Impossible clog! Kitchen Sink, Wash Machine, Dishwasher!

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by sleiber, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    When we run the water in the sink, it takes a minute to go down. When we run the dishwasher, we occassionally see debris in the bottom near the drain, and when we use the wash machine it gurgles and spits out quite a bit of water before the drain lets the water run through. It has been impossible trying to loosen this clog. We've tried everything short of snaking it. We've run a blow bag down the drains and used just about every kind of chemical from liquid plumber to a drain cleaner that was so strong we had to put petroleum jelly around the drain opening so that it wouldn't do any damage to the stainless steel sink! A couple of people have told me that I should go to the cleanout under the house and run a snake up it. Does anyone have ANY other suggestions?
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    That you have a seriously clogged drain is to state the obvious. By your description, it would appear the clog is major and fairly deep into the drain system. What is needed is a plumber with a "real" snake that is not only long enough but with a large enough cutting end to clear the clog. This is not a DIY project. The industrial sized auger requires skill to operate and in the hands of a novice can be literally deadly. Most of the pros advise avoiding the companies with "Rooter" in their name.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,047
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    It appears you have tried everything EXCEPT what you really need and that is a plumber with the proper snake to clear the drain. What you have tried so far, could have made the situation worse.
  4. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    My dad actually works for the plumbing department at a local county school district. I'm sure he can get what we need and help with the job. I was afraid that we would need an auger for this...
  5. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    He was the one who brought in the blow bag. We tried that and it seemed to help temporarily, but started backing up again pretty quick. I think it may have just been pushed farther in. What might we have done to make the situation worse, hj?
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Both HJ and I have answered that question already. You seem bound to avoid calling a professional with professional equipment, but that is what you will eventually have to do.
  7. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    Nobody answered my question of what I did that could have made it worse..

    I do have to wonder why you're still trying so hard to get me to call in a local company when my dad has 10+ years plumbing experience in the job he is in now (mentioned above). :confused: He has already said we would probably have to use a snake. We are in a mobile home so, would it really be so difficult to go under the house with a 25-50 ft snake and pull it out of a cleanout? I just didn't want to go through all of that hassle if I didn't have to. Why are you so set on me spending rediculous sums of money to a local plumbing company when I have a plumber in the family?
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  8. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Wow...

    How did this turn into a 'woe is me' sob story?
  9. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    :confused: How is it a 'woe is me' sob story? I'm only asking for advice on how to fix it myself without having to snake it. I never asked anyone to feel sorry for me. I only asked for advice. Is this not a DIY forum?
  10. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    PLEASE lock this thread!

    Anyway, I got my response. It will have to be snaked. It's not like plumbing in a mobile home is rocket science, anyway. I no longer care about the question of how I might have made this worse, since I'm not getting much cooperation aside from "Call a professional plumber" (which I did... I called my dad), and the one that got under my skin a little: "How did this turn into a 'woe is me' sob story?" Please lock this thread before there are anymore asinine comments added like that last one. I'm through here.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,047
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    worse

    The chemicals, if strong enough could have damaged the piping. The blow bag could have "pressed" the stoppage to make it denser. For starters.
  12. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    Thank you hj. I was hoping for a response from you since I wasn't seeming to get answers from anyone else, otherwise I would've given up this thread completely and went on my way. I was afraid of the chemicals damaging the piping when I picked them up, but of course they always claim to be safe to use on whatever piping you have. I never thought about the blow bag making the problem worse, though...
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Blow bags improperly applied can often make messes...

    Sounds like its snake time!
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,047
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    chemicals

    IF the chemicals could damage your stainless steel sink, which is very durable, they could definitely damage common metals, and some plastics. With plastic, some chemicals create heat in the pipe and that could soften the plastic lines.
  15. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,260
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    For some reason people seem to be afraid of the sewer snake. A snake is the first tool that should be used.
    Drain cleaning chemicals are a waste of time and money, not to mention that they can be dangerous.
  16. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    I've heard that you can use salt brine down your drains monthly for maintenance. I tried to google salt brine and only came up with recipes for brining poultry. What is salt brine? Are there any other things you can do for maintenance other than chemicals? I've only used them in the past for lack of knowing what else I might be able to use. I know bleach helps with some very minor clogs.

    That's what I was thinking when I read that on the back of the package, but I was desperate :(
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  17. ChuckS

    ChuckS New Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    Yep, cleaning a drain is one of few jobs where duct tape isn't useful.
  18. sleiber

    sleiber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    L.O.L. :eek::eek:
  19. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I sometimes use Bio-Clean for drains to keep the pipes clean.

    [​IMG]


    But first, it's a good idea to snake the lines, and then maintain with Bio-Clean.

    I'm not a fan of chemicals.
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,047
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    brine

    Salt water may be good to "preserve" whatever is in the drain, and vinegar with baking soda makes a good volcano, but neither does ANYTHING to clear a drain.
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