septic line plugged....again


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Old 09-06-15, 08:51 PM
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septic line plugged....again

Last winter I had this happen for the first time. Had to hire a guy with one of them jets to free up the main line from house to septic tank. . He ran the jet from the septic tank to the house, and I was in the crawlspace at the time. I could hear the whole house flush when the jet sounded like was it right about to the foundation. The assumption was that the line had frozen there, although that seemedf like an odd cause because it had ever frozen in 15 years.


But now it's blocked again, 9 months later and it definitely isn't frozen. I don't have any trees near there so roots seem an unlikely cause. It seems to be in roughly the same area (all I know for sure is its near or below the last fixture). I'm a bit worried there might be something else going on, but what? Can they send a camera in to diagnose it? I don't know if I even want to bother with trying to snake it

I've checked on the tank side and water only trickles in to the tank when water is flowing in the house, but the toilet ad shower are backing up-just mentioning this to show its not a field problem.
 
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Old 09-07-15, 05:34 AM
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Is there no 3" or 4" Clean-Out located in the crawlspace that you could snake out from the house towards the septic tank ?
 
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Old 09-07-15, 05:51 AM
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Tree roots can go for a very long way so it still could be roots. I would find a plumber(?) who can send down a camera and see what is causing the blockage as you mentioned. Should be fairly easy to find. Search "video camera line inspection"
 
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Old 09-07-15, 06:26 AM
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there is a port but it's 20+ feet from where the last fixture enters. I know its blocked below that and I only have a 25 foot snake. It won't hurt to try but probably won't help either. I could buy a 50 foot snake I suppose.

I really need a port below the last fixture. I suppose I could install one but the thought of working in the crawlspace with raw sewaqe isn't terrible appealing. I wonder if, rather than installing a permanent clean out, I could just drill out a 2" hole in the top of the main PVC line for the snake and then patch it with something? This would allow me to put the snake in where I need it.
 
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Old 09-07-15, 06:41 AM
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How would I go about it?

Pull the toilet and send a camera down there. You need to see whats going on. When the camera shows the issue you can take it from there.. Snake...etc..

Also when did you pump tank last?

Its always good to pump tank before the process of camera and snake..

If its roots then a treatment of root X yearly will fix the root issue..This is after you cut them with a snake and cutting bit.

If you wait too long the pipe can collapse, break...etc..

Also if you have all PVC I often dig out by the foundation and install a two way clean out there. This way further snaking could be done outside the home.
 
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Old 09-07-15, 06:56 AM
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Probably worth mentioning I just lost my job and have enough money to live on for maybe a few weeks...at most. Great time for this to happen. So expense is very much an issue too. I don't have a camera and I'm afraid to find out how much it would cost to hire someone to do any of this. If I hire someone I'd probably just have them roto-root it and hope for the best.

tank was pumped just a couple years ago...only one person in the house so it should be OK..."should be"
 
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Old 09-07-15, 07:19 AM
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Probably worth mentioning I just lost my job and have enough money to live on for maybe a few weeks...at most.
Sorry to hear that.. No unemployment benefits in MN?

This is just an example of local rooter companys. They more often then not have camera and drain line rooter service done for $99 bucks.

You need to call around in your area. Try to call a company that has no fee to come out. Business is slow now as all the kids are going back to school.

Sure they may try to sell you something else but just say no. Make sure they give you the price before they start the work.

Example this company has a $25 coupon. ( links for reference only)

Current Special Offers | Mr. Rooter

Example of $99 inspections.

$99 Rooter | Our diverse plubming services include camera pipe inspection, drain cleaning and sewer cleaning.
 
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Old 09-07-15, 07:40 AM
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thanks for the suggestions, I'll pay 100 bucks if it gets the job done and gets it scoped with a camera. People are pretty reasonable around here.

Yea they have UIC in MN but my vengeful supervisor also slashed my hours before cutting me so my benefits will be paltry.
 
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Old 09-07-15, 08:20 AM
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If roots are found for example you need to use root X... Find it cheap online if needed. Plumbing company's write it up 300%...

RootX is the simple, effective and proven solution for sewer root control

http://www.amazon.com/ROOTX-rootx-2l...ct_top?ie=UTF8
 
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Old 09-07-15, 08:53 AM
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BTW...I'm going away for a couple days before I can get back to this. Should I pour something down the drain before I go?
 
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Old 09-07-15, 09:02 AM
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BTW...I'm going away for a couple days before I can get back to this. Should I pour something down the drain before I go?
No... Like what?

Did you say you have all PVC out to the septic? Or is there cast iron somewhere?
 
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Old 09-07-15, 11:07 AM
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Yes, get somebody to drop a camera down there and see what the issue is. If you end up hiring the company, ask if they'll apply the camera charge to the total of the fix. Some company's will agree to this.
 
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Old 09-08-15, 09:37 AM
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it's PVC as far as I know all the way to the tank
 
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Old 09-08-15, 09:59 AM
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$200 for roto-root and another $150 for camera from the local plumber.

Looks like I'm about to lean how to roto-root myself


$68 daily rate for rental of a 3/4 inch, 100' roto. They had a smaller one with 75' but why mess around, huh?

$78 4 hour rate for a camera

I presume I should root it first and then cam it? Probably won't be much to see but a bunch of turds otherwise.

Might be nice to have some advice on how to do this without making matters worse. With the 100' I could go in from the access port and not have to take the toilet off. That'll reach all the way to the tank
 
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Old 09-08-15, 07:00 PM
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I would want to see the blockage before it gets cleared so perhaps you can see what it is. Maybe you could run the cam up from the tank? Ick!
 
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Old 09-09-15, 09:55 AM
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My #1 concern is regaining the ability to flush. Once I get it cleaned out and hopefully get re-employed I can run the cam and see what's up. It must be roots (he says, hopefully). I'm wondering if raspberry bushes could be the culprit? There are some raspberrys right where the line leaves the house and goes under my deck to the tank. Since last years blockage occurred late in the year and so did this year's, that leads me toward the root theory, whether raspberry or the lilac or spruce that are within 25 feet of the main line.
 
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Old 09-09-15, 06:41 PM
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Houston, this is Porcelain 11. We have flushdown.

Wow. It took over 2 hours to get through those roots. I ended up getting the 1/2" and it'll only cost me $40. I'll definitely have to give the main line a colonoscopy when I can. I saw some big white chunks go by into the tank. I hope they were root and not PVC. Also some flakes of blackish stuff that definitely looked like root "bark".

I think this spells the end of that spruce in my back yard.
 
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Old 09-09-15, 06:53 PM
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Keep the spruce..

Did you use a cutting bit on the end?

Did you camera?

Cut roots good as I stated and treat with root X once a year...
 
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Old 09-09-15, 07:35 PM
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I didn't use the camera yet, but I intend to before winter. Its likely I did not get everything. I should probably flush something biodegradable-a piece of bread or something-and see if it hangs up or makes it to the tank. I think there may still be some hangup going on but the water is running clear now. I may need to go back with a cutter later. The rooter came with one of these clog chopper bits, or similar:
 
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Old 09-09-15, 08:21 PM
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Thats a spade bit. They usually just poke a hole to get flow so a camera can be run done the line..

This is the type cutter. Size a bit smaller then the pipe..

Like a 3" or 2" side cutter...

[ATTACH=CONFIG]55902[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 09-10-15, 05:04 AM
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It's called a clog chopper but it still is probably not the final solution for my clogs. This is what they gave me and they didn't offer other types of blades, I'm not sure why. I wouldn't have had time to use them anyway because it took so long to cut through. Or maybe I would have cut through quicker, I dunno. But I definitely consider it an unfinished job, I just need to wait until I can afford the 150 bucks to rent the rooter again with the camera, and hopefully some cutting blades.
 
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Old 09-10-15, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wayne909
". . . I saw some big white chunks go by into the tank. I hope they were root and not PVC . . ."
I just checked some PVC fittings to see if they floated or sank . . . . and they sink.

No help there.
 
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Old 09-10-15, 04:17 PM
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And they did sink. But I think it was actually urine crystals. When I looked at the clog chopper this morning it had a white powdery substance on it. I thought it was pieces of root last night but it was dark by the time I finished.

Turns out the rental company won't rent cutting blades and doesn't want customers using their own for fear of damaging pipes or the equipment.
 
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Old 09-10-15, 04:23 PM
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you have to let the snake work when using a cutting bit. Its a learned thing. You need to know when to stop when its binding up.. Sharp turns/elbows can cause this and why sometime a smaller cutting bit is needed.

If the snake binds and twists the cable and your hand or fingers get caught in there, its very painful. You can lose body parts.

Some snakes have so much torque it will twist body parts off like an alligator on how they spin to kill thier prey..

Not to be gruesome but it happens..
 
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Old 09-11-15, 04:09 PM
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yep..that learning curve is why they won't let renters use a cutting tool...
 
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Old 09-12-15, 07:34 PM
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I read the reviews on Rootx and it seems a few people have had problems applying it properly with some pretty messy results. Have you used it yourself Lawrosa? What's the key to avoiding those problems? I see the instructions here
 
 

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