experienced person comes out and trys to cut roots they most likley damaged and broke the pipe further.

Did the plumber camera the line?

If not then the person has no clue whats down there and whats going on. And that person did you an injustice. You are throwing money away. All my opinion but from my experience this is what needs to be done at a minimum.

Get someone out to put a clearing bit on the snake to restore flow then get a camera down that line. Tell the person you want to see when he does the camera part.

I bet you have some big issues going on. But mere speculation....


Its not the vent....
 
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Old 12-07-12, 04:20 PM
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Ok. I figured that would be the answer but it never hurts to ask. Thank you all.
 
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Old 12-07-12, 04:29 PM
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Good luck and let us know how it turns out....
 
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Old 06-18-13, 07:12 PM
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Thought I would update. I contacted a couple of plumbers to discuss options and then did nothing for a while. January 28th the drain backed up again. I decided spending another $25 and buying a rubber bladder certainly wasn't going to hurt to try. So I did and so far so good. No more backups since then and it's been 5 months whereas what the plumbers had been doing only lasted one or two so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed!!
 
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