My downspout, next to a stucco wall, used to go into a cast iron pipe. Recently, the water must have gotten behind the stucco and in the winter, the stucco wall collapsed, pushed the downspout out of the way, and filled the cast iron pipe with stucco debris. I was able to clean up the vertical part of the pipe (about 2') with a shopvac. But then the pipe turns the corner and I can no longer reach past the corner.

I know that it's still completely clogged. When it rains, it instantly fills up. Also, the shopvac hose gets sucked in when I put it down there, confirming that it's clogged. I imagine that there are large chunks of stucco past the turn.

A roto-rooter type company is coming out tomorrow to take a look at the issue. Before I spend money on whatever they propose, are there diy things that I could try?

  • You can certainly run an auger yourself. They're cheap to rent and not complicated.
    – isherwood
    Jul 23, 2020 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


If you used flexible hose only for the shopvac (ie no rigid straight sections) you might be able to pick up more debris inside and beyond the elbow in the iron pipe. Suction tube such as that used in pools might be useful, and replacement shopvac hoses (possibly longer than the original) may be available for your vacuum. It might even be cost effective to cut off the rigid coupler from one end of your existing hose so that it can go through the iron elbow further (and buy a new hose to replace the "customized" original hose).

A hole two feet deep isn't an awful thing to dig. If this drain pipe is not covered by concrete or other unremoveable surface you could dig down to the elbow. It should then be relatively easy to remove the elbow, clear the debris, and vacuum into the horizontal section beyond the elbow to remove more debris.

  • 2
    You may also try a smaller diameter vac hose, it can make the corner. It may not be large enough to let big chunks in but it may hold them on the end of the hose while you pull it out.
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 23, 2020 at 21:04

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