Author Topic: Clogged Drains  (Read 8164 times)

acc7x3

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Clogged Drains
« on: July 10, 2013, 09:28:40 AM »
I have always been a bit in touch with everything DIY. But recently a slow drain made me want to pound my head through the wall. After trying everything I knew to fix this issue I was about to ask my land lord to call the plumber. This is when a guy at the local hardware shop recommended a rubber drain bladder. With this, a garden hose, and the water connection to my washer, took about 3 min to clear the drain and clean everything up. I wish I did this before removing the pipes and trying to snake out the sludge.

Nords

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 11:45:50 PM »
http://the-military-guide.com/2013/01/17/save-money-by-fixing-your-own-plumbing/

Any idea what was causing the clog in the first place?  The reason I ask is because tree roots or a crushed pipe or some other partial obstruction might cause the clog to return in a few weeks or months. 

If you haven't already let the landlord know about it, this is an opportunity to show that you're taking care of the place and trying to save them money while letting them know about the problem... in case it comes back.

acc7x3

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 10:53:37 AM »
I am pretty sure it was just build up of something. All of the other drains are working well.  The house is raised (located in New Orleans) and the drainage between the sink and the main is fairly short.

And the landlord knows that I am taking care of the place. He shares the other half of the shot gun and have helped him with things from mowing the lawn, fixing his generator, painting etc.

Cinder

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 04:54:16 AM »
On a similar topic, I have one toilet that clogs much more frequently then others.  I have two snakes, but neither seems to be quite what I need.

This one is drill operated, but it is a pain due to it being so long.  I'd love a shorter, drill operated one, but I can only find the manual crank ones.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraft-1-2-in-x-50-ft-Drain-Auger-BC30500/100534792

This one is awesome, except the 'arrowhead' on the end of the snake is to long, and doesn't fit around the 'trap' curves in the toilet, so I can't get it to the clog. 
http://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraft-Encased-Sewer-Rod-BC95040/100621421


1)  What snake / tool would you recommend for unclogging a toilet (where it clogs somewhere in the s-bend itself?)

2) How/why would one particular toilet clog more often then others (to be fair, it is the one used the most, but I have never had a clog in any other toilet, and that one clogs about once every month)

3) My toilet seems to have an oval shaped opening, but all I can find are round plungers.  I can't get a 'seal' around the opening in the bottom of the bowl to push the clog out with a plunger.. Where do I find either a much wider plunger or an oblong shaped plunger.. I can put up a picture of the toilet opening if it will help.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 04:58:59 AM by Cinder »

Greg

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2013, 10:38:16 AM »
Older and cheaper toilets have rough trap castings that can promote build up of waste debris (polite term) as well as hair and other things that people flush.  Newer and more expensive toilets often feature "glazed traps" which means they have the same smooth finish as the exterior.  So that could be your problem if it's clogging in the trap.  Could also be catching on the floor flange or other lower down snag.  To determine this, you would need to pull the toilet, inspect and then replace the flange gasket.

Age is another factor, which along with water quality can cause mineral buildup in the trap where you can't reach it with a brush.  This will create a rough surface even on a glazed trap, and also reduces the trap inside diameter.

A snake is not the best tool for a toilet, but if it works for you that's what's important. I have a plunger that looks a bit like a black beehive with an extension that goes into the bowl drain, seems to do a good job of sealing.

lhamo

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2013, 10:52:27 AM »
Another great drain-clearing tip is baking soda and vinegar, followed by boiling water. 

There is also a device you can get at home depot, etc that has little teeth that pull out hair and gunk.  It's called the Zip it:  http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-Products-00412BL-Zip-It-Cleaning/dp/B000BO9204

Matte

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2013, 01:06:11 PM »
I bought a second toilet plunger and have used it on the sink and bathtub.  Just plug off the vent with tape and plunge away, takes some work but cheap.  My dad has one of those things that goes on the hose like you and says it works great too.

BlueMR2

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 10:07:14 AM »
Our drains all seem to get a lot of mineral buildup (50ish year old house).  Doesn't really get clogs that you can just auger out.  Only solution I've found so far is to periodically use some Liquid Plumr.  I'm not a fan of that solution as it's a nasty chemical, both for the environment and for the plumbing, but at this point the only other option seems to be to rip out all the plumbing and replace it.  :-/

Spork

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 07:50:08 AM »
If your clog is in the P trap (or S trap) your best solution is to just pull off the trap.  It's 2 nuts and on newer plumbing they're plastic nuts you can usually turn with your fingers.  I wouldn't advise using chemical treatments -- they're harsh on the plumbing.

But (back to OP) the little hose-attached bladder can work with some gunky situations.  Just be careful if you're using it from the vent stack that you're sure you are past the point where the drain/vent meet.  (Ask me how I know.)

acc7x3

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 09:15:13 AM »
(Ask me how I know.)

How do you know? I just want to see how big of a mess it made.

Spork

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 09:24:51 AM »
(Ask me how I know.)

How do you know? I just want to see how big of a mess it made.

It wasn't actually that bad....  more of a rhetorical question.  It was the wife running out of the house screaming at me on the roof. 

It was at least a sink and not a toilet!  Just a good chunk of water on the floor, cabinets, etc.

acc7x3

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 09:35:03 AM »
I always try to use a plunger before hand, and several times have gotten a massive amount of water in my bead just by forgetting to plug that hole. That always adds to the frustration.

Nords

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2013, 04:06:48 PM »
(Ask me how I know.)
How do you know? I just want to see how big of a mess it made.
Even if you're working from the drain, the hose/bladder and the downstream clog can trap the injected water, so the additional water just rises up the nearest vent pipe and overflows on to the roof.

Our neighbor thought she was making progress until it started raining on her roof... and overflowing her gutter... and splashing on to her sidewalk, along with all of the things she had "stored" there.  She was afraid she'd broken a water pipe.  It's a really really good thing that the vent stack was watertight and not just friction-fitted together by a lazy builder.


ritchie70

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2013, 06:23:06 PM »
I had good results on a clogged tub with this

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0042AY6XQ/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and the flex thing mentioned earlier.

Took an hour or so but I got out wads of hair, sand (thanks kid...) And the main culprit... Clumps of tub caulk courtesy of the previous owner.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2013, 08:20:45 PM »
Well, less than a week in our first house and first plumbing issue already came up: slow drain in the kitchen. When I run the disposal all the gunk comes out in the other sink (double sink). I removed the trap but there was nothing in there. Zero. What's next? Snake? Something else? Where should I go in with it? Would prefer a non-chemical solution.

Greg

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2013, 09:34:03 PM »
Remove the trap(s) at the trap adapter(s) and snake the pipe in the wall.  It may take some time, or it may be quick.  Have a hose handy to test your progress, and a bucket or cat litter pan to catch spills.  Good luck.

show me the money

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2013, 08:44:47 AM »
My wife dropped the top of a shampoo cap in the drain about a month ago (the little flip top piece not the whole thing), and has been an issue with draining the water somewhat, i tried to shopvac it out, i tried to get to the P-trap, but cant seem to reach it, i'm interested in the product linked above, any one have any other suggestions?

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Clogged Drains
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2013, 10:44:40 AM »
For slow drains, I've used peroxide... just follow it up with some warm or hot water so it doesn't eat your sink base.