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Problem:

Clogged outside 3 inch drain pipe. No trees in the yard but it feels like there might be mulch and packed dirt in the drain (the yard previously had a lot of mulch and house is built 2021). I bought a 1/2" 50' auger cable and recently tried getting some cable attachments but I need a solution to attach these to the auger (snake). I am not committed to these particular attachments as drainbrain.com has some others but since I have these I would like to see if there are creative ways to attach them. The auger cable can be seen in the picture.

Ultimately, just want to clear the pipe so if any other solutions will work, I'd be happy to try them.

1/2 inch drain auger (snake) attachment

Observations:

This pipe has two drains (front and rear). The clog seems closer to the front. I put a 100' hose down the rear drain and used the snake in the front (it wouldn't reach the clog point from the rear). When I agitate the auger cable and turn on the water from the rear I get dirty water coming out very fast past the front drain. Otherwise if I do nothing the water in the rear drain sits and only trickles out.

The attachments look like they are female and appear to need a male end coupler to go on the cable but my snake has a head on it already. Any workarounds or suggestions welcome. Let me know if I've missed something or if any new info is needed.

Update 1:

One commentor noted that there may be a break near the clog. The ground is not covered at this point although concrete will be poured at some point in the next week or so. Would it be advisable to start digging and replace the clogged section or can I continue with my plan? I've ordered the clog chopper head as an alternative but will consider anything at this point.

Update 2:

Mulch may have gotten into the drain by gardners inadvertently when drain caps where knocked off. Not certain but its possible, I had to move some of the mulch and dirt out of the way near the front drain when I was working.

I've read that locktite may be an alternative to welding. Is there a hack that I can try to substitute for not having the proper end coupler? Maybe with an eye to using additional attachments in the future?

Update 3:

Here is the picture of the other end of the cable. It is a 1/2" cable and it looks like there is no internal string. Maybe I can rig up a connector that will accept the attachments using some locktite(?) Any suggestions that might support female/male attachments? I'd rather reuse whatever I have handy.

other end of 1/2 inch cable

Update 4:

Based on the feedback and answer. I've bought the proper cable with a male and female connector on either end. I'll use the regular auger for indoor drains and keep agitating the clog point until it runs clear.

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    Mulch and packed dirt in the drain sounds more like a job for a shovel than a snake. A pipe should not be full of stuff after just a couple of years, unless it is broken or not installed/covered right in the first place.
    – crip659
    May 15, 2023 at 13:33
  • Much nicer digging dirt than digging up new concrete. If the pipe is not broken, you will know and not need to worry. A snake will probably clear the clog, but will not check why it clogged up. There are inspection cameras that should check if the pipe is good and you just have common clog caused by putting stuff down the pipe.
    – crip659
    May 15, 2023 at 14:07
  • Can you add a picture of the entire auger that you bought? If that thing on the lower left is the end of your auger, it does not look like one that is meant to accept attachments for clearing main lines. It looks like something meant for smaller jobs, like maybe a toilet or an inside cleanout.
    – jay613
    May 15, 2023 at 15:04
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    You need an auger with an "attachment capable" snake. The one you have is a single-purpose type. There are different styles of 'connector' for those attachments, so you need to be sure to get ones which match.
    – brhans
    May 15, 2023 at 15:26

1 Answer 1

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If the pipe is intact (you can rent inspection cameras) and you can get "fast flow of dirty water", just keep at it. Dirty means accumulated crud is leaving the pipe.

Or dig it up where it's clogged if that's quicker/easier than getting a camera into it to see if it's broken, and perhaps cut it open and insert a Wye leading up to a clean-out access while you are at it, for future use. It sounds like it drains from some central point in two directions, so you might want two clean-out Wyes, one pointing each way.

My personal experience with yard drains is that hosing (or "jetting") them out is the best bet for removing accumulated crud. Therefore I always provide an access at the high end of the drain for clean-out and flushing. For old ones that are completely clogged (so flow through isn't happening), coming in from the low end with the diluted mud running back past the hose works better until you have end-to-end flow re-established. If there's no access to the high end it may also be the only way you can come at it, short of digging it up to add access.

As for the snake (drain auger) and attachments, as other folks have commented, you have incompatible parts. Kludging drain auger attachments is a good way to end up with lost attachments forming part of the clog in your pipe; so either use compatible parts, or use the auger you have as is. Augers (including longer/larger ones) can also be rented.

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