Need A Bit Of Sink Help...

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by sheellah, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. sheellah

    sheellah New Member

    Messages:
    16
    OK, still trying to fix my clogged sink. I got brave and removed the trap. The water drained fine into a bucket. Snaked it anyway up to the sink. The trap was clear. I realize I have a sewer snake instead of the crank kind, but I tried to snake the pipe that went into the wall. Was able to thread about 16-18 inches I think, and it won't go any further. Did a lot of in and out motion the best I could and put it back together and it's just as clogged as before. Is there anything else I could do before I get someone to fix it?

    Would the crank type of snake help? Something small from my vanity top must have fallen down there when I took out the stopper to make it drain faster. I would think though it would have gotten caught in the trap. The water also bubbles up out of the drain when it's going down.

    Any ideas would be most welcome...and no, I'm not trying to take away your jobs ;-)! Promise....LOL! Thanks!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  2. Master Plumber 101

    Master Plumber 101 In the Trades

    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I would recommend keeping trap on and let water stand in sink, auger thru opening in sink that way when you hit blockage you know the drain is open. If you take the trap off you don't know if you hit the blockage. For know it sounds like you are using a hand snake, if that is the case bend the tip of the snake to about a 45 degree angle, this will help you make the bend's and clear the pipe's as well. If you have older plumbing,problem's with improper drainage fitting's could play a role in having trouble unclogging sink.
  3. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    A lot of times, when you leave the trap on and go through the drain hole, the sink will very suddenly empty. That's cause you punched a hole through the bottom of the trap.
  4. Wrex

    Wrex New Member

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I usually use a manual crank hand snake I needed to use it alot when my bathroom pipes were still galvanized.

    Thanks to my new friend PVC that is all in the past :).

    However when I did need to snake often I found it helpful to remove the cleanout from the trap and snake from there. That is if you have a cleanout on your trap that is.

    If you are simply pushing a snake down the pipe (I used to have one of these they were quite useless to me) than all you will be doing is pushing the clog further down the line or maybe if your lucky putting a little hole in it.

    In order to pull a clog out the snake must rotate that way its corkscrew head acts like a screw going into wood piercing the clog and entangling it so you can pull it out or it simply breaks the clog up into little pieces so that it will well go down the drain.

    Even though a hand snake can produce acceptable results it can't compare to the job done by a professional motor driven auger.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  5. sheellah

    sheellah New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks guys! OK, was able to get the snake down the sink but it didn't help much. I did pull out a large mat of hair wrapped around a small brush that had fallen down there, and I thought that it was the end of my problem but it's not ;-(. Drains even slower now...darn. Now my bathtub seems clogged too where it wasn't earlier. Could they be connected in an apartment house? How far are you supposed to be able to get a snake into the line that comes from the wall?

    I have a ********* around the corner. I can get a crank snake there, and return it if it doesn't work they said. After that I give up. I would call someone from my building but my apartment's a mess ;-). Might have to anyway. Thanks again. Really appreciate you guys trying to help ;-).
  6. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    hand augers are all but useless. What you probably have is years of hair and goop down the main line that will need a spade auger at the very least to clear.
  7. Wrex

    Wrex New Member

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    New Jersey
    It is possible you may have pushed the clog further down the line or it may be a much larger clog than you thought.

    When I finally removed my galvanized pipe and cut it in two what I saw inside was shocking to me there was a tiny hole the diameter of the snake.

    Thats when I realized that while it got the sink running again it still was just making a little hole in a sea of muck.

    If that is your situation then calling a plumber in with a motorized auger will chew that clog up for you ;).
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  8. Master Plumber 101

    Master Plumber 101 In the Trades

    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Yes, it is a chance you take when you leave the trap on, punturing it. If that is the case the trap should have been replaced anyhow.Hand snake's are only useless to people who don't know how to use them. I use them most of the time for drain's 2" and under. They work great.
  9. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Okie Dokie guess I'll sekk the K60.:mad:
  10. Master Plumber 101

    Master Plumber 101 In the Trades

    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I prefer the k-50 if I'm gonna use a machine. I never used a machine on a lav or bath. Only on a K.S. That's in a case where lettuce and everything under the sun was put down the drain.:p
  11. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Imagine that;)
  12. sheellah

    sheellah New Member

    Messages:
    16
    OK, got a rotating snake, and figured out how to use it. It's hard working in a tight, cramped space trying to thread that into the pipe, hold the handle, and turn it at the same time. In hindsight, I think it would have been easier to clean my apartment ;-). Anyway, all I was able to pull out was a bit of hair. Either there's something solid clogging it, or it turns there, and I'm not able to get the snake in.

    My tub is weird too. One day it's fine, and the next time I go to use it drains very slowly with nothing haven fallen down the drain. Can the tub drain be snaked too? Can't seem to get it down there. It's a 40+ yo building. My trap was recently changed, but I don't know if they cleaned the waste line too at that time. It uses one of those long, old, hinged stoppers you have to put down the drain at just the right angle.

    What I don't understand is how that stretched out little springy thing on the end could grab something small and solid like a small mosaic tile, or lipstick top that might have fallen down there. It would have been so nice to pull out nice fat mass of hair, and have the water go down, but no such luck. It it is something solid like that that fell down there, how would it be removed? I will try again later or tomorrow. I'm beat. I have a lot more respect for you guys after this. It's hard work.

    Thanks again for your help!
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    How much time, energy, and money are you going to put into the DIY drain cleaning before you decide you do not have the experience or equipment to do it?
  14. sheellah

    sheellah New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Well, if I would have known that from the beginning, I wouldn't have attempted it ;-). I thought I would just have to unscrew the trap and that was it. I'm about ready to wave the white flag. My little foray into plumbing is just about over, but I do hate to admit defeat. Not my nature. Hey, you can't blame a gal for trying ;-).
  15. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Undoubtly, some will :D
  16. sheellah

    sheellah New Member

    Messages:
    16
    I'm going to try one more thing. Get a decent plunger instead of this $4.99 toy. The most encouragement I've had all day was after plunging vigorously it started going down like gangbusters, but then stopped in a few seconds. I got so excited, but then...huh? It just stopped!? Heck, if it doesn't work it sure is great exercise. Gets that heart rate up. Aerobic plunging. Look at all the calories I can burn! Maybe a coast hanger would work in there? Hell, I'm not giving up yet...LOL! Must be the 1/4 Polish in me ;-).

    I also just realized your not supposed to put the snake down the actual tub drain, but down the overflow. No wonder it wouldn't go. I can hear you all laughing from here...
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    That is one of the reasons why I remove the trap to snake a line...:cool:
    Messes cause damage and consume time. Both of which can affect reputation and profit.

    Really sheellah,
    You do need a plumber!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  18. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I always remove the trap. It takes a couple seconds at best and makes inserting the snake that much easier than winding down through 3 additional bends. Besides that if the trap arm dumps into a san tee I can steer the cable either down or up if I want. What can possibly be saved by keeping the trap in place, 5 minutes? I also think that hand snakes are a waste of money. They don't have the cable size, versitility or cable length to be of much real use at all. If you get good results with one then bless you, you have figured out something that the rest of us have not. Even after 36 years of cleaning drains.
  19. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I don't think he can figure out anything yet!
    Evene when he is slapped upside the head with it!
  20. Master Plumber 101

    Master Plumber 101 In the Trades

    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    You were turned upside down and slaped one to many time's on the a** as a baby it is clear.
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