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Leaky joints on cast iron main line in ground while using blowbag

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  • Leaky joints on cast iron main line in ground while using blowbag

    Hi..

    Thanks so much for all the knowledge on here I've learned a ton from the plumbers via lurking!


    Short Question:
    I used a blow bag to clear a blocked main line and while the line was under pressure some of the joints on the cast iron pipe leaked. All the pipe I have dug up is intact and its just the joints that appear to be lead sealed that are having the problem.

    Is this a very big issue?


    Long Version:

    Pipes clogged.... I tried to clear it out with a 3/8 hand hand auger to no avail. Rented a powered auger and removed roots but couldnt clear the line. Called roto rooter and he showed up... and he chould clear the line either he pulle lots of roots though. Eventually he said it was sludge of some sort and wanted to put a blow bag in. He couldn't get the clean out opne and couldn't get the blowbag in the vent pipe on the 2nd story. He gave up and adviced me to try a blow bag if I can get the clean out open OR consider installing a new clean out. The roots were from some bushes I planted before I knew better.. I moved the bushes and dug up that section of drain pipe to inspect it. All the pipe was intact but some joints leaked under pressure from the blow bag I write about in the next step.

    Since I was a steam plant mechanic once upon a time and have some professional skills I took the time to free the clean out plug. Sent the blowbag down the line and cleared it partially. Some leakeage from pipes in yard but not much though. I didn't send the blow bag all the way down the line and sealed up the closeout. Clog got worse again as expected and I followed the advice of this ( http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11946 ) oin how to use the blow bag last night. 6 or 8 hours later I almost reached the street with the blowbag ( about 8 paces left to go! ) but had to stop. The joints leaked quite a bit in the process. Once I got past aa cretain point though the leakage stopped. At any rate my drain is draining everything for the moment but I plan on going back in this weekend and trying to get to the city clean out with the blowbag.

    So are leaky lead joints an issue?

    I would think that if the pipes are flowing at or near 100% that the flow would wash any of the mud that leaks in down the drain. That said I am a steam plant mechanic not a plumber so any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you so much :-)
    Last edited by JustScott; 04-02-2009, 12:04 PM. Reason: long short question

  • #2
    Re: Leaky joints on cast iron main line in ground while using blowbag

    The leaky joints are a problem in that, that is probably were all the roots are growing through it is not usually a problem of dirt coming in as it is roots coming in. You probably have a belly in the line if you are holding sludge which could be a big problem or just a problem that will come up every couple of years, a jetter is usually the best and fastest way to get rid of a sludge problem, but I think the roots a bigger concern than the sludge.

    Pioneer1

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    • #3
      Re: Leaky joints on cast iron main line in ground while using blowbag

      Cast iron?Clay tile? What is your pipe where you dug?How are the joints connected? Lead, band couplings?Duct tape?
      Last edited by Jay Mpls; 04-02-2009, 05:03 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Leaky joints on cast iron main line in ground while using blowbag

        Originally posted by Jay Mpls View Post
        Cast iron?Clay tile? What is your pipe where you dug?How are the joints connected? Lead, band couplings?Duct tape?
        cast iron pipes and they are lead joints thanks

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        • #5
          Re: Leaky joints on cast iron main line in ground while using blowbag

          Originally posted by pioneer1 View Post
          The leaky joints are a problem in that, that is probably were all the roots are growing through it is not usually a problem of dirt coming in as it is roots coming in. You probably have a belly in the line if you are holding sludge which could be a big problem or just a problem that will come up every couple of years, a jetter is usually the best and fastest way to get rid of a sludge problem, but I think the roots a bigger concern than the sludge.

          Pioneer1
          thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Leaky joints on cast iron main line in ground while using blowbag

            Originally posted by pioneer1 View Post
            The leaky joints are a problem in that, that is probably were all the roots are growing through it is not usually a problem of dirt coming in as it is roots coming in. You probably have a belly in the line if you are holding sludge which could be a big problem or just a problem that will come up every couple of years, a jetter is usually the best and fastest way to get rid of a sludge problem, but I think the roots a bigger concern than the sludge.

            Pioneer1
            I would just add that the possible belly and root problem are causing the difficult to unstop "sludge" blockage.

            For a thorough cleaning, cables w/ blades for roots, jet for sludge / roots, video to verify, repair if necessary. Get a second opinion from a company other than Ro-Ro.

            14 years, I've maybe used a (blow) pressure bag 5 times. Haven't carried one on my van in probably ten years. A "blow" bag may unstop it but it will not clean your line.
            Last edited by HebertDrainCare; 04-03-2009, 12:57 AM.

            Lenny

            Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

            I know, it doesn't make sense.


            http://www.hebertdraincare.com

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            • #7
              Re: Leaky joints on cast iron main line in ground while using blowbag

              If you can see the leaking joints , does that mean that you have access to them ? if so try repacking them or strip the old lead and oakum out of them and redo them .
              Steve in the trade since 73 doing new residential/Commercial work

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