This is not HVAC related, but the guys on this board seem to have the best info on most topics, so I figured you could help me out. I am having recurrent clogging problems with my house's drains. Probably roots getting into the main in the yard. Anyway, this house does not have a main sewer line clean out outside the house. The roto-rooter guy has (twice in a week) snaked the drain 75' accessing the main from a removed toilet. Long story short: because there are back to back toilets, he cannot get the snake into the line with the blade on the end, so he did not really solve the problem, just got the water to go down. Now when we use the laundry, the water backs up filling the bathtub, and will slowly drain. He recommended installing a clean out in the main 3" line outside so he could get the blade in. I dug a hole to expose the line about 2 1/2' down and found the cast iron pipe where it leaves the house. What is the best procedure to install a cleanout here? Thanks. Keith
Replace the whole line
in my opinion. We both know it has holes in it if theres roots. It's gonna have to be done eventually. I'd call a plumber for a price for the cleanout. Then he can give you an opinion on the whole situation.
My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn't pay the bill he gave me six months more.
I just added a clean out to my line, after i cut the pvc line with a ditch witch, If you had pvc this might be a job for you, with cast pipe, I am with spotts,
Still learning opinions welcome.
Anyone else want to give pointers? I do "jack of all trades" home repair work for a living (including most types of plumbing). (Note: I leave the furnace and AC work to the pros like you guys.) That said, I am eager to add this type of work to my resume and if I can take care of my own problem at the same time, all the better. I have no problem paying a pro when it is something I CANNOT do, but if it is something that I CAN do with the simple knowledge of the right way to do it then thats the way I'll go every time. The worst part of this job will be digging out more dirt to access the pipe. No way I'm going to pay a plumber $125 an hour to dig a hole. Thanks for any more advice. Keith
Do you not have a waste line coming down from upstairs into the basement or are you on a slab??
Also once you get it clean use root destroy twice a year and you'll be amazed at the results.
Cast iron is not easy to cut, unless you have access to the proper tool. Even then, old cast doesn't cut evenly every time.
Putting in a cleanout is pretty simple, once you get the pipe cut.
No-hub or Fernco clamps will allow you to splice the cleanout into the existing pipe.
You know, of course a cleanout will only allow you to cut today's roots.
Tomorrow or the next day, you get new roots.
Process continues until you repair the leaky line.
Dig a really big hole, keep it dry, then pay the plumber.
Be nice to him, he has a crappy job.
RSES Certificate Member Specialist
Southwest Regional Association of RSES Secretary, 2017
I cut alot of cast iron. Portaband power hacksaws work great.
Carbide sawzall blades from Lennox work well also, slow speed works better than fast. Use a wye and st 45 to stand up the cleanout. After you get the root cutter through the main, use Hercules root destroyer to help prevent them from growing back. Follow the instructions on the can. It will help, but the real way to fix this is to lay a new line in abs or pvc shc 40 pipe.
Not here for a long time, just a good time
Had a root problem also. That was 15 years ago. I got it snaked out and I have been using Hercules root eater ever since.
It is 45 ft to the center of "Main" street and it is 5ft down below the frost line. I can buy a lot of root eater before having to spring for that excavation job.
What ever is leaking "OUT" of the cast iron I know is going to a good place.
I've seen plumbers access cast iron mains, knock a hole in the top of the pipe big enough to get the cutter head into it, then wrap a piece of metal around the pipe when finished and cover it up enough to hold the metal on until the next time. I would agree that it's time to put some "slick" pipe in the ground.
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action....Mark Twain
Something that I failed to mention is that, although I don't have a clean out on the side of the house, there is a large capped pipe (like 6" diameter). In the 4 years I've lived in the house, I never took the cap off. I always assumed it was a clean out. So the other day when I needed a clean out, I took off the cap and all I saw was a 3' deep hole with rocks and dirt in the bottom. I wonder if this could be what benncool is talking about. Someone at some point knocked a hole in the pipe to clean it out and put this 6" pipe over it when they left. Hmmm. Looks like I might need to dig this area too. Good thing it is 60 degrees out here in California.
this is funny...i just had my waste main replaced this weekend. i don't know what you have but i had 6" clay tile. the pipe was about 38 years old with all the joints leaking. now i have a close friend that is a superintendent at a plumbing co. he came over with a camera-snake. pretty cool set-up. ALL of my joints had tree roots in them, about 25' worth of pipe. he had a guy come over last weekend and took care of it. this has been a headache since we moved in. if you're going to the trouble of putting in a clean-out i'd put in all new plastic pipe too. put in that clean-out without changing the pipe just doesn't make any sense the me. you won't be fixing the problem, only a band-aid. i had this done by someone that does this for a living, didn't look that complicated, but i didn't want to mess it up and have to re-open the lawn.
FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE!!
Bah, I hate sewer problems. I bought my house and ended up with this problem too. 2 years ago the previous home owner had a root problem. Well several months ago I had the same problem. No clean outs in the house, so we had to pull the stool and do it that way. Used the cam and found the problem is right under my front deck. As if diggin my yard up was bad enough, now I got to add in removing and replacing the deck. Luckily insurance only covers stuff in the house... grrrrrr.
Anyway, I've seen some stuff on a commercial, they pour this "plastic" like stuff down your line and it's supposed to have a 50 year warrenty to it. Sounds like snake oil to me, but ya never know. Anyone ever delt with this?
My plans are to snake it once more this summer, add that root destroying stuff and see if I can't live with it for a few more years.
Yeah, I know adding a clean out is just a band aid. But $100 bandaids are pretty cheap compared to a $5000 cure. The roto rooter guy says that 5 grand is the going rate for a new main in my type of situation. I can hire day laborers for $100 a day to dig, so if I do decide to cure the problem, I'll still probably do the work myself for probably less than a grand. But before I do that, I have to get this clean out in. For all I know, one of my relatives flushed a tennis ball down the toilet. Thanks for the advice.