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K lowe. Stuck auger

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  • K lowe. Stuck auger

    My disabled cousin / non active navy vet recently bought a house that has been vacant for 9 years. He has a limited budget and the home required a total remodel. He lost his leg in a motorcycle accident last year so a long time friend of his is handling the carpentry work and I'm doing everything else. I've ran all new duct work,water lines,and drains. Before I started the drain work I cleaned the traps that are under the basement floor for the upstairs kitchen sink,basement sink and basement shower. The basement toilet and shower drain have been working fine for a few weeks. I finished the drains Saturday. All seemed to be working well. Sunday he called and said that the upstairs toilets were backed up and he had water in his tub. I knew that my install was fine and before I started I ran a garden hose through the sewer line that runs under the concrete basement floor. I ran the hose out about 100ft and no back up. I let it run well over an hour. Well the drain under the floor is plugged up. Im guessing cast iron had flaked off and built up causing a blockage. I used balloons but no luck. Water was draining but slowly. Today I got a sewer auger with 1. 250 diameter and ran a 2.5 bit through it. The towns main is about 95ft from the beginning of the drain. It runs under the street and railroad tracks. I pulled the auger out and put the 3.5 on a proceeded to run it through. At approximately 70, close to the railroad tracks it got stuck. I ran it forward and backwards several times attempting to get it free but no luck. The permits involved are well out of his budget. So digging at this point is not an option. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get this damn thing out?

  • #2
    Will the toilets flush at all? You working from an over head cleanout in the basement? Lots of detail missing here. If you can flush a gallon of dawn dish soap down the line. That will lube up the cable a bit. Then work that cable back and forth. Did you rent a model c type machine or is it a k1500? You could duct tape a ratchet strap to the cable and try to ratchet it out. Done that a few times. Try to do what you can to get that cable out without breaking it in the line. If you do manage to unstick that cable look at the head. If its covered in mud or polished shiney its back hoe time. Good luck! Know when its time to call a pro. Sewer cleaning is dangerous.

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    • #3
      If you are estimating the blockage is about 70 feet out is that still on his property?

      I do not have experience clearing drains, so I will ask a dumb question.

      If you push a hose down the line 100 feet and the line does not back up, aren't you only verifying
      that the line is clear downstream of that 100 foot point? I'm thinking if you were able to punch
      through a blockage at say 65 feet and stuff another 35 feet of hose in there, you are beyond the
      point where the blockage is and only punched a small hole the size of the hose through it. You think
      all is well, retrieve your hose and say it's good. You send some water down the drain again and it
      runs fine. But it won't take long for that small hose sized hole to be blocked up with paper and/or
      solids and you're back to square one.

      Now if you had some sort of nozzle with jets on that hose AND you have decent water pressure
      maybe you could do some good. But you do not mention that so I am assuming when you say hose
      you are talking a garden hose (which is now literally all crapped up and I wouldn't use for any normal
      use again without disinfecting it) and just an open end on the hose. No fitting or nozzle attached.

      So my question is why stuff so much hose down the line. It seems to give a misleading result, at
      least to this untrained eye.
      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006
      "?ǝɹɐ sɹǝƃuıɟ ɹnoʎ ǝɹǝɥʍ ʍouʞ noʎ op `ʍɐs ǝlqɐʇ ɐ s,ʇı"

      https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1p...qcZKHyrqKhikFA

      ----

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      • #4
        From the beginning of the sewer line in the basement to where it ties in to the towns main sewer line is around the 95ft mark. Before I started the project I got a garden hose with flowing water to go through the sewer line. Im guessing that was dumb luck. The line must have been partially blocked and after they started using the bathrooms and laundry it was to much for it and plugged it. I ran the 2.5 auger out 100ft. Pulled it in and put the 3.5 on it and made it 70ft and that's where it stopped. Cant get it to move either way. 70 ft puts it under the street and next to the railroad tracks. The line runs under the tracks to the city's main. They say its the homeowners responsibility from the house to the city main. Digging under the railroad is not an option. The permits for a dig would cost more than he paid for the house.

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        • #5
          One step at a time. Get the cable out. Get the line open. If you ran that first bit all the way to the city main the line should be draining at least some unless the city main is stopped up. If not then you may need to run more cable. Get some soap down that line and work that cable. Ratchet straps work. Pulling the cable directly would be better than spinning if you flipped the cable in the main. Once the cable is out call a professional to run a camera. Good luck.

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          • #6
            Sounds like your running sectional cable 1.25 " .... Is it a rental ? ... I have on occasion got calls from rental companies where as the renter got there snakes stuck ... and been successful getting them unstuck .. My charge and any damage to the rental unit is usually covered by insurance that's part of the rental agreement.

            Your best bet is to get a couple of your buddies and try to yank it out ... And as Cable or Root suggested call in a drain pro to inspect the line with a camera .. Money well spent .

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            • #7
              You say that the upstairs bathroom is what's clogged. If the basement bathroom is flushing fine and you're not getting any sewage coming up in the lower level then the main isn't your problem. It may be now if you got your cable stuck in there. Hopefully it didn't go into a manhole and get tangled up in there.
              If the upstairs bathroom is what's backing up then you'll have to remove the toilet in that bathroom and snake the line through there. Or you could go from the roof vent. Do not use the 1 1/4" cable through that, it takes a skilled touch to do that without causing damage.

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              • #8
                Unless hes on an overhead cleanout and basement bathrooms are on a sewage ejector. All the key information is missing here.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cable or root View Post
                  Unless hes on an overhead cleanout and basement bathrooms are on a sewage ejector. All the key information is missing here.
                  I doubt he's dealing with a sewage ejector or overhead cleanout because he said he ran the cable through the line under the concrete. It would be difficult to get 100 feet of hose to go into the crock and they probably would have tangled up when they ran almost 100' of cable the first time. I won't say it's impossible because I've pulled out 45' of 7/8" cable from one of those before.

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                  • #10
                    Overheads are a matter of patience. I still dont understand how he got 100’ of garden hose down the line. Another possibility is theres a backwater valve on the 3” line running from the downstairs bathroom before it ties in with the building sewer. Seen that one too. 2 upstairs tubs and toilets topped off and backwater valves keeping anything from backing up in the finished basement!!! Newer home with a steep roof and only 2” vents and no outdoor cleanouts. Gave him a quote that included pulling an upstairs toilet and guy told me he wanted me to just pull the cleanout in the basement. Told him no way in hell and didn’t wind up doing that one. All over an additional 150 to pull his toilet. I wonder what ever happened there

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cable or root View Post
                      Overheads are a matter of patience. I still dont understand how he got 100’ of garden hose down the line. Another possibility is theres a backwater valve on the 3” line running from the downstairs bathroom before it ties in with the building sewer. Seen that one too. 2 upstairs tubs and toilets topped off and backwater valves keeping anything from backing up in the finished basement!!! Newer home with a steep roof and only 2” vents and no outdoor cleanouts. Gave him a quote that included pulling an upstairs toilet and guy told me he wanted me to just pull the cleanout in the basement. Told him no way in hell and didn’t wind up doing that one. All over an additional 150 to pull his toilet. I wonder what ever happened there
                      You should have handed him the pliers to remove the cleanout plug himself and stood back to watch the show, haha. I will admit I made that mistake when I started off. I thought I'd be strong enough to hold back sewage from a 3rd floor bathroom just enough to empty a bit at a time into 5 gallon buckets. Needless to say, I lost that battle.

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                      • #12
                        We all make mistakes the important thing is to not make them again. Hope there was a good sump pump in that room and no carpet!

                        wonder if the op got his cable out. Wonder if we’ll hear either way

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                        • #13
                          Well, a week or more has gone by. What was the result?

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                          • #14
                            He’s never gunna tell us. Eel cable and cutters come in tomorrow im stoked!

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                            • #15
                              Once you get the hang of them your going to agree that the Dreel is a top dog for getting out the Nasty.

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