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question on clearing roots

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  • question on clearing roots

    I own an old house with a 4 inch clay sewer. The neighbor has several elm trees that are constantly clogging the line. I dont have a cleanout but the basement toilet provides a pretty straight shot to the main line.

    Every year I call Roto Rooter but it is quite a pain. The giant machine barely fits down the stairs or into the bathroom, and its expensive. I think that machine is overkill for my problem and I might be able to get a smaller machine and do it myself. The clogs are only 25-30 feet from the drain.

    Does anyone have an opinion on buying a smaller drum machine and doing it myself every 6 months or so? I am guessing that 50 ft of 1/2 cable would be enough. I see from the website that the K380 or K400 only hold a blade up to 2 inches, how will that do cleaning out my 4 inch pipe? What is the smallest/cheapest machine that would do a pretty good job of clearing the line? What is the retail price?
    I have seen some pictures in the forum of giant rootballs and can understand why the bigger machines are necessary. I am thinking that I can run a smaller one every 4-6 months and not let the problem get that bad.

    I know I should get some of the pipe replaced, but I dont have that kind of money. And the way this neighborhood is going, if I sell the house it will probably get torn down and rebuilt so the investment in a new line wouldnt have any return.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: question on clearing roots

    I hate to tell you this, but you are better off getting a c/o installed in the front of the house, cheaper then the cost of a good mainline machine.

    Once the c/o is installed, call a cheaper drain cleaning company and have a maint done every 6 months. Your major cost currently come from a few things, 1, your using roto rooter, 2, he's going up and down stairs, and 3, he is pulling a toilet and running through a closet bend.

    with a c/o, a drain cleaner rolls his machine up to the c/o, runs the cable and is done. You get a better cleaning from a c/o also, less torque on the cable, it wirls better in the pipe.
    sigpic

    Robert

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    • #3
      Re: question on clearing roots

      you really need an accessible 4'' clean out. either in the basement or outside if it's not too deep.

      everyone here already knows what machine i would buy.

      in fact there is a t-shirt that just came out with the saying. let me give you a hint.

      rick.
      Attached Files
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: question on clearing roots

        scary robert you and i are on the same page at the same time.

        weren't you at dinner last night too

        rick.

        cleanout good idea. outside possibly very deep

        where is your shirt
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: question on clearing roots

          Thanks for the info, I hadnt really thought about getting a cleanout. Any guesses on about how much that would cost? Im in Denver, there isnt much room in the basement, outside would probably be better. The line is probably about 8 feet below the surface.
          Does it matter where the cleanout is installed? The sewer runs out the backyard to the alley behind the house. There is about 10 feet of cement patio right against the house above the sewer. Do you think its possible to put it at the far end of the property by the alley?
          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: question on clearing roots

            Originally posted by riverman View Post
            Thanks for the info, I hadnt really thought about getting a cleanout. Any guesses on about how much that would cost? Im in Denver, there isnt much room in the basement, outside would probably be better. The line is probably about 8 feet below the surface.
            Does it matter where the cleanout is installed? The sewer runs out the backyard to the alley behind the house. There is about 10 feet of cement patio right against the house above the sewer. Do you think its possible to put it at the far end of the property by the alley?
            Thanks
            they may not need to dig at all, but tie in a comby on the main stach and run one out through the side.

            Cleanouts go from 600-1500. Depends on depth, location of sewer. As long as the c/o has fall, back to the main and is exterior, ground level, you will not need to dig. Aplumber will be able to tell you this through a walk through, it would be a free estimate until he needs to pull out the camera.

            If they do free estimates there.So many plumbers do them here, we have to now.
            sigpic

            Robert

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            • #7
              Re: question on clearing roots

              first of all, trying to cut out the "sewer guy`s" is not the place to save money Get an out side clean-out installed and you`ll save plenty over the cost of a sewer machine and the trip to the HOSPITAL your gonna take after trying to do it yourself.

              "Yes" a large machine is the "right tool" to clean out an old clay tile line that has a root problem!

              If cleaned right you should get at least 12 months out of a root pledged sewer.

              Next door to ya here in Kansas we would get around 600 to 800 for a clean out that deep.

              Maybe the plumber could tie in to the vent stack in the basement and run it out a side wall and save you some money on the depth thing?

              As far as "how far away from the house", installing it on the outside edge of your patio shouldnt be a problem.

              you want a clean-out every 100` if you want to keep the sewer guy`s happy
              http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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              • #8
                Re: question on clearing roots

                I agree and the $ is what I get also.You could just bite the bullet and dig the whole darn line up and replace it... duh

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                • #9
                  Re: question on clearing roots

                  You might try a foaming root killer between cleanings this might extend the times before you need to clean again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: question on clearing roots

                    I would check on a new line to see what it would cost, then figure what a clean out and a machine would cost, If you get a new line you probable wouldn't need a machine If you just cant then I would put in a clean out so you can get to it from the out side send to electric EEL for a drill adaptor or just get a shaft for the model C then grind the back to give it 3 flats for better grip in a drill or just get a female cable end and weld a shaft on and just buy the cable and a set of heads, I use an arrow for the first pass then a mid size C cutter then a C cutter as big as the pipe I had trouble with the round saws getting stuck but I never got a C cutter stuck most times you could pull it enough to let it give enough to get past a bad place. I have used this set up for over 40 years now when I couldn't get the machine to the clean out and it has worked good and if you don't already have a drill get one you can use it for other things so all you got to pay for is the cable, But make sure you know you can do it that cable can twist and break an arm or even kill you,

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                    • #11
                      Re: question on clearing roots

                      gtmerkley this is a really old post that someone seemed to spam on....just thought you would want to know.

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