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Old 07-20-2010, 09:48 AM   #1
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


What causes a snake to get stuck in a drain line? How would a plumber free it?

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Old 07-20-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


probably got stuck thru inexperience, now you are starting to get experienced. That is what the plumber uses in his job (and some elbow grease) many tricks to fix this problem. First try reverse. what size line did you go in and what size line were you in when you got stuck?

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Old 07-20-2010, 10:34 AM   #3
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


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probably got stuck thru inexperience, now you are starting to get experienced. That is what the plumber uses in his job (and some elbow grease) many tricks to fix this problem. First try reverse. what size line did you go in and what size line were you in when you got stuck?
Don't know the line sizes but I will get them for the next go-round.

Didn't get stuck because I would never snake a line in a customer's home.

I know it's hair and not grease but what I'll do instead is try forcing hot water down the drain with a hose, using rags as a gasket. I bought adapters so I can mate a garden hose thread to a shower arm thread or a sink aerator thread. I figure I only need a few GPM and a few PSI.
If it doesn't work, no charge, and I'll suggest she get a plumber.

But sometime I'd like to snake other peoples' houses with some degree of confidence, so I'd like a backup plan.

Thanks for your prompt reply.

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Old 07-20-2010, 10:47 AM   #4
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


where is it stuck? lav sink tub drain, tub overflow kitchen sink? how old is the plumbing?

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Old 07-20-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


For 1/4" snake, I would not use a drill motor. The drain line is at least 1-1/2" so the chances of the snake twisting and getting stuck are huge.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:31 PM   #6
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


Not stuck: this request for a backup plan when my luck runs out. The bathtub drain is slow, no little whirlpool. House was probably built in the 60's.

The snake I now have gives you the option of power or hand crank.

"Youse" guys are already bringing up issues that I would not have thought of.

This is beginning to sound like one of those jobs where I could make a few bucks but risk having to buy the HO a new drain line. Imona do the "pressure flush"; if it buys the HO six months or a year she may be happy.

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Old 07-20-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


I'm with you on the pressure flush, but be sure to put lots of pressure on the over flow plate. You can get lots of movement too by holding a wet rag against the overflow, and plunging the drain, I prefer a separate plunger from the one used on the toilet,, just a personal preference is all. Most times, the hair is at least somewhat attached to the drain, I've used a peice of wire to pull it up out of there and also, forget the name of them, the medical scisorrs, can't spell that either.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:32 PM   #8
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


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and also, forget the name of them, the medical scisorrs, can't spell that either.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:37 PM   #9
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If it is a tub drain and your not stuck, what you want to do is remove the overflow plate if there is a handle on the plate then you will pull out about a foot of linkage and a stopper. snake thru the over flow not the tub drain. If it has an old barrel trap that is probably as far as you can snake even an experienced plumber has trouble with these. If it has a P trap cable it until it reaches the waste stack usually 6-8 feet. That about as much as you can do with a hand crank 1/4 in. snake
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:41 PM   #10
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


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If it is a tub drain and your not stuck, what you want to do is remove the overflow plate if there is a handle on the plate then you will pull out about a foot of linkage and a stopper. snake thru the over flow not the tub drain. If it has an old barrel trap that is probably as far as you can snake even an experienced plumber has trouble with these. If it has a P trap cable it until it reaches the waste stack usually 6-8 feet. That about as much as you can do with a hand crank 1/4 in. snake
Thanks. I'll print out this thread.

It also occurs to me that I can block the overflow with one of these little inflatable barrel-like drain stoppers to get some high pressure in the drain.

50-50 she rejects my bid so this adventure may take awhile to play out.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:35 PM   #11
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drill powered 1/4" snake, bathtub drain


if it is a Drum trap you might not be able to do anything. If so I have had luck with an enzyme treatment that after a week or so it could start draining faster

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