Happy Turkey Day to me: sink/disposal backing up

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IamAllThumbs

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Some family members were working yesterday so we are celebrating Thanksgiving today.
While cooking, we ran the sink with the garbage disposal running and the area under the sink flooded hard.

My troubleshooting: the water was coming out of the tall black drain pipe in the picture even though the disposal went straight in (pipe taken apart). As far as I can tell the two connect and go down to my crawl space to the sewer. I believe the pipe is clogged somewhere to the sewer, so when you run the disposal, it forces the water into it's pipe, it can't go into the sewer so I comes back up the left pipe which has an open top, that's where the drain pipe from the dishwasher goes into (the flexible brownish pipe).

When I peek in the pipe the disposal connected to, I can see it's full of water to the elbow.

You can see the left pipe is glued in, not screwed together, and the pipe in the crawl space is similarly glued without a cleaning access that I can see.

My guess is that I have at least two ways to fix:

1) run a snake through the pipe the disposal was plugged in. My only worry is that this flooding came very suddenly. O hope there is t one single large obstruction that went past the disposal and somehow would be pushed further by a snake.

2) cut the pipe in the catwalk space, hope the clog is in the vertical section and not further down, clean the pipe and use various adaptors to glue/fix it later

I have never used a crank snake, it seems that I can rent one at Home Depot for $40, so I think I will try that first but see if I can be gentle until I get more advice here. I'd anything it should allow me to diagnose how far the blockage is?
 

IamAllThumbs

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Got a 25' snake, I am able to run it full length. I don't know if I could feel a obstruction or a bend in the pipe but I was never able to pull anything out and each time the snake was able to move further in after a bit of cranking.

But the problem is not gone. When I open the faucet the water eventually fills up the sink and if I turn the disposal out, water shoots out of the dishwasher inlet.

I still don't think it's a problem with the disposal, when I let it shoot water out of its outlet into a pan it seems all normal to me.

I'm at a loss of what to do next. Sounds like I may need to call a pro. Any experience with the $95 Rotorooter specials? Are those ripoffs or switch and bait, or should I indeed expect my problem to be fixed for the advertised price?
 

havasu

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Most rooter companies come with a guarantee. Well worth it, since if one position doesn't clear the clog, they will go another direction. Just make sure you pay only for the price offered, and not let them upsell you.
 

RedneckGrump

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Would it be worthwhile to cut the pipe where your snake stops @IamAllThumbs... Yeah, it's more work, but it might be cheaper than bringing a company coming in...

I had similar problem years back at the other house... I had a 40th Surprise birthday party for Lorie. Had about 100 people... was a party/pool party/BBQ... (roasted a pig) but that is not important...

I get along with Lorie's 2 other sisters wonderfully, and we treat each other like more than inlaws, but more like family. Then there is one sister and brother-in-law who haven't spoken to me for over 20 years... I call her steelwool... But that too is another story...

Anyways, she and he came in the house and were looking around, I went downstairs to get another case of beer to put outside on ice when it (that's what I will call him throughout this story) When it asks me which pipes were my drain pipes, and which go to the septic... Anyways, thought it was strange, but never really thought about it, till the next day after the party...

The toilets started to back up, the kitchen sink would not drain, and the water in the shower started to back up... Well, I went down, checked the drains, they were full of water... so... Got a pain, and started to cut pipe... I cut and glues back as I went down the drain... I was about 3 feet from the main drain to the septic... Stuck the power snake in.. and after a bit... Yup, one of the dish towels from the kitchen... ( I was going to KILL him, but as Lorie said, you and I know who did it, but how do we prove it... Well, the PHUCKER and his wife have never been back, and have NEVER been invited to this house... and yup, to this day like the last 20 years, hasn't said a word to me... (No GREAT Loss)

But the point of this story, it was cheaper than calling in a contractor...
Cheers~
 

IamAllThumbs

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I don't know where the blockage is. I was able to run the full 25' snake in, and didn't run I to anything obvious. A few times the snake seems to catch (I was feeding it manually) but roaring it for it past that point and pulling it out brought nothing with it, so it may have been a bend.
 

IamAllThumbs

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Called a pro. Of course the $93 special didn't apply because it was only for rooting out main lines from the access clean out and since only the kitchen and not the entire house was overflowing, it was not the main line :)

The plumber ran a big rooter cable machine out about 75 feet. He said he couldn't tell that he ran into an obstruction but that it's not uncommon with the bigger machine. It may hack the plug or push it out to a larger drain ("make it the city's problem" as he put it).

$360 later, my drain is working fine.

What did I learn?
- my diagnosis of the problem was right, my snake was just too short.
- manually cranked snakes are a pain in the keister. The cheap $30 model I bought from Home Depot can be operated by a drill even though they tell you you need a proprietary motorized driver: just reverse your drill bit so the hex butt faces out and it will fit in the "proriety driver" coupling.
- now that I've seen a pro use the big snake, I would feel comfortable renting one from Home Depot next time, but it would have been a scary experience dealing with that monster as my first try
- don't believe the too-good-to-be-true internet special rate. I was prepared for them not to honor it, you should be too.


PS: no big snakes jokes please, at least that's what she said.
 
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