Oh, crap. Again

The main drain line under the slab, from the mudroom, under the kitchen, under the office, to the whole-house cleanout at the front of  the house, plugged. Again. And flooded the mudroom bath. Again. With crap coming up in the mudroom through the shower drain and from under the toilet. At 830 pm.

Ron Dahlke from Ranserve asked Steven to call for help.

Jose from AAA Auger arrived about 930. As Steven donned rubber gloves to mop up the mess, Jose snaked the drain line from the cleanout in the garage at the back of the mudroom bath. No joy. Jose snaked the line from the main cleanout at the front of the house. No joy. We determined that bath 3 and Jadin’s bath still functioned. We arranged for Jose to return in the morning with a more-powerful snake and his camera.

1-dsc_3607About 930 am the next morning, Jose inserted the camera into the drain line. We discovered a “belly” in the drain line where it intersects with the line that drains the sink. Everything collects in the belly.

1-dsc_3616Steven asked Jose to call for the hydraulic power wash needed to flush the line clean.

Here’s the special nozzle fitted to the end of a standard hose. There’s a main jet at the front end of the nozzle; that jet dislodges the crap. A series of smaller jets at the back end of the flange on the nozzle push the crap down the line, flushing the line clean.


It worked. Yay.

Ron Dahlke arrived to consult. Jose alerted Ron to the belly in the drain line. Steven asked Ron to research a technique that “re-lines” the inside of the existing pipe — as an alternative to trenching under the foundation by hand, digging out the old pipe, replacing the old pipe with PVC, backfilling the trench — a labor-intensive process that takes weeks and costs multiple tens of thousands of dollars. The alternative approach sandblasts corrosion out of the old cast-iron pipe, sprays an epoxy onto the interior walls of the pipes, inserts a balloon into the pipe to hold the epoxy to the walls of the pipe, deflates and removes the balloon — and reportedly leaves behind a cast-iron pipe that is lined with a PVC-like material to which nothing adheres, which means the crap flows to the sewer line at the street — as it is supposed to operate.

Stay tuned.

We don’t want to have to do this again in six months.

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