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Old 04-03-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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Clogged kitchen sink drain..!

Okay guys, I've struggled for two days with this one and am finally turning to you, the experts...

Our kitchen sink (double-basin, garbage disposal on the left) became clogged the other day while doing some garbage-disposing. We plunged to no avail. We then turned to Drano... no luck. Finally we went under the sink and removed the p-trap. There was no clog there or in the pipes above it, so we figure the clog must be beyond the p-trap (plus, when you run the water in the sink, it takes a while before the water starts backing up into the sink, so we figured the clog must be pretty far down the line).

I bought a cheap 20' snake today (just a manual version, doesn't turn or anything) and tried snaking up the little bend of the horizontal arm into the stubout. I hit an obstruction about a foot in, which is about where the pipe would turn downward to go down to the basement. I can't tell if I'm hitting the downturn and can't get past that or if that's an actual clog.

The snake's directions said to use a back and forth motion, so I did... pretty fiercely toward the end of my labor today. I can't get past this point. I figure a snake is made to slide relatively easy through the twists and turns of modern PVC plumbing, so I would have to imagine that this is the clog that I'm hitting. During my first few tries, when I would retract the snake, there would be the nasty black sludge on it indicative of a clog. Now we get next-to-nothing when we retract the snake.

As I mentioned, the obstruction is about a foot into the horizontal arm, or right at the downturn of the pipe. If we could remove the horizontal arm and just be able to look right into the stubout, I'm quite sure we could see what's going on, but we can't get the horizontal arm off. All Google results to "remove horizontal arm" are telling me to use my hands or a pipe wrench to remove it.

There's a coupling between the horizontal arm and stubout. We tried twisting it, but it's not budging, and we want to make sure we don't destroy any PVC piping if possible.

Any thoughts or ideas? My next step would be to rent an electric drain auger, then to call a plumber if that doesn't work.

Thanks in advance for your help. I used to hate washing dishes, but now I'd kill to be able to just use my kitchen sink again for that purpose!


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Old 04-04-2012, 12:18 AM   #2
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Rent a 1/4" or 3/8" machine- I prefer 3/8
Insert it into the trap arm, when you hit the fitting- probably a tee, apply pressure while the cable is turning to force it down the turn. Be sure it goes down and not up the vent and onto the roof.
If there is a vent through the roof above the sink, you might try to go down that with the cable as a last resort.


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Old 04-04-2012, 12:31 AM   #3
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How do you make sure the snake goes down instead of up?

Is there any way to remove the horizontal arm from the stubout without breaking it?
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by abbyqueue View Post
How do you make sure the snake goes down instead of up?

Is there any way to remove the horizontal arm from the stubout without breaking it?
Drop head on the cable. Save yourself the aggravation call a plumber, just not Roto Rooter. If donít clean that line properly youíll be doing it again in no time.

Experience is Knowing what to do next, Skill is knowing how to do it
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