Stubborn Clog

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  #1  
Old 01-18-17, 08:53 AM
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Stubborn Clog

My 1/2bath toilet began giving me trouble a couple weeks ago. I attributed it to my wife who is in her third trimester peeing about every ten minutes and flushing apparently large amounts of toilet paper each time.

By the time I didn't have work and was able to investigate I discovered that the water that was going to the toilet at some point began backing up the drain line for the sink and spilling out of a T fitting which was serving as an air vent. At the time I figured that a soggy toilet paper blockage must have caused the water in the drain pipe to freeze because it was -2 outside and the pipe runs through a drafty crawlspace.

For the passed few days it has been well above freezing but I wrapped the pipe in heat tape none the less to aid the thawing. I purchased a 25' 3/8" auger and ran it down the pipe to get a feel for state of the pipe the following day. I discovered the block was below the point where it would have froze.

I cut some of the excess off the snake and put an old drill on my end. So far I have only successfully extracted small amounts of toilet paper with the auger. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere.

I should note that yesterday I tested the drain by filling the pipe with cold water from the toilet supply line. When I woke I could not see water in the pipe, I poured boiling water down the pipe in hopes that hot water would accelerate the deterioration of the TP blockage.

I was able to tell by touch where the blockage was located in my basement based on the heat of the pipe.

At what point should I give up and call someone?

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Old 01-18-17, 09:16 AM
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If you are confident you know about where the clog is, and you can't clear it with the auger, an option would be to cut the pipe close to the clog (if in an unfinished area where you can deal with the mess) to get better access. Then you can repair the pipe with a shielded rubber coupling, or even install a wye fitting with a cleanout plug for possible future use.
 
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Old 01-18-17, 09:32 AM
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Are you not getting to the clog with your snake? Like is a longer one in order?
 
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Old 01-18-17, 10:57 AM
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I've about 5' of excess from the drain pipe from were the snake gets hung up. i can feel it bite into the blockage. i have managed to extract TP caked inside the head of the auger a handful of times. I'm trying to be resistant and hoping to tear into the mass little by little, but I do wonder if a larger auger head would get more material out of there.

I suppose cutting the pipe wouldn't be the worse thing could do. Water is draining slowly through the pipe. So i could wait a few hours before cutting into it if i go that route.
 
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Old 01-18-17, 11:36 AM
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I didn't see it mentioned.... is this a septic system or city sewer ?
 
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Old 01-18-17, 12:06 PM
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The hand snake you are using is really the minimum tool you could use. Depending on the clog you may eventually bore a hole through but you might not clean out the whole pipe since your auger is so much smaller than the pipe. Getting closer the clog will give you better access and control. I would make sure you can at least get your auger through the clog area. Then, if you are close to the clog (after cutting out a section of pipe for access) and without bends you can make a snaggle out of a clothes hanger and attach it to the end of your auger and use it to scrape the walls of the pipe.
 
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Old 01-18-17, 04:22 PM
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I found aplu go n the basement floor which was connected to the drainpipe. I took off the plug and removed the waste that I could reach. I must have cleared the blockage between toilet and the access point here because after one big handful was pulled out, all the water in the upright section on the toilet came out in an erruption. This was more exciting than i wanted.

After using my little shop vac to clear the remaining poop water, I droppedthe snake back down, I discovered that thehead of the auger lands about where the access point is located.

I also pulled up a bit of what apear to be roots prboblyfromthe near by maple tree.

I stopped ther for the day. I'm going to work tomorrow. I'll try a bigger auger perhaps.

also i m on a sewer system.
 
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Old 01-18-17, 06:14 PM
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The roots are not a good sign. If you have roots you have a cracked/broken main drain line. There are chemicals you can put down the drain to kill the roots, which should then be augered out by properly sized, powered drain snake/auger. It's a temporary fix as the roots will grow back. The permanent fix is to fix the broken section of pipe.
 
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Old 01-19-17, 11:28 AM
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This was more exciting than i wanted.
I'm sure it wasn't amusing at the time, but it certainly made me chuckle. Thanks
 
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