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Major problem with blocked pipe

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Sydney
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    Default Major problem with blocked pipe

    I have a problem with the plumbing in our 30's built Sydney house. The bathroom was updated some years ago but the plumbing at the rear of the house (kitchen, outside toilet & outside laundry) still has the original plumbing.

    The problem first started with the outside toilet not flushing the water away but would fill the bowl and then slowly the water would recede. Then that went away and the back toilet started flushing again ok.

    Then when having a shower the sink and toilet in the bathroom would start gurgling loudly. And when the bathwater was released the shower drain, sink and toilet gurgled loudly then stopped and the floor drain then overflowed.

    I think I traced where the blockage may be, at the kitchen on the outside of the house is a large round drain that was full of badly smelling sludge - I tried removing as much of this as possible but still there is a blockage.

    I then went into the kichen under the sing and cut a hole in the floor to see what was happening there. The small pvc pipe from the kitchen sink just sits inside a large terracotta pipe in the ground under the house. When running water in the kitchen sink it just goes in the terracotta pipe and then overflows and runs under the house!

    I have tried using a plumbing snake and pushing it down this terracotta pipe without it going to far before it won't go any further - stuck at a bend I think.

    I have also tried heaps of draino all without success.

    I think it is time to call a plumber but was curious where this terracotta pipe would go to and if there were any other ideas on how to unblock it?

  2. #2
    1K Club Member
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    Jul 2007
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    Default

    It sounds as though it might be a bit more sinister than you may have first thought. You might need a plumber out to have a look.
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    sydne
    Posts
    50

    Default

    2 otehr things you may want to do:

    1) Go to Reece (or a plumbing supplier) and buy a plunger head and a couple of handles (that all scerew together). The plunger head is exactly the same diameter as the large terracotta pipe. (If its something simple like your kids thought it hillarious to throw a pile of sawdust down your pipes) with some plunging it will reove what is obstructing the blockage.If its something more serious yu have used $50 on a plunger you will never use.

    2) Work out where the terracotta pipe goes. - (obviously down hill) and likely to a boundary trap and inspection point. - Uscrew the cap of the inspection point, and see if the pipe is completely blocked all the way to your boundary. (A sewrage diagram may help you locate it)

    3) Even if you clear the blockage thsi time, there will bea time in the future where your crockery pipes will need replaceing. Either treeroots, or being crushed etc. - Get digging and rip them up. Replace with PVC. - It will need to be done one day.

  4. #4
    1K Club Member
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    Jul 2007
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    1) Fibreglass hand rods from Reece come in a set, for the cost of around $150 and they don't go around bends too well, even in earthenware.
    2)Being a 1930's house the digging required to locate an inspection opening would be hideous, not to mention they don't screw off so you will need to carefully chip away at the cement cap with a hammer and small chisel to gain access.
    3) For around the $200-$250 mark you could have a carefully selected plumber around (be very, very wary of the ones that advertise blocked drains from $70* and so on) with a water jet, locate the problem, clear it and identify the cause then advise you from there.
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

  5. #5
    Golden Member
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    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sydney
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    I'm with WP on this one. Stop being adventurous, it'll most likely end in tears.

    Get a plumber and ask him to have a look at the whole system, unblock it and work out where the blockage(s) are - I'll bet the terracotta has faults and cracks in more than one place in 80 years of abuse - and at least you know the whole problem and have a temporarily unblocked sewer. Spend the $200-$300 and know the whole story!

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