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Old 01-17-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


I am having some issue with my bathroom sink not draining. Water was backing up so I tried some Drano. As expected, it did nothing. I took apart the trap and used a Zip-It in the pipe going into the wall. Got out some gunk and a bunch of black sludge. Put the pipes back together, ran some more water and it backed up again. Tried a plunger in the sink but all that did was bring more black crap up into the sink. I tried 8oz of DrainCare over night and ran boiling water down the drain and so far nothing. Someone recommended trying Floweasy Drain Opener. Any thoughts? Considering I already used Drano and DrainClean is it safe to use Floweasy? How long should I wait to try Floweasy? Or should I just try DrainClean a few more times? Thanks in advance for the help.

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


It's almost never a good idea to use any drain cleaner. Toxic, will cause chemical burns when it touches the skin ect.
Go buy a drain snake at any hardware store, Lowes or HD. There not expancive. Just put it into the drain and work it back and forth to work it into the drain and around the corners.
That black scum is just soam scum.
Is there a way to get at the drains from uder that floor? There may be a clean out plug.

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:16 AM   #3
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


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It's almost never a good idea to use any drain cleaner. Toxic, will cause chemical burns when it touches the skin ect.
Go buy a drain snake at any hardware store, Lowes or HD. There not expancive. Just put it into the drain and work it back and forth to work it into the drain and around the corners.
That black scum is just soam scum.
Is there a way to get at the drains from uder that floor? There may be a clean out plug.
When we first bought the house 6 years ago (it is a house from the 50's) we had Roto Rooter in and he drilled a hole in the pipe in the basement and cleaned it out. He got the black sludge all over the place. All over the floor, the washer / dryer, the drywall, I mean everywhere. It was such a PITA to clean up. So I am nervous to open the plug because I don't want to make a huge mess. I was hoping to get it clean from the topside if that makes sense.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


Then just try the snake like I suggested in the drain line sticking out of the wall.
If it's plugged up before then somethings wrong. Under sized pipe, poor venting, wrong elbows wrong tees used ect.
Is this PVC or cast iron?
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Then just try the snake like I suggested in the drain line sticking out of the wall.
If it's plugged up before then somethings wrong. Under sized pipe, poor venting, wrong elbows wrong tees used ect.
Is this PVC or cast iron?
Cast iron. I will try snake, see what happens.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


I have had limited success over the years with plumbing snakes. It seems to be difficult at best to get them around corners. That is probably why there are cleanouts in properly plumbed drains, it limits the number of bends you need to snake around. I had a problem with the main kitchen drain in my house recently, and I wound up having to remove part of the drain in the basement, add a cleanout, and snake about 12 feet of horizontal pipe that was completely gummed up with sludge. Messy job of course, I sympathize with the Roto Rooter guy.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


Try this, first off never use that chemical sh##, on anything in your house. Put on rubber gloves. Fill the sink about half way. Use the old style plunger without the cup at the bottom usually red. Plug the over flow hole or holes in the sink, plunge the sink keeping the over flow (s) covered. See if the water makes an attempt to drain, or the water level bobs up and down a bit. It may take several attempts to break up the clog if itís in the waste arm (the pipe from the p trap to the sanitary tee at the stack) if you have the bobbing action the clog may be in the stack, at this point I would get a plumber with the correct cable and machine, do not call Roto Rooter, find a local drain cleaning company.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


we use a 1/4" hand snake ...take out stopper put water in bowl...run snake from sink to basement slowly when you hit the clog you will know it..should go down... don't be afraid to put some pressure on the cable...
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


It might be easier for you to go ahead and remove the p-trap/drain sink then run the snake down the drain if using one of those manual hand crank snakes.
Sometimes a snake will go up the stack instead of down, its generally easier to get it to go down with the plumbing removed so you can see what youre doing if you dont do this everyday.
The black gook is a combination of old hair and everything else thats gone down the drain over the years all melted by the drain opener crap.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:15 AM   #10
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


No homeowner should be without a plumbing snake. Mine looks like a funnel with a crank on top and a set screw on the bottom. I think it cost $15. Everytime you use it, you've put $100 in your pocket. (no offense intended to professional plumbers) If you really want to be prepared for midnite/first thing in the morning clogs, buy a closet auger, too. Especially if you have kids. DIY!!
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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Bathroom Sink Clogged with Black Sludge


If you are lucky, strong plungering will bring up enough of the black crap that the drain runs freely again. Put just enough water in the washbasin to cover the rim of the plunger, push down slowly, and yank up as fast as possible.

Scoop out the loose visible black crap manually (you can use a spoon) and dump it in the toilet.

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