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Needs some plumbing advice that isn't going to be call the plumber...

slavablueberryjam

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Am trying to do a main septic sewer line unclog by snaking. When I unplugged it there was a steady flow of water coming out that would not stop. Can I snake through that? Or do I have to wait for levels to subside? Because the yard is filled with rain water that isn't going to be going away for days after it stops raining. I'm just curious, do I snake with a bunch of sewer water coming out of the unplug?
 

bongsaway

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Is the standing water where your drainfield is? If so and it isn't going down, you might need a new drainfield? If 'water' is coming out of your cleanout, you may indeed need a new drainfield. If your cleanout is outside, I would keep trying to snake it clean and if it won't empty, you probably need a new drainfield. Good luck. You might try lifting the lid on your septic tank and looking inside to see if it is full to the brim. If it is, you can try having it cleaned out first?
 

ttwtt78640

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Am trying to do a main septic sewer line unclog by snaking. When I unplugged it there was a steady flow of water coming out that would not stop.

That leads me to believe that when you removed the cap from a clean-out access (what you called “unplugged it”) the clog (line blockage) is between the clean-out and the septic tank or that your septic tank is full. The flow which “will not stop” will, in fact, stop once the sewage in the line (above the clean-out) has drained onto your yard.

Can I snake through that?

Yes, but it’s less of a mess to wait a bit. You will be snaking towards the septic tank.

Or do I have to wait for levels to subside?

No, but it likely won’t be a long wait for the (3” or 4”) line to drain.

Because the yard is filled with rain water that isn't going to be going away for days after it stops raining. I'm just curious, do I snake with a bunch of sewer water coming out of the unplug?

You could, but it‘s better to wait a bit for the flow to stop. I recently had a similar problem (apparent blockage in my septic line). The cause turned out to be the line from the septic tank to the drain field had separated from the tank, causing the tank and (eventually) the sewer line leading to the tank, to fill. That (obviously) couldn’t be fixed by snaking.

Step one is to see if your septic tank is full, if so that is (at least part of) your problem. To do so on mine required digging - clearing the soil from above the septic tank (to access the septic tank’s cap) and around the line from the septic tank to the drain field (to reconnect it to the septic tank).
 

Cardinal

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This thread is useful for me because I have a question of my own: I see what appear to be high quality septic snakes at garage sales, and even though I want one for my own home, I'm only capable of thinking, "Ew, second hand septic snake. Everybody else's poo has been on that thing." Am I wrong for thinking about it this way?
 

ttwtt78640

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This thread is useful for me because I have a question of my own: I see what appear to be high quality septic snakes at garage sales, and even though I want one for my own home, I'm only capable of thinking, "Ew, second hand septic snake. Everybody else's poo has been on that thing." Am I wrong for thinking about it this way?

I can’t imagine that re-using a drain snake would be any more pleasant simply because it had only been used on your pipes. The money you’ll save on a used (or rental) snake can pay for plenty of work gloves and other personal protection gear.
 

slavablueberryjam

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I can’t imagine that re-using a drain snake would be any more pleasant simply because it had only been used on your pipes. The money you’ll save on a used (or rental) snake can pay for plenty of work gloves and other personal protection gear.
Reminds me, I forgot to hose down the snake. Gross?
 

ttwtt78640

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Reminds me, I forgot to hose down the snake. Gross?

Any sludge (except grease) dries up and falls off upon it’s next use. Even with a power washer, it’s hard to get a drain snake clean after use.
 

PirateMk1

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Any sludge (except grease) dries up and falls off upon it’s next use. Even with a power washer, it’s hard to get a drain snake clean after use.
I would still try.
 

Rexedgar

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This thread is useful for me because I have a question of my own: I see what appear to be high quality septic snakes at garage sales, and even though I want one for my own home, I'm only capable of thinking, "Ew, second hand septic snake. Everybody else's poo has been on that thing." Am I wrong for thinking about it this way?
I have used tools for a major part of my adult life. I always had the attitude that I would rather have the tool and not need it, rather than the opposite. We have been on a septic system for the last 30+ years and I have never had cause to need one. Is this a regular need at the Cardinal abode?
 

Cardinal

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I have used tools for a major part of my adult life. I always had the attitude that I would rather have the tool and not need it, rather than the opposite. We have been on a septic system for the last 30+ years and I have never had cause to need one. Is this a regular need at the Cardinal abode?
I'm probably using the wrong term. It's a regular toilet problem. We bought a new house and recently and one toilet backs up at the slightest inconvenience.
 
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