My basement floods when it rains, because the weeping tile can't drain. I'm trying to figure out how to fix it without tearing up my finished basement.

The 1968 home has recently installed (2000?) weeping tile running around three sides of the house to form a large C. This is all the 4" corrugated plastic stuff. The installers connected it to the original drain, the old-school red tile pipe, which meets the new weeping tile at about the mid-point of the C. They didn't use a Y-connection, the drain just butts right into the weeping tile at 90 degrees.

The weeping tile was formerly connected to the downspouts, but the city made them remove that some time ago. That leaves nice access points outside. I've had a camera down them and we can see the connection point, but can't get inside it with either the camera or auger - they both just go right past it. But we could see the rest of the tile is clear of any obstructions, the problem is in that drain.

The drain pipe leads under my basement floor to a combination P-trap/floor drain. This is running freely and I can dump a big bucket of water down it and it clears immediately. The rest of the house's plumbing connects downstream of this point, and it's all working fine too. The "good news" is that when the basement does flood, it runs right back out the drain.

So there's a blockage somewhere in the 15 feet of drain pipe between the P-trap and the weeping tile outside the house.

The drain pipe connects to the P-trap from the side, about 6 inches below the level of the floor. I have a 15 foot sink snake, the one with the thin lead that's maybe 1/4 inch, that I was able to feed into it, and I can get it about 8 feet in before it hits something. But it's not clear if it's hitting a blockage, or just the joint between pipes. Turning it does nothing useful.

Now I'm stymied, no one rents inspection cameras around here and a full-scale power-router with the 1/2 inch lead is too inflexible to get into the hole. I don't think a full-scale inspection camera will make it either. I might be able to get one of those drill-attached ones into it, but I'm not sure that's more useful than my snake.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


My suggestion is to dig it up from outside and work through the pipe from there over under the basement floor. If it is a simple blockage you should be able to get it from there. It is a collapsed red clay time then you can measure accurately so you will know more accurately where you may have to cut into the basement floor. If the blockage is tree root growth into the drain the outside access will be much better for getting in a power chopper/rooter device.

Lastly when you do go to cover the dig back up consider adding an inline access to that part of the pipe for the future or re-access the TEE joint with some gradual turn joints.


Just to cap this:

After it flooded again I called the one guy that seemed like he would go the extra distance. Using a bootlace I loaned him he was able to get the auger of the rooter into the P-trap, and with much pushing and shoving started getting it inside. After about 15 feet, POP, and the sound of rushing water.

All fixed! Just in time too, this spring had almost continual rain and the nearby lake is still a foot higher than normal.

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