On Wednesday, August 14, 2013 3:04:41 PM UTC-7, Lion wrote:

The guys from Answer Plumbing just left. I thought they were very nice and helpful. They took care of the two drain problems. 

The drain in the garage actually has about 5 pipes going into it. There are a couple of drain pipes that I'm guessing drain the hillside to the north of us, one from the mechanical closet, and then a drain pipe going out toward the east and down to the street. There was a huge amount of grout and mortar clogging the drain that probably got in there from numerous tile projects where workers just flushed the mortar and grout into the drain. But also the outgoing drain pipe was clogged. He pulled out a bucketful of mortar, snaked all of the pipes, and the drain seems to be running now. 

They also unclogged the drain at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. That one was completely clogged with roots and silt. He pulled out as much of the invasive roots as possible and snaked the drain. And put on a new drain cover. He said the pipe is likely cracked, which is what let the roots get in. He recommends redoing the pipeline. I told him we may not want to pay to redo the drain pipe because I didn't think that drain served very much of the building and probably the work they did today would be enough to help. I told him we will be removing the planter box and covering the cut out with cement and he thought that if we do decide to redo the drain pipe, we should do the cement work all at once. 

Let me know if you have any questions.