I'll try to make this short so if more info is needed please ask. I have a split level house. Two full baths and they are located right above/beneath each other. Periodically I have a back up in the downstairs bathroom which is the last drain connected to my main line. So when upstairs shower is used the downstairs one will begin to fill with water. Or when the downstairs one is used it just fills with water. Very slowly draining out.

I ran a 50ft snake though the downstairs shower assuming it would reach pretty much to the sewer where I believe the clog would have to be to be giving me the problem in having. I pulled some hair out but not enough to convince me I fixed the problem. However it seemed to do the trick for about two weeks. But I'm right back in the same situation now. Main line between house and street was redone due to tree root damage 5 years ago if that means anything. I can't believe roots would grow that fast or create the intermittent problem. I don't have much experience with plumbing but I believe I have common sense.

So just wondering what else it could be or could it have been that the snake and the tip of the snake were to small to really do the job correctly. Any and all info is appreciated.

  • 2
    Trees can grow branches fast - have two that I have to top every 2 or 3 years - roots grow just as fast...
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 21 '20 at 5:30
  • A rebuilt main line shouldn't have root problems already, though, unless severe movement broke it.
    – isherwood
    Jan 21 '20 at 14:05
  • Did you use a good size commercial auger or a little homeowner one? You should have a cutting bit nearly as large as the pipe to adequately clear roots and other debris.
    – isherwood
    Jan 21 '20 at 14:06
  • I have one similar to the harbor freight pacific hydrostar but mine is 75 or 100’ ,,, 400$ May sound high but that is only 2 calls to the drain cleaning company, I have had mine for close to 30 years and have replaced the cutters several times , the power feed option is really nice.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 21 '20 at 15:12

I think it is time to call a plumber for help. Your snake may not be big enough or long enough. The plumber I use has a snake with a camera so you can see what is in the piping. By using the camera he can spot any problems that may be lurking underground and fix the problem you are having.

  • 1
    The cameras can provide a good amount of information, I found purchasing my own larger snake did the job I have used it on 4 of my own houses and several friends over the years.+
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 21 '20 at 15:17

I had 1 house that the main line was old concrete pipe, I had to use a large power snake 1-2x each year. After replacing 60’ of pipe I did get a few years with no problems but the last year we were there I did have to run the big snake with the root cutter again. The new roots were close to the main connection to the sewer and that was 8’ below grade. So yes the roots can find there way back and a root cutting tip is really needed with some trees (liquid amber) in my case. I had used a commercial sterilizer at each end at the rubber hubs in hopes that would prevent the roots from being able to return but the roots did make it back just after we put the house on the market. A spring tip snake only pulled what gets caught in the coil a root cutter scrapes the pipe sides and opens the pipe and will last longer in my experience. I have read about chemicals to kill roots but have not tried them and after the sterilizer not working and I used a lot more than was required I would go back to the root cutter.

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