Dirt in sewer cleanout

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by fatanddumb, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. fatanddumb

    fatanddumb New Member

    Sep 19, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I'm having trouble with a plugged sewer line at my house. House is 80 years old and has two cleanouts in the basement, one is 2 inch, the other is 3 inch. I have snaked both of these with a 50 foot Marco Powerpak 60 and pulled out some balled up roots. Drain is still clogged. There is an exterior cleanout that I decided to try next. It had a brass cap on it that I could not unscrew, so I removed it with a cold chisel and hammer. The exterior vertical cleanout pipe is 3 inch. Using a flashlight, I can see 3 feet down it where it is filled with dry dirt. I tried to run the Marco rooter down it, but the dirt was dry and hard packed. I stuck a drain cleaning bladder on the end of a garden hose down there and that forced water out of the cleanouts in my basement. I'm looking for advice on how to get the dirt out of the exterior cleanout so that I can clear my line. Thanks.
  2. freeflow

    freeflow Semi retired master plumber

    Aug 4, 2009
    plumber drain cleaner
    Get line flowing,pull all roots out that you can from outside cleanout.You will have to get line open from outside cleanout before you can do it any good use biggest cable and blades possible) Flush out line with a hose after you get it flowing FLUSH IT GOOD.Then find some ROOT-X(use root-x in 3'' cleanout or cleanout closest to where sewer leaves house) no subsitutes. Use according to instructions leave it in line as long as possible.A weekend out of town would be perfect)(if it works use the root-x yearly) Remember this is hard dangerious work, my back is worn out from close to 40 years of cleaning drains and plumbing repairs. Your easiest solution would be to hire a PRO.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
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  4. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Jan 6, 2010
    Powerpak 60 is not designed to clean roots.
  5. mliu

    mliu Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    I'm curious how an in-use sewer line could have suddenly gotten clogged with dry hard-packed dirt? Was the house vacant for a long period of time prior to your discovery? If not, then it seems there's more to be investigated about your drain lines.
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