drain auger, problems w getting it in far enough

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by msgale, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. msgale

    msgale New Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Ohio
    situation is a 4" driveway drain, clogged w/ leaves, gravel, etc. from rainfall over the entire driveway.

    I used a half-inch electric auger. But i cannot get it to advance very far, maybe 10 ft or so, and even that's a struggle, advancing it a couple of inches at a time. i tried both a small spade tip, about 1 inch diam, and a little bit larger about 1.5 inch auger type tip. Is there any particular technique to get it to advance?.

    i am pretty sure i remember renting a 1 inch auger years ago, which went in pretty far. Does a fatter cable hold its position better to advance forward?
    can i be sure it won't be too stiff to get it past the p-trap?
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Outside drains = Dirt in the line!

    Generally speaking cables and blades have a tough time doing these lines going through the dirt.
    Add to that they are often substandard thin polyethylene or corrigated plastic pipes that are crushed flat. Blades will also chew these pipes up.

    I would recommend having this line High Pressure Jetted!
  3. msgale

    msgale New Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Ohio
    house built in 1924,assume drains installed then

    probably cast iron
  4. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Driveway Drain

    Probably Concrete Or Terri Cotto Clay 12" Peices With A 1" Space At Joints

    And Yes Your Cable Is Way To Small,
    You Need Water Flowing To Move Dirt And Trash Though Pipe
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    Your cable is vastly undersized for the chore you have chosen. In addition, the best way to unplug it is to come upstream from the outlet and wash out the debris as the snake or jetter loosens it.
  6. msgale

    msgale New Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Ohio
    can't go from downstream, it's city sewer. But I can..

    rent a One inch auger, which will be next step.
    thanks for help.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    auger

    And be sure you have good medical insurance because a 1" auger in a packed sewer can break fingers, wrists, or arms very quickly. Besides getting caught in a shirt or pants and winding up so tightly that circulation is cut off. If you damage the snake cable, it will also be EXTEMELY expensive to replace it.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,310
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Msgale, you posted a problem on this forum seeking advise. You received some very sound advise from some very knowledgeable people who are not trying to sell you anything. In spite of this, you seem to insist on ignoring this help. You are getting in over you head in terms of experience and training. I urge you to heed the advise and warnings of these experts before you damage yourself and/or your drain.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,819
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I had to run a large snake when I was younger a few times.
    I won't touch them now.
    For starters, like hj has mentioned, they are very dangerous.
    Watching an expert is a start, and even then, there is more to it than that. Some of it you will learn the hard way. You need to feel what is happening down line, and know what has to happen when you feel it.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    snake

    One plumber was killed when his snake got caught in his shirt and squeezed him like a boa constrictor.
  11. msgale

    msgale New Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Ohio
    i appreciate the warnings,

    But why i am being chastised for ignoring them?
    I just saw them this minute,after my last post.

    i like doing my own repair work, but we all have our limits, and it sounds like the bigger auger should be considered past mine.
  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,310
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I don't want to escalate this into a war, so I'll just say this and quit. The reason we jumped on you a bit hard is that you were given 3 separate answers all telling you that a small snake alone was ineffective and that jetting was probably the best solution. You responded by saying you were going to get a 1" snake which is definitely a professional tool that should not be even considered by a DIYer. This appeared to me, and I believe others, as ignoring the advise offered. Certainly advise offer here is free and you always have the choice not to take it. If we jumped a bit hard and/or prematurely, remember, most of us are not word smiths and sometimes our answers and be quite terse and untactful. You are welcome here, just don't take offense if some of us sound a little harsh.:)
  13. msgale

    msgale New Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Ohio
    i wasn't aware that a one incher was considered..

    professional or more dangerous, until the later posts.
    thanks for the clarification.
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    snake

    Actually your 1/2" snake can be as dangerous as the larger ones under the right conditions. ANYTHING that rotates can injure a person, and a stuck cable/snake can exhibit some wild behavior if if it is torqued too much.
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Just out of curiosity, how big do these snakes come?
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,819
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Cause we love you buddy!

    I don't think anyone has chastised you.
    We are just giving you our opinion based on experience of what can happen with these machines.
    I think the best advice here was about the jetter.
    Thats what the city utilities are using to clear their lines.
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