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Old 02-17-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
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Kitchen drain plugged


Our kitchen drain suddenly plugged. It has a double sink with a disposer. A plumbers helper did nothing. The two basin drains each have their own P trap and then join immediately at a "Y" and a single line enters the wall, has an immediate elbow, drops 2 feet, and then has another elbow, and then the pipe runs across the basement ceiling. There is a 35' run across the basement ceiling, and then another elbow and it drops 1' and connects with a 45 degree elbow to a 4" horizontal drain line, gently sloped to the soil stack. Everything up to the 4" PVC is 2" PVC. The kitchen drain has no other feeds and separately connects into the 4" line.

I bought a 3/8" by 25' drain auger, expecting the problem to be at the first or second elbow. It easily went it in all the way. The only places where it was hard to advance was the obvious elbows. I had to remove the P trap and insert the auger there, so had to remove the auger to reassemble to test success. No improvement. Almost imperceptible flow at about an ounce per hour.

I went out and bought a 3/8" by 50' auger, and sent it in all the way. We could hear it about 10' down the 4" line. The only unexpected hard place to advance was at about the first joint 10' across the ceiling run. After removal, it is still close to completely blocked. I can get it to drain about 1 gallon per hour.

No other locations in the entire house have any hint of draining slowly. How can I run the auger in all the way to a running drain and still not get this to drain? It is as if some goo reseals behind my auger as I withdraw it. What is happening?

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Last edited by EdLank; 02-18-2012 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Kitchen drain plugged


What size is the drain? Did you use a large enough head on the cable?

Why do you have to enter through the p-trap?

You need to pull the p-trap and all the other undersink connections apart to make sure they are not plugged as well.

Maybe the p-trap is sticking too far into the fitting at the wall.

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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Kitchen drain plugged


Are all the other drains working?
First thing I would have done was removed the trap under the sink.
I just hate a garbage disposal. Your putting stuff down that drain that's going to plug it up soild. If your on a septic system it's a sure way to fill it up twice as fast.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:32 PM   #4
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Kitchen drain plugged


All of the drain pipe is 2" all the way to the connection to the 4" main drain. One sink has the disposer. The other has a threaded hole to accept a strainer, so there is no hole large enough to pass an auger. I have had both traps off, and both were pristine. Obviously, the problem is not above either trap. When I add water to one sink, it comes up the other, so the blockage is beyond the common "Y". In fact, if I wait overnight, it drains enough that I can add many gallons of water before I fill the drain and it sits with water in the sink and very slowly falls. That implies the blockage is pretty far down the drain.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Did you use a large enough head on the cable?
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:47 PM   #6
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The drain auger head is not replaceable. Both are about 3/4".
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:46 PM   #7
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sounds like sludge. Keep working it near the end of the line
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:55 PM   #8
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Kitchen drain plugged


you said "i have had both traps off " in the 2 nd post and in first post you said "the two basin drains join immediately under the sink and enter the wall", a picture would be nice. but if you have 2 traps then it goes into the pipe that is in the wall that is your problem remove one of the traps. if you have 2 traps and 2 pipes that they enter into the wall try removing one of the traps empty water out off it putt back together then try running water in the sink that has the trap with water still in it. if it then drains fine it is a vent issue
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:46 AM   #9
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Most of the time a small head like that will only poke a hole in the sludge.

What I reccomend is to run the snake down a couple of times, then run straight hot water with dawn dish soap to help cut out any grease that may be remaining in the line.

You need a wider fatter head to get a big enough hole in the sludge so that it won't collapse on itself as soon as you pull the cable out.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:33 PM   #10
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I finally got it. I thank you for the comments. I used the 50' auger again, and advanced and withdrew about 2' many times before advancing another 2' and repeating. When I had advanced about 30', I put half the P trap back on so I could run hot water down the other drain without letting the water simply drain out this line. It took gallons to fill the drain, but when "full" was then very slow in draining, so I would advance the auger and repeat the test every few feet. Only when I did that at the final 45 degree elbow did it begin to drain faster, and with more repetitions, the drain keeps up with the faucet.

I never guessed I would have to be so aggressive advancing and withdrawing the auger to disrupt the blockage. My fear, perhaps still valid, was that there was a piece of cut PVC from the original installation that had been dropped in there and was caught at an elbow and serving as the strainer to catch particulates.

Any suggestions now? I ran a LOT of hot water before full assembly and again afterward. Do I simply run soapy hot water or sodium hydroxide drain cleaner to continue to dissolve the clog and help prevent another clog?
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:24 PM   #11
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Thanks for the update. Maybe get some kind of enzyme drain cleaner. it should help breakdown the sludge.

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