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Old 01-31-2013, 06:43 AM   #16
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Deep Pipe Clog - Epic Battle


Sounds like you need more than a Plumber. They used to wash their faces and brush teeth with a pan on the sideboard a couple hundred years ago. The reason your clog is so hard to get cleared is when it first started to run slow you didn't take care of it then and what ever was in the line dried up like concrete Plumbers are Plumbers not Magicians. No response is necessary but I'm sure you'll have one.

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Old 01-31-2013, 07:34 AM   #17
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By adding chemical you just make things worse, built in 1973, cast iron mains and the waste arms are in galvanize or copper .unless replaced after, based on what yo have said what you have is a blocked waste arm again just picking up what your saying, if your plunging and getting pressure and pilling back sludge its most likely in the waste arm, if its a galvanize waste arm its probably seals buy internal corrosion along with every thing else over the last 40 years that built up, what may be happening is that hes going through the stoppage then when he pulls the snake back it just reseals its self, on something like this you would need a specific heads on the cable that not all plumbers have, if its in the vertical then a drop head, or via the vent. call a sewer and drain company call for a free estimate explain what has happened and ask how they would handle the job, you should get an idea if this person is experienced or not. within 10 minutes i would know what we are up against. and if we cant solve your problem we don't charge. all problems can be solved the difference is in the cost. oh and don't call roto rooter good luck
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:40 AM   #18
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As the economy worsens, women's skirts get shorter, their hair gets longer, the plumber calls get more frequent and be dammed if you can convince a woman not to be over the lavatory when doing the hair thing. So just suck it up, blame the economy and call the plumber.

BTY, I've found bleach does a good job of dissolving hair.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:31 PM   #19
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Thank you all so much for your replies... seriously.

Answers in the order of replies...
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@ TheEplumber

Don't get upset... some of the replies seemed to be humorous, so I responded in kind... but am I taking issue, or just responding in a way that you aren't used to?... hmmm.

Actually, as opposed to attempting to describe my problem I think I've perfectly described it, and a couple people seemed mystified by the word "torch"... and I don't know why my plumber would have said that unless he saw something that I nor any of the torch conspiracy theorists have seen with respect to my pipes.

So, if you take your boom box to the electronics repair guy, for example, because it stopped working and you can't listen to your Barry Manilow tapes any more, and he works on it for an hour but he can't fix it, and now the outer casing is scorched from the repairman's soldering iron, and he still wants $120 from you, how do you feel?... do you feel compelled to pay him? I already payed the plumber, right, but do I think it's fair?... no.

Life isn't fair, but the righteous attitude that some people have thinking that their profession is somehow more worthy of getting paid for time spent making their customer's situation worse just strikes me as funny and ridiculous.

And I'm sure you do carry insurance in case you damage someone's property on a job, but is it malpractice insurance? And does anyone die if you make a drain clog worse?... maybe if they're trapped in a shower stall that's filling up where the drain is clogged and they can't turn off the water. I think I saw that on "I Love Lucy" one time, or was it "The Lucy Show"?... no matter.
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@ jagans

I will make sure to warn any plumber that comes after this about the Draino that I used that is still in the pipes, and I already thought of that before.

But since it was the plumber himself who devised the follow-up plan B to put Draino in the pipes and try plunging it after his plan A didn't work, maybe he just thought that telling me what to do in a last ditch effort was a bonus for my 120 bucks... but that still wasn't a very good deal... I would have thought of that on my own.

Rescue saw... okay... I hope the new drain clog specialist has one... I certainly need rescuing.

It was my Grandfather who built the house, not my dad, so he was probably old school if he put in the pipes himself. And while my family and I did a lot of the work actually helping to build the house, we didn't put in the plumbing and I don't remember the events as they occurred during the plumbing installation.

Is there such a thing as a plumbing plan? I even started as an architecture major in college, but I didn't get as far as the plumbing layout classes.

I'm wondering if going on the roof of a two story house to try to find a plumbing vent might be a deterrent for some plumbers and that's why this guy talked about crawling around under the house and cutting pipes first... looks like I need a ballsey plumber because I have an innate fear of trying to walk on steep inclines in high-up places... my knees get weak just seeing a skyscraper ledge on the TV.

Need new glasses?... the cheapo glasses are, well, cheap, at K-Mart, Target, Walgreens, etc.

No, sorry, I can't post pictures of my "soil stack" or "branch drain lines" in my basement, since I said I don't have a basement... as previously stated, I have a crawl space under the house... and I wouldn't know what to look for under the house crawling around with my camera... but maybe I could get the mice and rats under my house to say "Cheese" for the camera.
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@ COLDIRON

I do need more than a plumber, I need a jack hammer and a priest for this clog, apparently. And to my recollection, it was as little as 90 years ago or so that people routinely had outdoor plumbing and they carried water in the house in buckets. 200 years ago, many U.S. inhabitants were still washing their faces in the creek.

Actually, I knew a plumber who sidelined as a magician, or was he a magician who sidelined as a plumber?... no matter. But that would be a great combo... "Abracadabra, for my next trick, I will now pull your clog out of my hat! Will my lovely assistant Marcie please get my drain router and some C-4 plastique out of the van?"
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@ Javiles

Chemicals are our friends... haven't you heard that before from Clorox, Inc. and Dow Chemical, Inc.? Why, Draino is so safe, I can give it to my baby in her formula bottle... and talk about "formula"... she REALLY sleeps at night.

"Waste Arm"... okay, I'll add that to my new plumbing terminology list so I can try to sound like I know what I'm talking about when the "Clog Specialist" makes his next visit. I like that name, sort of like "Waste Management Specialist" instead of just "Garbage Man", sounds so much better.

And yes, apparently my plumber did grab the clog with his drain rooter snake and pull it back, closer to the drain, the third time he snaked it, making it worse... so you say he probably didn't have the right head for the snake to actually be successful at pulling out the clog, but now he can buy the right head with the 120 bucks that he got from me for not completing the job... IRONIC.

I wish all plumbers had the same, "if we can't solve your problem we won't still charge you $120" policy that you do.

Don't call Roto Rooter?... but I thought "That's the name, so I can flush my troubles down the drain."
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@ Fairview

That advice sounds like it came from 1969 when women's lib was a big thing in the news and mini-skirts were the new fashion... is that a proverb on an old "Plumber's Quarterly" calender that you still have on your wall from '69.

The last time a woman was over that particular drain doing "the hair thing" was around 1980 when my sister still lived in this house.

Great advice though. BLEACH!... maybe mixing that with the Draino that's already sitting in the pipes will blend and make an explosion that's just big enough to blow that clog to kingdom come. Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:07 PM   #20
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Deep Pipe Clog - Epic Battle


1. There are a lot of different types of torches, but generally, a torch would not be used for any problem that you have.

2. Dont take this as an insult, but I would not even think about building a house without a full foundation and basement, especially if you need to access service lines at a later date. I have owned homes in sub-divisions and those "Cheapo" Homes had full solid poured concrete foundations. There were some things they skimped on for sure, but not the foundations.

3. To cut to the chase, and since you cannot supply any photos at all, I would guess you have Galvanized Iron pipes that are internally corroded to the point that they all have to be replaced. They used simple Tees on those systems and they were very prone to corrosion and clogs. It really is amazing to see the black sludge in these pipes when you cut them out and it is hard to believe that they drained at all in most cases. I have seen them clogged down to a hole the size of a pencil through the pipe.

I think the first guy you had was just brushing you off, probably due to lack of access, and Drano. No plumber I know would ever include Lye in any plan B. That stuff will eat porcelain off a sink.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:21 PM   #21
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Just my 0.02 since I just had all the bathroom plumbing on my second floor replaced...(which started out as 'set a new toilet and replace the tub drain')...

The pic below is the pipe from the bathroom sink. It's an original galvanized drain pipe. And in the past, it had Drano poured down it. Fat lot of good it did. Amazingly, it still drained, and didn't even back up into the sink!

Point being, the crud built up in there is hard as ROCK. If your pipe where the clog is located is anything similar, I wouldn't be shocked at all to hear that A) the snake made it worse or B) he managed to move the clog a little but that's it.

A side effect of the repeated Drano use is that eventually it'll eat the pipe (this is my opinion), along with usual human 'outflow', in horizontal pipe sections. My poor plumber got a rather undesirable shower when he tapped one section of cast iron with his hammer. That tap cost me an extra $600. Worth it? Damn right. I didn't take that shower, I got new pipes, and my 2nd floor plumbing is perfect. I would've paid him double what he asked, in fact. Indeed I did give him a $50 tip (all the extra I could afford) because he did a good job and stayed late so my kids could have a bath that night (whole job took 2 days).

I guess my second point in this rant is, if the plumber came, took some stuff apart, tapped on that pipe and broke it, and I had him stop, after which he presented me with a bill, would I pay him? Yessss...he came, he looked, he did what he does until I stopped him.

Sometimes it's not as simple as just clearing a clog. Sometimes, after 100 years of various bathroom crud going down a drain, the pipe is just plain done, for whatever reason.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:30 PM   #22
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You must have to much time on your hands and not enough money. the fancy replies are fancy and unimpressive i would think that by now you would have solved your problem one way or another or gotten a general idea in which direction to go. mean time the good nature'd guys keep posting away wasting their advise on someone who is trying to solve his problem with key strokes. try this get some TNT put it in the drain lite the fuse and run or better yet just sit and watch, see what happens. the moderator needs to close this thread.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:20 PM   #23
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i can't wait to get to remodeling my master bath/bedroom. going to have to do both, though when i do i wont have a bath room in the house since they are back to back, and the waste lines are all metal, i don't know if cast or not, haven't looked that hard just noticed that it is metal right before going into the wall under my master bath sink, since it clogged the other day. And Yes Draino fixed the problem, after i checked the trap. and i knew it was draining, just to slow to use while i shave. I have learned that troubled skins need to have water contently running when shaving other wise the clog quick and fast.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:23 PM   #24
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Deep Pipe Clog - Epic Battle


Those galvanized pipes are fun - can't believe they would still be using them in 1973, though. Here's a pic of a vent pipe (1953 house) where the knuckle completely rusted out - duct tape saved it until I could afford $5,000 to redo the basement plumbing.

$120 not to fix a problem may seem a lot, but I can't even get a plumber to walk in the door for less than $145 - regardless of if he/she fixes anything. My last basement toilet clog cost $250 to fix (but at least it was fixed). I would have had to pay even if it wasn't - just like I have to pay the car repair shop to diagnose my problem, even if they don't fix it (at $95/hour).

The labourer is worthy of his hire - I read that somewhere....

I have to admit to being a serial Draino offender until I discovered water (air) rams - $15 at your local tool rental, been using them on and off for 15 years and great for problem clogs in sinks. As long as they can blow the clog into a bigger pipe and bye-bye clog before they blow the pipe itself
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:26 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Javiles View Post
You must have to much time on your hands and not enough money. the fancy replies are fancy and unimpressive i would think that by now you would have solved your problem one way or another or gotten a general idea in which direction to go. mean time the good nature'd guys keep posting away wasting their advise on someone who is trying to solve his problem with key strokes. try this get some TNT put it in the drain lite the fuse and run or better yet just sit and watch, see what happens. the moderator needs to close this thread.
I like the way you think, go ahead lite it lite it Digi.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #26
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It should be "code" that all drain lines be installed so they could be pigged. PIGGED what's that?
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:17 PM   #27
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Ciao for now,

digi
Wow! Nice work. Rip me a new one next! I'm from Texas, I bet you can think of all kinds of cracks to make that I have never heard before.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:45 PM   #28
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This is where I rent mine from - they call it a water ram - kinetic (third row in link) - you pump up air pressure using the handle which shows the lbs/sq.ft on a gauge.
http://www.ferrento.com/en/plumbing.html
They cost ~$150-$200 to buy at a big box store locally, so rental is the way to go (over the years I've probably paid for one, as I have a four unit apartment building with tenants who routinely block drains).

Just make sure you read the instructions carefully - too much pressure (there are different pressures for different types of drain), and you could blow a pipe apart. Also, make sure you block overflows and adjacent drains securely or you will end up with a geyser from them when the ram is fired (and a very messy cleanup).

Resist the temptation to just pump it all the way up - you must not exceed the recommended pressure for different size/types of drain. Doing it two or three times usually works (most times once is enough).
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:59 PM   #29
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I like getting a guy in who does nothing but drains. He will have more tools in his arsenal. Those are the guys who do restaurants. Cleaning out grease traps and stuff.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:02 PM   #30
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Yes I guess I assumed re the basement. Sorry about that. Still no pictures huh?



AIR Ram, Yup thats a great idea all right, but first, pour a gallon of Drano down there then hit it with the air. That ought to do it.

You wouldn't mind paying $120.00 ?? Wow, that might even fill the guys tank with fuel.

Oh before you hit it with the air, put the paramedics on speed dial, and try to remember the button so you can hit it without being able to see.

"Undercover Boss" had Roto Rooter on one episode. The CEO- posing as a "tech"- used a ram on a bath tub. Watching the water, draino, and who knows what else, come out through the overflow and on his face was pretty funny

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