Rather than resurrect a two year dead thread, I thought I would ask my specific questions for my problem here.
My kitchen sink (and also the dishwasher) drains VERY slowly. It is a two basin steel sink with a garbage disposal in the left basin. The dishwasher also connects to the garbage disposal. The bottom of the disposal links up with the drain from the right basin, goes through a J-trap, connects to the vent stack from the roof, then slopes down along the wall into the basement, where it takes a right turn before sloping down to the main drain. All the pipes are PVC.
The other threads all deal with a sink clog that is in the J-trap. Mine is further along than that. (I tested this by pouring hot water down the drain and feeling where the pipe stopped feeling hot.) The clog is at the right turn in the basement. This is about five feet of pipe away from the sink.
Is a plunger likely to work? The clog is so deep and it seems like
the pressure would just force water up the roof vent pipe.
Is there a Drano/Liquid Plummr type liquid that works best on food stuffs? (My suspicion is that the culprit is congealed fat from washing my George Forman catch basin).
Barring that working, how do I remove the elbow in the basement where the clog is at so I can snake it manually? It looks like it is glued in, rather than threaded on.
Is there some reason why calling a plumber is not an option? Right away I can see the possibilities of dumping dirty water all over the basement and breaking the pipe at the elbow so that big ugly repairs are necessary. You could even arrange to break the pipe inside the wall so that you have to rip out the wall to fix it.
If it is grease, hot water and soap might do the trick.
I recently removed a clog that repeated and heavy plunging and Drano didn’t work on by sealing a shop-vac hose to the pipe and letting it rip. You may have a mess to clean out of the shop-vac, but it works pretty damn well in my experience.
What? And risk having to relinquish my certified manhood card? Next you’ll have me asking for directions when I am lost and handing the remote control to my girlfriend. Making a simple problem worse is my genetic privilege.
The main reasons for doing it myself are 1) I feel better about myself when I can do simple repairs, and 2) I am a cheap ass bastard.
It really would be faster and easier to call a plumber, but if you insist that your manhood is in danger…
The beauty of plastic pipe is that it can be cut and spliced. You could cut out a 12" section just before the clog and then snake put the clog. for the repair to the pipe go to the Home Depsot and ask what they have for repair of that sized pipe (probably 1.5" ABS if you are here in the states)(actually go the to the Despot first, before you cut into the pipe Anyway the repair piece will either be a glue in coupling or what is call a no-hub coupling. The no-hub coupling is a rubbler sleeve with a steel covering and two hose clamps that tighten up to seal the affair. Depending on how your pipe runs you might be able to make one cut in the pipe and move the end enough that you can access the clog without removing a full piece of pipe.
Draino and alike are really very bad products for both the enviroment and your hands if you have to go into the system.
As Rick saidm, do not use Draino. It’s bad for the environment and, if used enough, not so great for your pipes either. Also, if the Draino doesn’t work, and you have to get into the plumbing, you have a real mess on your hands.
The best thing to do, manhood card notwithstanding, is to call someone like Roto-rooter. They usually have specials or coupons in the phone book. It’ll cost you less than $50.
There should be a cleanout, as Handy said. You can snake it from there. (PS, get the lighter snake with the round chamber and handle.) Or get a Drain King (might be the same as Water Weenie), it’s a 9" rubber thing that hooks up to a garden hose and pulses water into the drain. Usually works like a champ.
If you might be opening things up, I agree, don’t put Drano type stuff in—but it drains slowly, so you could go right ahead, but then rinse well.
I don’t believe in hot water as I’d expect the fat to congeal further along the pipe where it’s harder to get at.
What a great idea! This really worked on our bathroom sink, and that drain has been slow for 40 years! I took off the trap and connected the shop vac (with proper water-type filter installed) directly to the pipe coming out of the wall. First try didn’t completely do the job, but running the vac while flushing the toilet did the trick - the toiled and sink share a common down pipe, and the shop vac pulled the flushed water back through the sink’s drain. That really cleaned it out. Thanks for this idea!!
For a DIY task, cutting oen the pipe at the basement turn, and then replacing that once the clog is cleared is probably the easiest & cheapest.
When you replace the elbow, use something like this, so it has a clean-out opening right at the elbow. Then in the future, you can just unscrew the plug and access the pipe easily. (Or you could learn from this*, and stop pouring grease down your drain pipes. You should dump that in an aluminum pie plate, and put it outside for the birds to eat.)
I’m a man, but I can change. If I have to. I guess.