Drain clogged again

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    • #278729
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      About a year ago, upstairs bathroom water caused an overflow in our downstairs toilet. There is a cleanout and it was jetted out. A month or so later, I used copper sulfate to kill roots as a preventive measure.
      About a month ago, after a long upstairs shower, the toilet overflowed again. It was snaked out and was OK for a week, when it happened again. We had the city come out and they jetted out the sewer for 500′ around us. This did not help and we called again. This time he used a heavier duty snake and I used the copper sulfate again before he came.
      The washer (upstairs) just emptied and caused an overflow downstairs again. I looked at the cleanout outside and it was full.
      I have read many of the related posts and it sounds like a camera check is needed.
      Is this correct?
      (I do not know what kind of pipe it is, but the cleanout appears to be cast iron. His snake picked up some tree roots. The soil here in Dallas, Texas is prone to shifting.)
      Thanks,
      Harold

    • #299190
      wpc

      I would most certainly get the sewer checked with a camera, If it is possible to salvage the sewer, one product I have used is ROOT-X it is a product that turns into a foam in the line allowing the top, sides and bottom to get the full treatment, it also has EPA acceptance.

    • #299191
      SylvanLMP

      Hello Harold, you sound like you made TWO classic mistakes in my professional opinion

      1st mistake = http://www.masterplumbers.com/plumbing/plumbviews/1999/jetters.html

      2nd= http://www.masterplumbers.com/plumbing/plumbviews/1999/chemicals.html

      Before you make any more mistakes I would strongly suggest you read the above articles THEN E mail me if you like.

      Roots no matter what the drain guys try to push off on victims are not really removed by the use of jetting and Chemicals are great to be thrown down a toilet and forgotten about… FORGET THEM In my professional opinion.

      Most folks who push chemicals need this to supplement their income as they certainly cant make it doing drain cleaning properly it would appear.

      Some chemical company did contact me saying that I can mark up their product a full 400% .

      There a major chemical companies out there that sell top of the line stuff if you want to go that “root” :-) like Hercules where you wont be paying off the wall prices.

      Again I never resort to chemicals as we do the job right.

      WHY should any really drain professional have to sell any chemicals if they properly snake or water jet these lines “properly”?

      If you owned a commercial establishment where you encounter a large amount of grease FINE a good degreaser makes sense between follow up cleaning BUT for roots FORGETABOUTIT USE a SNAKE to remove them.

      Then video inspect the system to find out where they are coming in from and discuss with your LMP the options of a yearly cleaning Or possibly replacing the bad section / sections.

      My routine once a year 20 minute drain cleaning goes for $125 plus tax.

      I am sure others will be more then happy to work much cheaper BUT make sure you use a Licensed plumber and ask to see the license as most legitimate plumbers will do this job without resorting to selling chemicals and once a year rodding normally works.

      For point of information I have 3 jetters ranging in price from only $2,200 -over $12,500 with pressures as low as 1,250 to over 3000 PSI 14 GPM But there is no way I would use a jetter where I know my large commercial snakes would do this job not only faster BUT properly.

      The mechanic behind the snake should rod the line several times until the cutting heads (start small and work it up in size each time it is retracted) until the cutting head comes back perfectly root free.

      My water jetting prices are sky high so I wouldn’t even bother to mention it on here BUT it does the right job if performed properly for the correct applications.

      A video inspection I charge $500 + for so your price may be lower or higher but this is about average. We also will locate the problem and give the account a full color video of this inspection with voice over to explain what the camera is seeing.

      A good video inspection takes slightly less then 20 minutes for a run under 100 feet.

      Anything over 100 feet gets kind of expensive

      I have accounts for over 20 years who have roots and a once a year PROPER snaking keeps these roots well under control all without pouring non working chemicals down the drain.

    • #299192
      Richard

      Other problems with using chemicals to destroy roots are as follows:
      1) Most root killers are copper sulfate pentahydrate. It only works as long as its in contact with the roots for a few days. that means no flushing toilets, running sinks, etc. Unless you put it in on a friday and go on vacation for a week.
      The other problem with copper sulfate is that if the line is blocked, the copper sulfate will dilute in the blocked water, and not be concentrated enough to do anything.

      2) if you use sulfuric acid, and later on someone unwittingly pours ammonia down there, between the stoppage, the heat of the reactionnd the physical strength of the pipe, you have a nice explosive there, and the piping would be like a shrapnel grenade (Ammonium sulfate, the product, makes a great primary explosive, especially when under pressure).

      If you know the stoppage is roots, snaking is the only way to go. I am not a plumber, but a chemist who did plumbing to pay my way through my first 3 yrs of college.

      Leave chemicals to the chemists, and plumbing work to the plumbers. We should DEFINATELY work together, but respect each other professionally, and not step on each other’s toes. Its like asking a podiatrist to treat a brain tumor.

      Rich

    • #299193
      wpc

      Go to http://www.rootx.com if you have concerns about the product, and if you do not believe in the product do not buy it.

    • #299194
      Richard

      as per root-x, a fancy website and adding a foaming agent to what is primarily copper sulfate doesn’t change much, nor impress me. Copper sulfate, even bought in high purity through Fisher or Sigma-Aldrich costs next to nothing. If you want it to foam, you just have to add a sufactant to it (in fact the way you test for sufactants is to shake the sample and see if if foams.

      If you want to get away cheaper, buy copper sulfate, mix it with a cheap shampoo (which is LOADED with sufactants, and little else) and use that. The problems I stated on this mattter in my last post still stand.

      Rich

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