Just cleaned my sewer lateral...

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Lakee911, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Just got done cleaning my sewer lateral. Had slow draining whenever showering with the washer running and what not. Today I found some 'toilet debris' on the basement floor next to the drain. Went out to the Orange Box and rented a big honkin' thing to clean it out. I found the clog within the first 15 feet (not sure which way the drain flows outside, need to call the city). Ran the thing to the end of the cable --100 feet and it never stopped! When I pulled it up, I found tampons and tree roots. Ran it in again and it came clean.

    Knowing I have a problem, what shouldn't we flush down? Sticker in basement from first cleaning in '68 and then I guess there after each year. House is from 1923.

    Thanks,
    Jason
  2. thezster

    thezster New Member

    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Other than toilet paper - you should not flush anything that you haven't eaten!
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,242
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    sewer

    When the pipe is cleared, you can flush anything through it. As the roots grow back, they will start to catch any solids in the flow, including toilet paper.
  4. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    At least toilet paper and solid waste have a chance of breaking down until it eventually catches up with itself... but tampons? No chance at all, definitely put a stop to that one...
  5. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Well, last October I rooted out the line again and used RootX. It bought me a month, I guess, because here I am again! I can almost set my watch...err calendar...by this! I bought the new RootX about 2 weeks ago. I've been waiting and watching for it. Washing machine backed up in the basement last night.

    Tomorrow I'll rent the auger and go to town.

    I was thinking of using some cupper sulfate too...maybe in the spring/early summer. Is cupper sulfate and RootX overkill?

    Thx,
    Jason
  6. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    Rootx Is guaranteed to work. That is if you sent in the warranty card. They would send you a new jar. I know the stuff works. I apply it to peoples drains often.

    You need to use the largest blade you can get down the drain. The product rootx needs to be applied with in 2 hours after the roots are cut or It will not work, or 6 months after. You need to read the directions. You need to know the over all length of the drain and the pipe size. The pipe in your house might be 4" cast iron but the drain out side might goto 5"-6". That is why I put a camera down the drain after I cut the roots so I can figure out if the drain just needs rootx or dug up.

    If you cant tell what size it is figure it is bigger and get the length and apply extra if needed.

    I'm not a big fan of the
    copper sulfate because roots grow down from the top so they need to get to the copper sulfate were as the rootx foams to the roots.
  7. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I was just going to ask about this. I had my lateral jetted earlier this year. Line looked good yet. Was 6" line for a lot of it. (I'm thinking the plumbing went in around 1930)

    Anyway, there were tons of roots in there, and LOTS of grease/sludge buildup. Neighbors told me there used to be a tree right over the line that was cut down about 2 years ago. Now there's only one tree within 30 feet of the line anywhere. So I'm hoping the roots were mostly from the tree that had been there.

    Was quite a project, as the cleanout is in the middle of the yard and is angled towards the street. The jetter guy was good enough to try and go backwards towards the house. Eventually was able to get the line to turn the "wrong" way in the cleanout and go back towards the house. Couldn't get the camera up that way.

    But it sure was neat to see with the camera what was in the pipes, the condition of them, and how they were when he was finished. He was able to show me all the way from the cleanout to the city sewer, which was about a 55 foot run. (and another 40 or so to the stack in the house!)


    Anyway, what's recommended to kill any new root growth and/or keep it away?
  8. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Nate R

    Roots can continue to grow for up to 8 years after cutting trees.

    I'm a lucky guy. I own a backhoe :D
  9. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I've got maybe 50 feet to street and I put in 4LB of RootX. It's 4" leaving and I don't know if it increases bigger after that. I called them and I got my date on the warranty card. It was Oct 24, '06. I think I waited too long though after cutting to apply it. I'll try this year for less than 2 hours after.

    I'd love to get a camera in there. I've often though of trying to build one myself. Just need the time to do it I guess. I've got the camera so that part is done...

    Thanks,
    Jason
  10. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.


    I have seen a few sites and/or magazines that tell how to build an rc sewer cam.

    I guess if you thought of it sooner you might be ok.
  11. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I looked but couldn't find any sites...can you post a site addy.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,242
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    roots

    More like 25 years after the tree is cut down.
  13. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.


    I looked for it last night, but can't find it must have been a magazine sorry.
    I know it really comes down to making a clear plastic tube with a cam and an R/C parts. I looked into doing it a while back because my brother is good at soldering boards and such things.
    It is a big pain to shove a cam down 100' line.
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