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Old 01-02-2012, 09:09 PM  
MMC_Milwaukee
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Default Basement Laundry Basin/Sink Backup

Hi All,

I've been having problems with the plumbing in my new home. When purchased in October, there was a back up in the kitchen sink. I cleaned out both traps (I found a whole potato and other weird food items and we do not have a garbage disposal) and snaked out the pipe and the water seemed to flow well. About a week later the dishwasher began to back up into the kitchen sink. I dumped some drano down the sink, which helped the water flow and the back only persisted when the dishwasher was actively draining. After it finished draining, the water emptied quickly. Yesterday, I went into the basement to find my laundry basin filled with black, smelly water. I emptied the sink, cleaned the trap, snaked the pipes, and used about 1/2 a bottle of the commercial strength draino. After dinner (we washed 2 plates, and hour hands, but did not run the dishwasher) I found I had about 2" of water in the laundry basin again. The standing water is cloudy (not black), but smells like draino.

My next idea was to purchase a longer snake and run it as far down the kitchen drain as possible and hopefully get into the pipe that connects our drains to the city sewer system. If that doesn't work, I'm out of ideas to try. Any other suggestions?

We have city water and sewer. There are 2 drain pipes that join just after the trap on the basement sink, one comes from the kitchen drain, and the other I assume comes from the upstairs bathroom (sink and shower). The shower has also been slow draining ever since moving in.



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Old 01-03-2012, 12:48 PM  
Redwood
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Stop pouring draino in the drain...
Really! It hasn't worked yet has it?
And it won't....

All it will do is rust up the drain cleaners cable when you finally call one....
Maybe an extra charge for that....

You either aren't snaking from the right place or your snake is too small or, too short...

There is no snake that would go through a kitchen sink that I'd recommend to go all the way to the city sewer with. All you will do is get the small cable tied into a knot and stuck in the larger line, again removal is an extra charge.

I'd tell you what to do but I'm not there to troubleshoot and that is what it would take.

I'm puzzled as to how a potato could have gotten into your line if it didn't come from your home....

Are you in a duplex by any chance?



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Old 01-03-2012, 01:54 PM  
MMC_Milwaukee
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I said 'new home' meaning I recently purchased the home. The previous owners have clearly not taken very good care of their plumbing.

When I have snaked out the drains, I removed the trap and started from the exposed pipe. Would that change your suggestions for what snake to purchase?

I will upload pictures of the downstairs trap and pipes. Perhaps there is a better access point to get at the clog? Where do you suspect the clog is located? My guess was it must be located past the basement junction because the water is backing up into the basement sink.

Also when you mention calling a drain cleaner, are you suggesting renting a powered version of plumbing auger? Or is there a specialty service you are suggesting I call?

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:46 AM  
Redwood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMC_Milwaukee View Post
I said 'new home' meaning I recently purchased the home. The previous owners have clearly not taken very good care of their plumbing.
Ahhh that explains a lot.The potato may have been sabotage if the house was foreclosed or a rental property.


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Originally Posted by MMC_Milwaukee View Post
When I have snaked out the drains, I removed the trap and started from the exposed pipe. Would that change your suggestions for what snake to purchase?
That is what I would do for most sink drains if a cleanout did not exist.
The snake used would depend on the pipe size and access used for the snake.
I have several different machines I use and which one is best depends on the size of the line and where it runs. I have a small machine that basically has 3 different size cables that I use inside the home, and a larger one that gets used on larger lines that run underground that may have roots. They aren't interchangeable as the small machine can't tangle with roots and will knot up in larger pipes, and the big one will break small pipes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMC_Milwaukee View Post
I will upload pictures of the downstairs trap and pipes. Perhaps there is a better access point to get at the clog? Where do you suspect the clog is located? My guess was it must be located past the basement junction because the water is backing up into the basement sink.
It is probably between the laundry sink and the main line but the kitchen sink line may still have a restriction, I can't tell based on the supplied information.
Pictures would be helpful.


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Also when you mention calling a drain cleaner, are you suggesting renting a powered version of plumbing auger? Or is there a specialty service you are suggesting I call?
I was suggesting calling a drain cleaning pro, as they generally will have your clogs taken care of within a couple of hours of placing the call. Having a problem go on as long as yours has says that may be the wise thing to do. In the end you may very well pay what it would have cost to do that anyway, especially if you start buying equipment.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:36 PM  
MMC_Milwaukee
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I went to home depot yesterday and rented an Electric Eel.

I'm thinking the clog moved from the kitchen drain down past the laundry room hook up and clogged that pipe causing the back up. The Electric Eel's 35' long 3/8" dia cable was sturdier than my 15' long 1/4" dia hand auger I was snaking the pipes out with. I used the Electric Eel as far as possible, and the water flows well now.

Hopefully that does it for a while. I'm sick of the black junk in those pipes.

Thanks for your help!



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