I have a BIG problem...

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by OcnarfEd6, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. OcnarfEd6

    OcnarfEd6 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    New York
    So it's been snowing, roads are iced over. Below freezing temps everyday. This morning i woke up and my toilet was clogged. Now none of the kids are admitting to as of whether or not they clogged it because they think that they are going to get in trouble. But my toilet will not flush. My kitchen sink will not drain. When i plunge the toilet, i hear gurgling coming from the drain in the bathtub, which is right next to it. I went to home depot, bought some acidic stuff for my toilet which says it will break up and dissolve anything in its path. Also bought that foaming Drain o stuff for the kitchen sink. ..So i wait 15 minutes, flush the toilet after adding stuff. Still doesn't go down. But now im blessed with this wonderful bubbly-ness coming from the base of the toilet which seems to be eating away the grout where the toilet meets the tile. Now the reason i was talking about the extremely cold weather was: Do you htink my main water line could have burst? Or whats happening to me right now bc i cannt afford $4,00 to replace that right now :confused:
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You fell for the advertising BS about chemical drain cleaners. They don't work and, as you have described, they create a hazard for the plumber you will still have to call. Your drain needs a profession with profession equipment to clear the clog. Plunging won't clear a drain clog, only a clogged toilet. Don't jump to quick conclusions about replacing your drain. Get on the phone and get a plumber ASAP, but avoid companies with "Rooter" or "Roto" in their name.
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I have to agree with Gary. Drain cleaners are more likely to do harm than good.

    You need a pro to snake out the main line, which should not cost an arm or a leg.
  4. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    I had the people from Ro tor Ro oter here to snake the basement drain years ago, about 15 years ago, they probably in all honesty, was the best people I ever had come through here. The drain problem never came back, and I was charged a very fair charge. As with any and all companies just check them out first.
  5. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Since your kitchen sink won't drain either, you may be able to clear the clog yourself. Look under the sink and you will see the drain line going down and back up like a sideways "P". That line will connect to a vertical pipe in the wall behind the sink (call it the waste drain pipe - WDP). Is there a fitting with a large square nut looking thing on the WDP just above where the line from your sink connects to it? If so, that is a clean out fitting.

    If you have a cleanout fitting and want to try clearing the clog yourself, go to a hardware store and buy a 25 foot snake and a pair of rubber gloves. A 25' snake will probably cost less than $15. Lay a blue tarp on your floor to protect it from getting soiled when you pull the snake out. When the water drains somewhat, carefully unscrew the square nut to access the inside of the pipe. Feed the snake down the pipe while a helper spins the snake clockwise using the supplied handle at the free end of the snake. If your clog is within 25 feet, you can clear the clog.

    If you think you cleared the clog, turn the sink faucet on VERY low flow and see if the water drains. If the clog still exists, the water will start spilling out of the clean out so have a pan there to catch the water and rags to wipe the water. If the clog is cleared, run hot water down the drain while the snake is still in the line to clean the snake. As you pull the snake out, have your helper spin the snake to help clear the sludge on the pipe walls while the hot water is running down the drain. As you pull the snake out, it should be fairly clean so just wipe it with a rag as it is being pulled out.

    Keep the snake for future clogs which you will almost surely have since you have this clog. If you have problems pulling the snake back out, have your helper spin the snake counter-clockwise while you pull the snake out. Since you put harsh chemicals down your drain already, be SURE to buy some rubber gloves to wear while you're snaking your line. If the clog is more than 25' away, you could try a 50' snake (MUCH more difficult to handle) but probably call a plumber. If you're unsuccessful, you're only out a few bucks and had a lot of fun... ;)

    EDIT: Yes, do wear safety goggles like the other posters suggested.

    Need more help snaking your line, ask.
    HRG
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  6. ilya

    ilya In the Trades

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Akron Ohio
    In addition to heavyduty rubber gloves, ALWAYS wear safety glasses-or better yet, goggles, since you have drain cleaner in there. If it smells like rotten eggs it's sulfuric acid. It has worked for me in tub and lav drains but I would never put it in a toilet.
  7. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    The blockage is in the main line 3" or 4" pipe, using a small hand auger is not the solution to your problem. The drain cleaners will irritate your skin but could cause serious damage to your eyes or the plumbers that you should call.
  8. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    This has to be some of the worst advice you could give to a DIY. He has a main line stoppage and a small hand snake will do nothing but get him in trouble. As others have advised call a plumber. Some jobs are not for a DIY this is one of them.

    John
  9. 6t7gto

    6t7gto DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Bedford, Ohio
    Check with city.
    some will clear the main drain for you.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; go to a hardware store and buy a 25 foot snake and a pair of rubber gloves. A 25' snake will probably cost less than $15. Lay a blue tarp on your floor to protect it from getting soiled when you pull the snake out.

    Where did YOU learn to do plumbing and drain cleaning. There is NO $!5.00 snake that will clear a main line, which is where his problem is, and a 15' snake would also be to short for any but the most modest stoppages, (you use almost 6' just getting into the wall and then down to the floor level, before you even start heading towards the stoppage). In addition, ANY cleanout at a sink is going to be too small and far away to have any effect on removing the problem. Just go back to surfing.
  11. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Jerome2877, Johnjh2o1 and hj,

    I respect all of your comments. You all are infinitely more knowledgeable than me regarding plumbing and I'm sure that you are right.

    My only defense is that I've cleared clogs in 2 homes (parents and ours multiple times) using a 50' snake cut down to 40'. In one instance, both back-to-back bath rooms in our home became clogged. There's a cleanout right outside of the concrete slab and I was able to pull out a kid's BVDs that was clogging the toilets, tubs and sinks (the tip of the snake wire snagged the BVDs). That line slopes down from the bathrooms toward the front of our home and connects to a vertical pipe that drops very deep into the ground. Not sure if that line from the bathrooms is considered a main line or not, though it does service toilets, tubs and sinks. In consolation, the procedure I posted can at least be used for non mainline clogs anyway and does work very well when it works.

    Though I don't go surfing, I will indeed stop posting attempted plumbing help here and only questions if I have any. Sorry for any confusion and to the OP, please disregard my post,
    HRG
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is okay to post plumbing help for situations you are familiar with.
  13. kevinjp

    kevinjp New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    ct
    duh

    Where did YOU learn plumbing. He started talking about snow, ice, and gurgling and you didn't say anything about the vent at the roof. SMH. You're a pro.
  14. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    Maine
    Kevin buddy, those posts are three years old. :D
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Where did YOU learn plumbing. He started talking about snow, ice, and gurgling and you didn't say anything about the vent at the roof

    When I moved to Phoenix ,the local union accepted my Chicago card as a "travel member", but moved heaven and earth to prevent me from transferring my membership to them, (which is another story. They even hired the biggest law firm in the state to try to find a way to make me "go home"). One of the other members asked why they didn't want Chicago plumbers in the hall, and he was told, "Because they all think they are the best plumbers in the country", to which he replied, "But, they ARE". So THAT is where I learned plumbing, and I also learned that the "vent at the roof", has nothing to do with not draining, UNLESS the line is also plugged, (and that is the REAL problem).
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