The basement floor drain is having backup after the wash cycle from the washer, it doesn't backup from other water usage.

I had a plumber came in to power snake with 1/2" tip (and few other tips) into the floor drain for an hour without success. He suggested the only solution is to break the concrete of the floor and replace the blocked piping.

Is there any less aggressive or cheaper solution I should try first? Someone also suggested me to hire other plumber who has optical device to look at the blockage in the floor drain pipe (for a full diagnostic), do you think it's useful?

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    I'd get someone in there with a scope before digging in to the concrete, might end up doing that anyway, but I never trust someone who's first instinct is to crack things open. – Hart CO Aug 15 '17 at 2:13
  • Was the snake not able to get around a bend or something? A grease and lint ball shouldn't be stronger than a snake. – freshop Aug 15 '17 at 6:02
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    How old is this house? Does it have cast iron drain lines? – Jim Stewart Aug 15 '17 at 11:03
  • I am not sure why the snake doesn't get through, the plumber was doing it with the tenant, is he supposed to be able to diagnose the issue (as to what is causing the stubborn blockage)? – KubiK888 Aug 15 '17 at 15:56
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    Did the plumber say how far the snake went into the line? That would be a clue as to where the problem is. – George Oct 22 '17 at 1:54

I had to deal with a similar problem recently, floor flooding when washer was draining, and what worked made a huge mess but it worked: I filled the vent stack with water (going up on the roof with a hose. It flooded the sink, but all that weight it pushed through eventually.)

If you try this, try and plug the drains on the first floor, and the laundry sink. Otherwise as the column of water in the vent builds up it will be flooding out of all your drains. Once it bursts through you'll heard it whoosh out, and all your drains should be flowing. This will not work as well if your toilets are on the same vent stack. In my situation the kitchen (on first) and the laundry (in basement) were sharing a common vent.

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  • Is this technique called flushing? Any risk of damaging the pipe (and make it worse) if using too much pressure? – KubiK888 Aug 16 '17 at 15:37

Using a shop vac try sucking on the washer drain line. First fill up the washer drain line with water, then quickly putting the vac hose over the drain.

If you know which is the first sink or toilet below the location of the blockage you could run water into that drain and then put the shop vac on the washer drain. The idea is to relieve the blockage by forcing water in the opposite direction. Sometimes this relieves a blockage when forcing water in the normal drain direction only packs it tighter.

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  • Can you provide some references of how this is done in details? And can this be done myself given the right tool? – KubiK888 Aug 16 '17 at 15:36
  • Do you have a shop vac? – Jim Stewart Aug 16 '17 at 18:14

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