Snake problem

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by sctclimbs, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. sctclimbs

    sctclimbs New Member

    So I spent about 3 hours over at one of my rental properties trying to clean out a completely plugged tub drain. Ran the snake down the drain and it came up the overflow pipe, went down the overflow and it came up the drain, just couldnt get it to go where it was supposed to. In the process though I did pull out one of the caps to the shower faucets, but surprisingly that wasnt causing the blockage. I poured a bunch of chemicals down there and at some point established a slow partial flow.

    There was no grate over the drain and there are small kids in the house. My concern is that there are more foreign objects down there of the hard plastic type and maybe that is preventing me from getting the snake to the right spot and that the chemicals just dissolved hair that might be caught on that foreign body. There isnt an access panel to get at the drain to take it apart and I'd rather not start cutting drywall. Any thoughts? If it isnt a foreign object, is there some trick to getting the snake to go the right way?
  2. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    There is but without knowing the equipment being used it's hard to go any further. The chemicals were a bad choice. If an actual plumber is called in advise him/her of the chemicals used. The obstruction could be blocking the snake and only allowing it the two paths you've posted.
  3. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    cutting drywall isn't so bad. It cuts fast and you and you can get inexpensive "access doors" that fit in the hole you cut (if you measure first) and make it all nice and pretty with very little effort.

    You're going to need to get in there to fix someting someday anyway and having an access door will save cutting drywall later.

    I'd cut the drywall and open the trap.

    I'd also get an security screw (in stainless) that can't be removed with a standard screwdriver for the drain strainer.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    IF your snake was small enough to go into the drain in the tub bottom, it was probably too small to do a good job even if you could get it to go in the right direction. The overlow is the place to snake from, but either you have a very bad snake or there is something preventing the snake from going down the pipe, because it would normally be impossible to even force the snake to turn into the side pipe and come up into the drain. You probably have something like a small rubber ball lodged in the overflow tee.
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    I would give a shot at it to a pro before tearing the place apart.
    Almost every drain I do has defied the attempts of a drain cleaning amateur.

    That also includes plumbing companies that dabble in drain cleaning...
    The ones that come out with a hand snake, can't get through then pour in some acid and collect the bill. I charge only when you see results, and see them you will!
  6. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Chicago, IL
    I have ran into many of these, where a toy or a shampoo cap has gotten into the drain. 9 times out of 10 I was able to hook the cap with my rodder. The other times I used an item called a RoPump Put a wet rag in the overflow pipe, and use the RoPump to suck out the blockage. If that does not get it then I try a Kinetic water ram, and if that fails then I open up the dry wall and take apart the pipes.

  7. I know a guy who hooked a flexible tube from his exhaust pipe to his car and cleared a drain out this way.

    It was like $30 for the hose and he had his wife rev the motor up right when he was ready to clear the clog.
  8. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    hehe Kinda scary that he bought enough hose to reach from his exhaust to the living quarters. Enough to reach the bedroom¿ :eek:
  9. Jay Mpls

    Jay Mpls Master plumber

    I call shenanigans on this!
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    You didn't tell us he also used heat to sanitize the toilet at the same time...
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