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Steve S 12-15-2011 04:34 PM

Mini Rooter vs. drill-powered snake.
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The drain for my kitchen sink is clogged. The clog is down in the basement floor slab. I've got one of those hand crank snakes but it only gets about 4 or 5 feet before stopping. I metal ribbon snake does the same thing. I'm not sure if it's the clog stopping it, or a bend in the line (see pic below.) The main sewer stack is off to the right, so the line from the kitchen drain must bend to the right at some point.

So anyway, I'm debating between renting a mini rooter from Home Depot or buying a drill-powered one with a trigger advance. See the youtube video below and fast-forward to 3:15 to see one. Does anyone know what brand it is.

I'm looking for input comparing the two. Is the auto-advance feature of the drill-powered one worth it, or is it no better than pushing by hand? The drill and the mini rooter are both 1/3 hp.

Steve S

Bud Cline 12-15-2011 05:30 PM

Emphasizing the use of a reversible variable speed drill motor, preferably of a low RPM. I don't see where the auto feed is beneficial or necessary but hey...that's your decision.

Also notice in the video that the guy got lucky and didn't knock out any of his teeth or cause any eye-damage when he allowed the snake to coil and whip uncontrollably due to triggering with way too much snake played out in the middle of no where.

I would suggest a person wear safety glasses and gloves when performing this type of surgery.

ben's plumbing 12-15-2011 06:42 PM

I would replace that old castiron to kitchen sink with plastic while doing that will be able to access floor clog and install a clean out for future acess...

TheEplumber 12-15-2011 06:53 PM

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don't bother with the toy in the video- its a POS

jeffgedgaud 12-16-2011 11:42 AM

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I have two possible solutions for you to think about and check out; replace the cast iron portion or a pressure washer sewer jetter.

Last year I replaced some cast iron venting from a bathroom to the roof with a short piece of plastic and a cleanout. The cast iron was easy to snap and get the piece out to replace with plastic. I rented a cutter from a local rentall and it only cost about $15, I think, as the job for that part took an hour from getting the tool getting the job done with it and returning it. The drive is only five minutes so it took little time.

I spent about $100 on the tool, plumbing supplies like the rubber connections and PVC fittings. The cost was good and I did not count the wood used to create a nice looking surround for it as it was stuff I had lying around. Working with cast iron is unnerving if you never have before but it was actually pretty easy.

From your picture it looks like you have enough room to work and it would probably be an easy job but I would start at the hub right below the cleanout about three feet off the floor to ensure you have plenty of working pipe. If you cut below the bottom hub and the pipe breaks enough to not allow a tight fit with a rubber connection you would need to dig into your concrete floor and that means lots of work and more money.

Its up to you but I also have a possible tool if you have a pressure washer, I used a Clog Hog to jet my sewer drain and cleared clogs out of the floor drain that runs from my kitchen sink, a bathroom and washing machine. I reviewed the Clog Hog here, I am not just plugging their product and my article though.

I now own a hundred year old home and understand the problems with fixing things, I want to make sure I do things right but I also don't want to spend so much money at one time when I can't afford it. That is one reason why I review products like this. The Clog Hog worked well with my floor drain and bathroom sink using my pressure washer, just an electric one but they sell hose sewer jetters for higher pressure washers and gas operated as well.

I did do the work on my upstairs vent pipe, picture is below, as you can see I did not have a lot of room to work with. I am leery of cutting cast iron close to the floor as I worry about cutting off or breaking too much and having to cut into the floor. I am worried a lot when working on several different areas of my home especially with plumbing that is old and of breaking things and having to wind up doing a lot more work than I planned or can afford at the time.

I have had clogs repeatedly and looked for a solution that did not require a two to three hundred dollar auger, calling a plumber or something else that also cost a lot. I do own those water hose bladders in two sizes but they did not clean out the pipe but merely blowing some of the clog out enough to get water through. I built a sewer camera from an auto backup camera to use with the Clog Hog and saw the results after a little cleaning. I did more cleaning after the video taping but will also do some more over the upcoming holidays when I have gotten caught up on more work.

Good luck with your project.

Jeff Gedgaud

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