please help diagnose clogged drain??

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by bharris, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. bharris

    bharris New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Just looking for some online help before I call a professional... We have a double sink, with garburator and dishwasher. About three days ago the problem started with some sort of blockage and water was backing up into both sinks. After holding the one sink closed and running the garburator on the other side I can drain all the water but the couple inches that would come back up after I releases the plug. I have done the snake (several times, and got a bit of crud out )with a drill attached for turning force and got the snake its full distance out, I have used a 1/4 bottle of some draino (over several attempts) while following the directions and running the garburator and letting it sit overnight, I have filled up both sinks with hot water and drained (overflowing coming up out of both sinks when I tried the garburator), and I have plunged! Not sure if this is some other clue (our area is in the middle of a big rain/wet snow system and there is lots of water coming down on our roof/gutters)... when I am holding the one sink closed and forcing water down with the garburator there is a flood of water coming over the gutters right outside the kitchen window, the kitchen vent? is right up there. I am also running the dishwasher ok but watching the overflow coming up the sink. Any ideas before I give up?

    thanks a bunch,nicole
  2. JeffH

    JeffH New Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    California
    A little help

    Take the trap off the drain line(s), put a bucket under the open down tube(s), turn on the faucet and see if water flows freely. If it does then the problem is further down the line. Many small snakes (augers) will poke a hole in the clog without actually removing it. When the snake is removed the "hole" clogs up again. Either get a stronger snake or call a plumber/drain cleaner with the proper equipment to do the job correctly.

    Also, concerning a plunger. Does the dishwasher connect to the disposal? If so, use some locking pliers to "pinch" off the connecting hose, along with closing off one side of the sink. Without pinching off the connector, your allowing water to be forced into the hose towards the air gap and NOT the drain pipe.
  3. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    If water is going out the vent on the roof then the clog is past the tee where the trap conntect. You need a larger and longer snake run down the vent to get to it. Another possiblity is to get a hose pipe attachment baloon which you can shove down the vent pipe past the tee.....unless you can work it around the tee of the trap. This will blow out the clog enough to make the drain usable... I doubt it will clean the pipe as a permanent solution. Most kitchen sink clogs I've removed are from solidified grease poured down the sink...especially in cold weather. Once you get the drain working then just running HOT water will disolve the remaining grease.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2007
  4. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    Do it right the first time and next time it will be very easy to clean

    Your drain needs to be cleaned all the way to the main drain.

    My suggestion would be to install a wye on the drain line right under the sink and put an 11/2" plug in its branch to be used as a clean out. Put the drain back together and run a Good snake down that drain while there is water still backed up. Once the water goes down you can start running hot water and pull your snake back. You wont have much of a mess to clean up afterwards either.
  5. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    I wish every sink had a separate clean out like that so I don't have to pull the p-trap to clean it out! Almost ALL of those tees are short ones and virtually impossible to get a hosepipe or large snake around the bend....excellent reason for the 45's or extra long sweeps.
  6. bharris

    bharris New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Thanks for the feedback. My day has turned into a quest to get this fixed so we’ll see how it goes… I have taken off the trap/pipes that connect the two sinks/garburator and they are clear. I also pinched off the garb pipe and plunged my arms out. Still not budging. I snaked and thought I got through a few hard spots but still nothing.

    Randyj: are you saying I should run the snake from the roof and down the vent? The hose pipe attachment balloon sounds a bit out of my comfort zone… especially since I have a house full of kids and I am not taking a trip to the ********* to get any fix-its.

    Plumber1: I will get my husband to pick up ‘wye on the drain line right under the sink and put an 11/2" plug in its branch to be used as a clean out.’ on his way home later, and the pipe balloon.

    Now we are a household with the philosophy, if a professional can do the job in a fraction of the time/effort it takes us to do it, then I will call my plumber guy. Does this sound like a job too big for the average DIY homeowner? –thanks again, nicole
  7. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    The job is not too big for you but the pro will have it done a lot faster and with less frustration.
    You will probably not have a large enough snake head either...
    If your husband can do it, more power to him but, I think a pro would be the way to go for the cleanout installation....
  8. bharris

    bharris New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I just had my son go outside to check the vent pipe and when I was forcing water out the sink while using the garb and the water came shooting out 'like a volcano'. As a 9 yr old kid, he thought that was pretty cool. So what does this mean exactaly?? where would the blockage be? - n
  9. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    bharris...........It was suggested that you clean the drain all the way to the main drain.
    Reread the posts...........

    Randyj..I did strictly service work and had the same customers for 25 years and believe in doing the clean out thing, saved from making a mess and saved my customers money.
  10. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    P1... certainly sounds like a good idea. Seems like most of my customers just want to know how fast I can get it done and how cheap! I can only imagine them being willing to add an extra $100 to their tab...but I will start suggesting the add-on "for their convenience".... thanks for the idea.

    BRAIN DED! Can't remember the name of the baloon hickey that goes on the end of the hose pipe.... I know some guys who say "bagging the pipe" when they use a similar tool ....
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