Weekly Unexplained Clogs

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by dpost, May 23, 2014.

  1. dpost

    dpost New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hey Guys, I've been having sewer line clogs every 1-2 weeks for the last month and I'm about at the end of my rope.

    Our home is over 100 years old so I expect some plumbing challenges, but I had our line scoped when we moved in and they confirmed that the main line was in good condition (no breaks/collapses/roots). Everything worked well for approximately a year after I moved in, but a couple months ago I found our basement utility sink full of water/sewage. I confirmed that the main line was clogged by running other sinks/toilets and watching the water line in the sink rise. The water does actually drain at approximately 3 gal per hour, but backs up again when more water is run.

    The first time I had a plumber come out and auger from the main cleanout (for 100ft, well past the 60ft to our property line). He didn't find anything of note, but the sink drained after he was out and was good for about a month.

    Likewise, the second plumber augered the line, didn't find anything of note, but the line drained for about a week after he was out.
    The third plumber (this is turning into a bad joke) came out and ran a camera through the line and didn't see any roots or collapsed pipes but did find this gasket that he thought might be catching things:

    Photo of the gasket: http://i.imgur.com/cAxVlbW.jpg

    There was some paper/debris caught on that gasket, but to me it didn't look like enough to limit flow to 3gph. There was also water in the line as he started scoping and then at some point it seemed to release and all drained suddenly. His suggestion was to try and cut this gasket out, but I'm not totally sold on that explanation as it doesn't explain why I didn't have problems for a year. Could one of the previous plumbers dislodged the gasket while they were augering?

    So ... when it backed up again today I called the city and had them check the main line in the alley. Unfortunately for me it came back clear and my sink is still backed up. I have a fourth plumber coming to take a look this afternoon, but I need to get this figured out! Please help me understand what's going on!
     
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Occupation:
    Rocket Scientist
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Are you on city converted sewer or a septic tank, Or both ?

    Sorry if I missed it.

    Welcome to Terry's Forum


    Good Luck on your project.
     
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  4. dpost

    dpost New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    Colorado
    City sewer, approximately 60 ft from the cleanout
     
  5. rebarman

    rebarman New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Location:
    California
    Just wondering if you were able to solve this. I have the same problem, remarkably similar.

    Never had a backup in 12 years until now. Unclogged via the main 4" cleanout, easily. Ran the camera down there to see how things looked, all the way to the city, and looked great. 3 days later, exact same situation. Easy to snake and seemed like the block was in a similar location. My latest theory is that the kitchen line drains into the main line and I usually clean it about once a year because it fills up with white gunk. (Looks like blocked arteries.) Anyway, I wonder if that stuff might be breaking free and clogging the main. dunno, but the sewage in the shower is really not pleasant!
     
  6. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Occupation:
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    I had a customer who had an intermittent clogging issue in his eighth floor condo. As it turned out, the timing of the clog corresponded perfectly with the schedule of his upstairs neighbor's housekeepers.
     
  7. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida USCG escorting cruise ship leaving Port Everglades

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Location:
    Lake Worth, Florida
    Do you have any kids or a young teenage girl? There might be a lot more paper being put into a toilet and it plugs up somewhere, after some time the paper finally dissolves or back pressure get high enough to break loose the plug.

    A 100 year old home, what are the waste lines made of and is the main waste line a three inch pipe? How many vents in the home? Maybe a critter plugged up the vent. Its like placing a straw in a glass of water, put your finger on the top opening of the straw and lift it out of the glass, water remains in the straw. ???
     

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