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Old 11-15-11, 07:29 PM
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Location: Irving, TX
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We had very similar problems with our first house. The plumbing stopped up so we called the plumber. They couldn't find a cleanout, and they couldn't find the line in the front yard by probing, so they hauled the machine up on the roof and ran the snake down through a vent. Our pipes from the house to the city sewer were clay tile so once the snake passed through the house and into the pipe we cuold hear it under the ground. Once we knew where the pipe was they dug it up near the house and discovered that a previous plumber had dug at the same location. The strategy back then was to knock a hole in the top of the clay pipe with a hammer, run your snake into the hole, and then when finished they would curve a piece of metal flashing over the hole and put the dirt back. Unfortunately roots would find this opening and grow into the pipe.

Several years later I dug up the pipe from the house out to the middle of the yard and replaced it with plastic, along with a vertical cleanout. There was always a problem where the clay pipe went under the sidewalk so I eventually dug up that part and replaced it also. Up until that time I would have to rent the drain snake machine myself every year or two and run through the lines.

My current house was built 10 or 20 years later. It has exterior cleanouts but might have been built with plastic pipe also because we have not had any problems with our drains.
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