Can poly corrugated drain pipe be snaked out?

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Old 07-31-18, 07:07 AM
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Can poly corrugated drain pipe be snaked out?

My cottage has 2 downspouts going to buried 4" poly corrugated perforated drainpipe. I can only find one exit so I don't know if they link together (doesn't seem likely). They're plugged up & not draining. Can such pipe be snaked out or isn't it tough enough to survive the cutter?

Should non-perforated pipe have been used? These are probably full of roots & sand due to the lakefront location.
 
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Old 07-31-18, 07:40 AM
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Personally I hate corrugated black drain pipe. It clogs easily and it's too easy to get a low spot when they are buried. I prefer to use smooth wall PVC pipe for drain lines. The smooth interior allows debris to slide through and because it's rigid it's much easier to maintain proper downhill slope without low spots. It also tolerates snaking, power augering and jetting better than black corrugated.

Yes, you can snake a black corrugated pipe. You must be careful though as it is easy to damage. The corrugations also can snag a auger or cutter head. A jetter used with a homeowner sized pressure washer is about the safest thing or a manual drain rod. It helps if you put a garden hose in the top end of the pipe so there is water pressure/flow to help wash debris out of the pipe when snaking.
 
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Old 07-31-18, 03:38 PM
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I'm with Pilot Dane on hating the corrugated black drain pipe.

The perforations should be used near where the water is collected, buried in gravel. That's how the water gets into the pipe (along with openings for gutters and such). Then it should switch over to solid pipe to drain to a lower spot away from the house.

Unfortunately many contractors just dump them into a trench and cover them - I can't tell you how many I've seen pre-crushed even before the house is completed.

So your snake may help clear it - but it could have been crushed years ago when a backhoe ran over it... and a snake isn't going to help that!
 
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Old 08-01-18, 06:25 AM
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Thanks guys. My cottage is pretty far from any cities so all service calls are expensive.
If I can rent a camera snake some weekend and do it myself while learning what I have under the surface I'd probably be ahead.
 
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Old 08-01-18, 06:42 AM
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I hate corrugated black drain pipe. It clogs easily
It's typ not the material but how it's installed.

The absolute requirements are to lay the pipe with sufficient pitch so that you do not get any flat/standing water areas where debris can settle.

The corrugations do collect debris but then everything just runs over it like a smooth pipe.

I've used the black corrugated pipe for 30+ years and when installed correctly never had a issues with plugging up or crushing.

My current next door neighbor install 4" PVC pipe across his backyard about 10 years ago and had to dig it up 2 years ago, yep, nearly horizontal installation!
 
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Old 08-01-18, 07:13 AM
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Look online. There are some cheap endoscope/inspection cameras available. 25' long ones can be had for less than $100. They are too thin and flexible to be shoved in far on their own but you can tape it to a stick, wire or piece of small diameter PVC or PEX pipe to shove into the drain pipe.
 
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Old 08-01-18, 08:11 AM
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There are powered blade augers to rent. Some have a metal cage over the spinning blades so as not to damage your pipe.
 
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Old 08-02-18, 06:37 AM
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Good to know. I never looked too deep into what I could get but always see rentals with the corkscrew ends. I didn't think DIY'ers were trusted with blades...

 
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