Lonnie from Discount Rooter reams out the line.
Well, lookie here. Roots!
Then the scope goes in.
Looking good, looking good ...
... Looking not so good. Something is blocking the camera. Can't see what because there is water in the line.
Lonnie takes his camera locator out back. Guess what? The sewer line does not run straight back as I thought, but angles across the backyard. Under the garage. When my garage was built, they pulled permits and it passed inspection. But apparently they never pulled a sewer use permit, which requires that old clay lines that will be under the structure be replaced with PVC. It appears there is a crack in the pipe under one of the garage footers.
But wait! There's more. He roots out the line again to see if he can get a better look. He gets it past that point. Then the cable gets stuck. There's a tense few moments as he works it back and forth. He may have to cut the $400 cable and leave it there until they can dig it out at the other end. But then he works it free. Whew!
Scope again, and discover the really bad news. The line is broken right where it meets the city main. There's a good 2-inch ledge, and roots coming in. To fix it, they will have to get multiple permits, to shut down the alley, to dig, to get the join inspected.