Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to Un-Plug your Basement Drain Pipe – with a little effort

The lowest feature of our dear old house is the clay pipe drain in the basement which takes the water that runs through it and guides it approximately 50 feet long and 5 feet underground to empty into the roadside ditch by our driveway. The problem was that about a week ago this pipe clogged with silt and dirt to the point where it no longer drained. This meant our basement was turning into an in ground swimming pool or if we were so inclined; a Koi fish pond. The only solution that I could think of was one of those Power Snake Augers which I would have to rent but there is no place close to here that rents them. To make a long story shorter, Lauren ended up speaking to Robbie at the Bethel Sewer Department who said “I’ll be right over”. This is just one of the many things I love about small town living; a live person on the phone who says he’ll be right over. So Robbie and Randy came right over and plunked the solution into my hand which looks like this:

I’m still not sure what it is called but it works wonders. You put it on the end of your garden hose, insert it as far as you can into the drain pipe and then turn on the water. After a minute you stop the water flow (which deflates the rubber diaphragm) pull it back a foot, then push it in again as far as you can, and then turn on the water again. You repeat this process until you get to the end of the drain pipe. (Tip: Kink your garden hose by hand to stop the water flow if your shut off valve is far away). This cleaned the pipe out better than it was when I bought the home. I also dug out the other end of the pipe area and the ditch at the roadside to keep it open and flowing downhill.

In addition I cleaned out about 30 gallons of sand/dirt/muck from inside the basement which was all great exercise as I hauled it up the stairs and to the back yard. Finally I have to give credit to Lauren for getting the connection to Robbie at the sewer department who let me borrow this very useful tool.

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