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Dennis
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-26
Algonquin, IL
kudos:5

2 edits

Clogged kitchen drain, drain snake not permanently fixing...

Background: House built in 1989, drain is 2 1/2" pvc, drops to unfinished basement and runs 23' to other side where it drops down to main sewer.

Starting with a few years ago the line started backing up once every 6 months. I bought a 25' hand drain snake which seemed to help for a bit but then I upgraded to Rigid self feeding snake I can hook up to a drill. Even with that setup I'm not making and permanent head way.

I suspect that the pipe is just clogged up with grease/junk/i don't wanna know after the last 30 years and from the previous owners. The way I see it the line needs to be jetted because all I'm doing it poking a tiny 1/2" and it's getting re-plugged a few days later.

So my thoughts are either buy a jetter attachment for my gas pressure washer Clog Hog or pay a plumber to do it although I don't know what the estimated cost would be. Anybody here ever had to pay for that before?

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robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

Clog Hog -- It works great and well worth the money. If fact, I now consider this a must have attachment if you own a decent pressure washer. Get the 100' one and I would go ahead and get the maintenance kit or whatever it is called. It's hard to clean if the jets get clogged without the proper tool.

»www.cloghog.com/

Company is based here in my area of Texas. It appears to be well made of quality materials. Had mine for 6 months or more and have used it at a few houses. It's now standard procedure for me to jet the lines when one of my rent houses becomes vacant.



Hawk
Riding Thermals
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The Desert
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1 edit
reply to Dennis

said by Dennis:

Anybody here ever had to pay for that before?7

Jet - $150+88 per hour (no travel)
Mini Jet - $120 per hour (no travel)

Our mini jetter probably equals the "Clog Hog" depending on the heads included. It's more for 1-1/2" & 2" ABS lines I think. Never used it myself.


whocares

@charter.com
reply to Dennis

After you snake it, run some really hot water down the drain. Several sink bowls full. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to heat some pots of water on the stove. Otherwise, the tiny snake hole will just fill back up with grease.



Dennis
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-26
Algonquin, IL
kudos:5

said by whocares :

After you snake it, run some really hot water down the drain. Several sink bowls full. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to heat some pots of water on the stove. Otherwise, the tiny snake hole will just fill back up with grease.

I've tried that but hasn't helped. Problem is we screen it and everything but who knows what the previous owners up to 2004 were dumping down it.
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cwm1276

join:2004-01-16
Stillman Valley, IL
reply to Dennis

I had a similar problem. I found it just as easy to cut out the old PVC, which was plugged and replace. The pipe is cheap and easy enough to do.

For the cost of the jetting, you can just replace it. In an unfinished basement it should be pretty easy. I was doing it above my suspended ceiling in the basement. I also had to rehang it as the hangers had broke, which helped cause the problem.



Dennis
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-26
Algonquin, IL
kudos:5

said by cwm1276:

For the cost of the jetting, you can just replace it.

That was on my list of options but I took it off because of the 1% chance that the clog might not be in the 23' run but rather in the 5' feet of pipe that drops it down into the basement.
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Bubba
GIT-R-DONE
Premium,MVM
join:2002-08-19
St. Andrews
reply to Dennis

Does the 23' run have adequate fall/pitch/slope ?
~ 1/4" per ft



Chinabound
Premium
join:2002-12-21
Antioch, IL
kudos:3
reply to Dennis

said by Dennis:

Anybody here ever had to pay for that before?

Yes, almost two years ago.

I was never happy with the drain of the utility sink next to the garage. Then, the kitchen sink began slowing down. Like you, I began wondering what kind of guck has been accumulating since 1975. So, I called a place called All Clear Sewer and Drainage out of Antioch (they work all over Chicagoland, though), and hired them to jet the 2 1/2" PVC pipe all the way to the septic tank - about 75 feet.
They were here for about 90 minutes, and the total charge was $210.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to whocares

Hot water just moves the fat and grease a short distance before it cools down enough and re-forms. It MIGHT make it out of your home's system eventually.



Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to Dennis

said by Dennis:

That was on my list of options but I took it off because of the 1% chance that the clog might not be in the 23' run but rather in the 5' feet of pipe that drops it down into the basement.

Vertical pipes shouldn't clog that badly. They might not be pretty, but should certainly be in better shape than horizontal runs.

What about using enzyme drain treatments for a month or so to "eat" the fat/grease ? Since you're careful about what you put down the drain, you shouldn't have to use it long-term.


02702124

join:2013-02-04
Toronto
reply to Dennis

said by Dennis:

Background: House built in 1989,...

I suspect that the pipe is just clogged up with grease/junk/i don't wanna know after the last 30 years and from the previous owners.

If the house was built in 1989 it does not have 30 years yet.
In any case I think you need to buy any enzyme liquid to cut the grease alternating with the snake. I hope it helps.


Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
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join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to Dennis

You also might be able to rent a pipe inspection camera from somewhere. Maybe from Home Depot or somewhere. No idea on cost but it might help to answer your question.

If nothing else is backing up in the house but that one drain and it is the only drain that connects to that pipe (the 23' one), it is likely that pipe and replacing that pipe might be the easiest way depending on how easy it is to access it.
--
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garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
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reply to Bubba

said by Bubba:

Does the 23' run have adequate fall/pitch/slope ?
~ 1/4" per ft

+1 on that. Nothing will clog a drain quicker than a local low spot.

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
reply to Dennis

Pour hot water + Laundry detergent with the snake still in drain pipe, spin the snake. The wire will beat crud off the walls of the pipe. Pull the snake out while hot water is continuously running past the snake head.



Dennis
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-26
Algonquin, IL
kudos:5
reply to garys_2k

Click for full size
rough sketch
said by garys_2k:

said by Bubba:

Does the 23' run have adequate fall/pitch/slope ?
~ 1/4" per ft

+1 on that. Nothing will clog a drain quicker than a local low spot.

Oh the slope on it is a joke I promise. And yeah it's 23 not thirty I must have been using government math when I came up with that.

The long run between the access point in the basement and the vertical drop is what I've talked about replacing. Only problem is that if the clog is indeed between the access point and the kitchen sink I'm back to square one.

Leaning towards clog hog at this point since $100 is still less than a plumber would charge me I'm sure even if I had everything ready to go.
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The Judd Family site!

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

said by Dennis:

The long run between the access point in the basement and the vertical drop is what I've talked about replacing. Only problem is that if the clog is indeed between the access point and the kitchen sink I'm back to square one.

You did take apart the trap and look at it carefully? Its just compression fitting so no PVC work is involved. The trap can wind up with high density dirt/grit/metal shavings/sand, that will never wash out of the trap through gravity/poured water. No matter how much water you pour, the dirt will be picked up 1/2 an inch then sink through the water flow back to the bottom of the trap. A snake will never get this grit out.


Dennis
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-26
Algonquin, IL
kudos:5

said by patcat88:

You did take apart the trap and look at it carefully? Its just compression fitting so no PVC work is involved.

Oh yeah,when I replaced the sink about 2 1/2 years ago I took everything apart and cleaned it (had to replace some of it but that's a different story about emergency plumbers).

»www.dennisjudd.com/?p=1509
--
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The Judd Family site!

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Dennis

said by Dennis:

Leaning towards clog hog at this point since $100 is still less than a plumber would charge me I'm sure even if I had everything ready to go.

It is definitely worth it. One nice thing about it is if you have an extension hose for your pressure washer you can take it up on the roof (with the washer still on the ground) and clean any and all lines out through the vent pipes. The pipes will be totally clean when you are finished. Obviously, this pipe has to be done from inside, but once you see how well it works you will want to jet as much as you can get to. I see a lot more buildup these days than I used to. I think it's a combination of modern soaps and lower hot water settings. The ClogHog really gets the job done well and it is also easy to use. I also own a professional drain auger (Rigid with 100' 1/2" snake) and I now try my ClogHog before the auger. If I have to use the auger, I then use the ClogHog to finish the job and get the pipe really clean.


leibold
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join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
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Reviews:
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reply to Dennis

said by Dennis:

said by whocares :

After you snake it, run some really hot water down the drain.

I've tried that but hasn't helped.

If it is soap and grease scum then hot water does indeed help, but it needs to be run continuously for a long time. Stopping the hot water just allows the scum to coagulate again. Since you have access to the drain pipe in the basement check at the far end of the pipe and don't turn off the hot water on the sink until the pipe had time to get properly hot (allow for extra time depending how far that scum still has to go down the drain).
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jrs8084
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Statesville, NC
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Reviews:
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reply to Dennis

said by Dennis:

said by patcat88:

You did take apart the trap and look at it carefully? Its just compression fitting so no PVC work is involved.

Oh yeah,when I replaced the sink about 2 1/2 years ago I took everything apart and cleaned it (had to replace some of it but that's a different story about emergency plumbers).

»www.dennisjudd.com/?p=1509

Ahhh, yes, the "Mother's Day Gift" that you got slack for until you explained she had been asking for a new one.


Bubba
GIT-R-DONE
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join:2002-08-19
St. Andrews
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reply to Dennis

While I accept that your above drawing is a "rough sketch" and a vent pipe is not shown, do you know if that area of plumbing has a proper vent pipe running out the roof ? Also, in your first post you mention pvc. Is it pvc all the way to the end of the 23' run or is there any cast iron involved ?

I had a 1959 home once and due to a similar situation, ended up replacing cast iron under house with 2" pvc. The cast iron was fully blocked in every 5' section I would remove on a 40' run.



Dennis
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-26
Algonquin, IL
kudos:5

said by Bubba:

While I accept that your above drawing is a "rough sketch" and a vent pipe is not shown, do you know if that area of plumbing has a proper vent pipe running out the roof ?

Yeah I know for 100% it does. Out here cast iron wasn't used in houses built in the 80's but I did grow up on a house built in the 50's so trust me I know that pain.

I'm gonna go with it's just sludge build up over time and years, plus since we switched from phosphate based soaps it's probably just exasperating the lack of slope since back then we just "phosphated" it up. :P

But we put next to nothing down there honestly, we compost and even have a strainer on the drain. Bacon grease etc goes in the garbage as does any fry oil (rarely used).

I had to snake it again today and even tried plunging it first with no joy. I'm leaning towards the Clog Hog....wish I could return those drain snakes I bought but I don't want to be that guy.
--
My Blog. Because I desperately need the acknowledgement of others.

The Judd Family site!

cwm1276

join:2004-01-16
Stillman Valley, IL
reply to Dennis

I went down stairs and could lift the pipe slightly, you could tell by how heavy the pipe was if it was plugged, normally the pipe should not weigh much if it empty.



Pacrat
Old and Cranky
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join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
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Reviews:
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reply to Dennis

I would try a bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid rather than any "laundry" detergent. It works amazingly well at cutting grease. We use it in the laundry to spot treat grease stains on clothing. I'd use the whole bottle, prededed by some hot water, and then use just enough hot water to get it into the drain pipe, and let it set for awhile. It also works to degrease oven pans with baked on residue from my wife's lasagna. It has to be cheaper than hiring the chore out to some plumber. It may take a few treatments, but it still has to be the cheapest option mentioned so far. And quite honestly, it'd be cheaper to replace the whole horizontal run than to "route" it out. It's worth a shot!!!
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ptrowski
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join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

^this.
Had the exact same problem that Dennis did at an apartment we rented in FL. The drain in the kitchen would slow and then back up, maintenance would come out and snake it, work for a bit then nothing. What I did was start filling the largest pots I could find with water and get it to boiling. Added Dawn to it, poured it down the drain and let it sit for 10 mins. I then kept a steady supply of boiling water pouring down it an all of the sudden it drained like new.
According to the maintenance guy the previous tenents were from Mexico and cooked with lard, lots of beef etc. Over time this must have formed a blockage so it would stop up. Snake it, poke a hole, and then back up again. Finally the soap and steady stream of boiling water fully cleared it. Never had an issue again.
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timinhomergl

@vinakom.net
reply to Dennis

I had the same issue a year ago in our house. I have a similar pipe run as you.

I cut into the pipe close to the sink in the basement. There was enough wiggle room in the pipe to slip a painters pole with a rag duct taped to the end and move the mess down the line to an area with more access.

In that area I made two cuts to make an 8 foot section that I could remove. I then put one end in a trash can and from the other end run the painters pole and rag down pushing all the gunk in to the trash.

I just had to buy 3 Fernco flexible couplers and it is back in business and easy to get to next time. I also added some extra strapping support in the larger section. That is also easily removed for maintenance.



anon 9856748

@107.43.164.x
reply to ptrowski

said by ptrowski:

^this.
Had the exact same problem that Dennis did at an apartment we rented in FL. The drain in the kitchen would slow and then back up, maintenance would come out and snake it, work for a bit then nothing. What I did was start filling the largest pots I could find with water and get it to boiling. Added Dawn to it, poured it down the drain and let it sit for 10 mins. I then kept a steady supply of boiling water pouring down it an all of the sudden it drained like new.
According to the maintenance guy the previous tenents were from Mexico and cooked with lard, lots of beef etc. Over time this must have formed a blockage so it would stop up. Snake it, poke a hole, and then back up again. Finally the soap and steady stream of boiling water fully cleared it. Never had an issue again.

yeah this ^^^

i did this in Tennessee, some kind of group home, clogged up shower drain, clogged up kitchen sink - just get a set of those cheapy chinese made 5 gallon stock pots if you can (at least 2) and then get that water boiling. i used laundry detergent, which i think is the strongest, but also Ajax dish liquid (cheap in big big bottles at walmart). i think i used 6-8 of the stock pots full of hot water detergent for each drain, but afterwards, the water drained so fast out of each drain that it made that slurping sound and had a kind of whirlpool look while going down the drain.


Hawk
Riding Thermals
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join:2003-08-25
The Desert
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1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to ptrowski

said by ptrowski:

What I did was start filling the largest pots I could find with water and get it to boiling. Added Dawn to it, poured it down the drain and let it sit for 10 mins. I then kept a steady supply of boiling water pouring down it an all of the sudden it drained like new

Perhaps a good idea but one might exercize caution given the following...

Physical Properties of PVC Pipe Value Test Method
GENERAL
Cell Classification 12454 ASTM D1784
Maximum Service Temperature 140°F
Color white, dark gray
Water Absorption % increase 24hrs @ 25°C .05 ASTM D570
Hardness, Rockwell 110-120 ASTM D785
Poisson's Ratio @ 73°F .410
Hazen-Williams Factor C=150
MECHANICAL
Specific Gravity (g/cu,cm) 1.40 ± .02 ASTM D792
Tensile Strength, psi @ 73°F 7,450 ASTM D638
Modulus of Elasticity, psi @ 73°F (Tensile Modulus) 420,000 ASTM D638
Flexural Strength, psi @ 73°F 14,450 ASTM D790
Compressive Strength, psi @ 73°F 9,600 ASTM D695
Izod Impact, ft-lb./in. @ 73°F .75 ASTM D256
THERMAL
Coefficient of Linear Expansion (in/in/°F) 2.9 x 10 (to -5) ASTM D696
Coefficient of Thermal Conductivity (BTU/in/hr/ft/°F) 3.5 ASTM C177
Heat Distortion Temperature, °F @ 264 psi 170 ASTM D648
Specific Heat, Cal/°C/gm .25 ASTM D2766
ELECTRICAL
Dielectric Strength, V/mil 1,413 ASTM D149
Dielectric Constant, 60 Hz, 30°F 3.7 ASTM D150
Volume Resistivity, ohm/cm @ 95°C, ohms/cm 1.2 x 10 (to 12) ASTM D257
Harvel PVC Pipe is non-electrolytic
FLAMMABILITY
Flammability Rating V-0 UL 94
Flame Spread Index



Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2

Ummm, I think it would have been sufficient to only copy-n-paste the max service temp line...