Kitchen sink slow drain

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Bucknut

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We have a slow draining kitchen sink (first occurrence in the 37 years we've lived in the house). Everything else in the house drains fine.

We've tried the following:

1. Snaked the line with a 1/4" electric driven snake to 25 feet (general purpose tool on the end).

2. Snaked roof vent pipe with above snake, also to 25 feet.

3. Determined that 5 quarts of water will back up the sink. Which through calculations places the clog about 4 feet downstream from where the drain line enters the wall below the sink.

4. Rented a 1/2" 50 ft Electric Eel Model K snake with manual rotating drum. Using the u-shaped finishing/grease tool we snaked several feet past the calculated clog point. It now takes 6 quarts of water to back up the sink. And drains very slowly, much slower.

Thanks, in advance, for your help.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Its likely clogged with grease and punching the snake through opens it, but then the grease closes in on itself again. Are you able to run water while snaking it?

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Bucknut

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Its likely clogged with grease and punching the snake through opens it, but then the grease closes in on itself again. Are you able to run water while snaking it?
Unfortunately, we wouldn't be able to run water while snaking the line.

Note: When we pulled out the Electric Eel snake, the u-shaped tool on the end had black sludge/bacteria on it. (We snaked the line twice with the Eel.)

Thanks for the reply TR.
 

Reach4

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Unfortunately, we wouldn't be able to run water while snaking the line.
How about keeping the kitchen sink full of water while you snake thru the roof vent? I would not like to be on the roof snaking, but you already did it once.

A clogged vent does not make a drain slow, but it could give access to the clog while you run water.

Maybe it is time to bring in a drain cleaning specialist.
 

SteveW

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I learned about Bio-Clean from Terry a number of years ago and have had good luck with it. Takes a few days but often does a nice job with slow drains.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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I learned about Bio-Clean from Terry a number of years ago and have had good luck with it. Takes a few days but often does a nice job with slow drains.
I've only used it as a drain maintainer. Did it work to clear a drain for you?
 

Bucknut

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How about keeping the kitchen sink full of water while you snake thru the roof vent? I would not like to be on the roof snaking, but you already did it once.

A clogged vent does not make a drain slow, but it could give access to the clog while you run water.

Maybe it is time to bring in a drain cleaning specialist.
That's a great idea, Reach4!

However, I no longer have the 1/2" Eel snake, with the u-shaped finishing tool. (Also, the unit is probably too heavy for me to put on the roof.)

Based on your experience, do you think the 1/4" electric driven snake with the general purpose tool on the end would be sufficient in size to do the job?

Thanks for your input.
 

Reach4

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I am not a pro. My experience is very limited.

I have cleared the drain under a kitchen by slicing out a section of vertical drain pipe, and putting a medium drain bladder into that new hole. Then use flex couplings to restore the piece. I have also used a Ridgid PowerSpin Plus 1/4 inch snake. I powered it with a drill.

Because I was able to run the snake thru the 1-1/4 inch lavatory trap, and it went down as hoped, I was able to run water. In the lavatory drain situation, I believe the blockage was hair, and not food/grease.


If your vent is a straight shot, maybe you could feed in a drain bladder, on a hose, below the sanitary tee. You would want a spotter indoors to watch for the sink bowl getting full, so you don't overflow.

But really, if you are going to have to do this every 25 years, maybe hire it out. I know that you are feeling invested in this, but maybe look at it as that was you doing your due diligence before bringing in the pro.
 

Bucknut

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I am not a pro. My experience is very limited.

I have cleared the drain under a kitchen by slicing out a section of vertical drain pipe, and putting a medium drain bladder into that new hole. Then use flex couplings to restore the piece. I have also used a Ridgid PowerSpin Plus 1/4 inch snake. I powered it with a drill.

Because I was able to run the snake thru the 1-1/4 inch lavatory trap, and it went down as hoped, I was able to run water. In the lavatory drain situation, I believe the blockage was hair, and not food/grease.


If your vent is a straight shot, maybe you could feed in a drain bladder, on a hose, below the sanitary tee. You would want a spotter indoors to watch for the sink bowl getting full, so you don't overflow.

But really, if you are going to have to do this every 25 years, maybe hire it out. I know that you are feeling invested in this, but maybe look at it as that was you doing your due diligence before bringing in the pro.
Unfortunately, the vent is not a straight shot, so I won't be able to use the drain bladder approach.

Thank you, Reach4, for your time and effort in submitting your response.
 

SteveW

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I've only used it as a drain maintainer. Did it work to clear a drain for you?
Yes, it can definitely clear a drain, as long as there is at least some flow. It won't open a completely blocked drain, but if there is even a little bit of flow, it can open it further over a couple days of applying it.

Were I the OP, I would give Bio-Clean a try.
 

Terry

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I've lived in this home for 17 years and with my occasional use of Bio-Clean have never had to snake the kitchen sink.
It eats the grease and converts it to carbon dioxide. Strange sounding, but it works.

I've let the drain get slow at times, but then I hit it with Bio-Clean for a few days.
I also make sure to replace my disposer every ten years. An old disposer quits "chipping" the food matter and it can allow long strips out which easily clog the drain at the baffle tee.
My disposer now is the Insinkerator LT880, super quiet, auto reverse and lot's of stainless steel in it's makeup.
 
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Tuttles Revenge

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I've been selling Bio Clean for years, and have used it on my own sinks, but I've never used it to clear a drain. But I can see that if there is room for it to work its way through the center of a clog, over time it would consume the gunk.
 

Bucknut

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Yes, it can definitely clear a drain, as long as there is at least some flow. It won't open a completely blocked drain, but if there is even a little bit of flow, it can open it further over a couple days of applying it.

Were I the OP, I would give Bio-Clean a try.
I'll look into Bio-Clean. Thanks everyone.
 

Bucknut

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That's a great idea, Reach4!

However, I no longer have the 1/2" Eel snake, with the u-shaped finishing tool. (Also, the unit is probably too heavy for me to put on the roof.)

Based on your experience, do you think the 1/4" electric driven snake with the general purpose tool on the end would be sufficient in size to do the job?

Thanks for your input.

Steve W, Terry, Tuttles Revenge et al,

Please provide your thoughts on whether snaking through the roof vent using the 1/4" electric driven snake with the general purpose tool on the end would be large enough to clear the "gunk."

Thanks.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Pretty much any snake going through a soft blockage will only provide a temporary relief. It punches a hole through but doesn't clear it out completely from my limited experience. The hole punched through is where a bioclean would be able to get to and sit and work to consume the waste. But it takes time.

We just purchased a small electric powered jetter for kitchen drains which actually cleans the pipe by breaking up and forcing the water and waste down the drain.
 

Bucknut

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How about keeping the kitchen sink full of water while you snake thru the roof vent? I would not like to be on the roof snaking, but you already did it once.

A clogged vent does not make a drain slow, but it could give access to the clog while you run water.

Maybe it is time to bring in a drain cleaning specialist.

Can someone please tell me how to find a "drain cleaning specialist" versus the much more expensive plumber? Thanks.
 

Terry

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Can someone please tell me how to find a "drain cleaning specialist" versus the much more expensive plumber? Thanks.
That's always a tough one. Most plumbers don't even have the equipment for it. You want to find an outfit that specializes in that. The have the equipment and the skill for it. You might want to carefully check the reviews carefully.
Paying more doesn't mean they are better at it. The fellow I use in the Seattle area I would kid that he didn't charge my friends enough. He was a life saver on my mothers place.

Home added onto in 1962 and it had settled over the years, causing issues.
I don't normally do work outside of the foundation, but this was for my mother, 98 years old at the time and living at home.

sewer-10431-01.jpg


I made this video for him.

 

Reach4

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Can someone please tell me how to find a "drain cleaning specialist" versus the much more expensive plumber? Thanks.
Cincinnati, Xenia, or where?

I would go to Yelp, enter your area, and put drain cleaning into the box that says what you are looking for.
 

TonyaGilmore

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Although I've used Bio-Clean on my own sinks for years, I've never used it to clear a drain. However, I can see how it would eventually consume the gunk if there is space for it to pass through the centre of a clog.
 

Bucknut

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Cincinnati, Xenia, or where?

I would go to Yelp, enter your area, and put drain cleaning into the box that says what you are looking for.
I live in the Dayton, Ohio area. I'm considering the following two drain cleaning specialists: Dayton Sewer and Drain (daytondrain.com), and Libecap Sewer and Drain Cleaning (libecapseweranddrainohio.com).

Does anyone have any thoughts about either or both of these two companies?

Also, am I correct in requiring that a chosen drain cleaning specialist be licensed, bonded, and insured?

Thanks
 
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