Cleaning 4 inch trap, what to use?

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by dripdrip, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. dripdrip

    dripdrip New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    NE
    I think the trap on my mom's house's main drain line is clogged. It's a 4" J(?) trap just before the drain exits the house. I got the top off, but now I'm not sure what to clean the trap with! My 1/4" snake seems too small and my 3/8" drum snake seems too rigid to make the bend.

    BTW this trap looks like a P trap except the clean out is on top. It's cast-iron, probably from the 1930s or before.

    Also, I'm probably in trouble because I had to cut the cap off & I doubt I could buy a match. Could I get away with a test plug?

    Thanks!

    DD
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,286
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you are SURE it is just the trap, then a wet/dry vacuum will suck the water and muck out of the trap. Usually, those traps have cleanouts on both sides because it is difficult, if not impossible, to "snake" through it.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I routinely push a 11/16" cable with a 3" round blade through 4" house traps using my K-7500.
    It does a great job of scraping the sides of the trap clean and I usually do this from the outlet side so the water backed up on the house side can wash most of the debris out.

    After that I use a wet vac to empty any remaining debris out of the trap.

    If the Mass Plumbing Code allows removal of the trap I would hire a plumber to do so.
  4. sjson

    sjson New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I agree with HJ. You should try using a wet/dry vacuum. I've tried it on numerous occasions with much success. Good luck!
  5. dripdrip

    dripdrip New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    NE
    Hi Guys, thanks for the replies. I cut it out and replaced it with a Y with a clean-out-- I think it was the right thing to do!

    DD
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Did you check to see if it was allowed?
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