Snake runs back and forth from one drain to another

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by crosjn, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. crosjn

    crosjn New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    I'm a DIY guy with a clog / extremely slow bathroom drain - bathroom has just a sink and a tub. The sink backfills into the tub. Neither drains. Pulled the overflow off the tub and tried a snake. It runs over to the bathroom sink. So I pulled the trap on the sink and started the snake there. Runs right back over and up out of the bathtub overflow. I'm guessing someone saved a buck and used a T instead of Wye fitting? But anyone have any recommendation on what to do next?

    The sink drain is PVC. No idea on the tub. Anyone used the water pressure bladder things? I was thinking of sticking one in the sink and one in the tub and turning them on together? But I'm a little leery of pressure in the drain line.

    We're on a septic system so I'm double-reluctant to use drain cleaners. And there's a second bathroom not 6 foot away from this one and it drains fine. It sits slightly further from the septic holding tank.

    Jeff
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Fill the tub with water and use a damp rag to block the overflow while using a plunger on the tub drain with a series or short, quick strokes followed by a few seconds of draining to try to dislodge what is likely a hairball. For me, that is a semi-annual event.
  3. crosjn

    crosjn New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    Given that the sink backs up into the tub - doesn't that mean the clog is downstream of both fixtures? And as such, won't the pressure just run down the line and back out the sink? Oh, but I already disconnected the trap under the sink. I'll try plugging that outlet as well and see what happens. Thanks for the advice!

    Jeff
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes, so you could (at least theoretically) do your plunging at the sink and get the same effect.

    If you use a garden hose and actual pressure, yes, that will likely happen. But with a plunger, that should not matter as much as the tub overflow.

    If you end up trying actual water pressure, that might be a good place to apply it since the tub could contain the overflow and the tub's drain and overflow could be used to help control the pressure.
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,229
    Location:
    IL
    I have used a BrassCraft Drain Bladder for a drain pipe that served a basement washing machine, laundry sink, and a kitchen sink above. To get good access, I cut a section out of the copper down pipe about 5 feet above the basement floor. I fed the bladder on a garden hose down as far as I could, which I think got it down to basement floor level or below. That put it below the entry from the laundry sink and washer. I closed the drain pipe opening with the sawn-out piece of pipe and a pair of Fernco couplings. The bladder was effective. I did it a second time a few years later.

    Those things blow a small jet of water forward which would be more effective, I think, if you could get it closer to your blockage.

    I don't know how you would stick one of those bladders into a tub.
  6. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Arizona
    Is this resolved? If it is possible to get on your roof and stuff a wet rag in the vent pipe over this bathroom you might be able to remove the drain from under the sink and cap it off. Then stuff another wet rag into the overflow on your tub and then take a wet vac and just suck the stoppage out. More than likely it is a hairball.
    My Father in laws kitchen sink was backing up just a few days ago. I told him I wanted a ladder to get on the roof to plug off the vent and he could not understand after I explained this to him. After very few pulls of the plunger it was draining like new again. He was pretty impressed that he did not have to take the drain apart and run a cable in to clear the stoppage. If you have a two story house or a tile roof you might not want to try this.
  7. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Professional plumbers and drain people know this and that is why in
    the south we go up on the roof to run our power snakes down though
    these vents on back to back drains to clear a blockadge
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