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Old 10-28-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
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Slop sink backing up... help!




My basement slop sink is backing up from the washing machine, and also filling up from the drain when other things are in use (kitchen sink directly above, toilet and shower in half-level-up office, etc).

Since water is coming back into the sink, I'm assuming the blockage is somewhere in that main pipe, below where the sink drain connects to it.

I have a pipe snake, never really used it but willing to give it a try. Where do I try snaking the problem? As you can see in the photo, I have access to the main drain pipe. Should I take that cap off and try there?

Any advice for a first-timer trying something like this?

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Old 10-28-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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Slop sink backing up... help!


Since the drains above the basement are backed up, prepare for a flood of water (and worse) when you open that clean-out. You can try a snake but renting a drain cable machine would be better.

Personally I would call a plumber, he will have the equipment needed.

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Old 10-28-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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Slop sink backing up... help!


That cap in the picture is the place----your system is full of water so be prepared for a gusher when you get that open--

A powered auger with a larger diameter than your little hand snake will be needed to do the job right---

The auger needs to clear the pipe----and a little one will only poke a hole through the crud--but leave the gunk stuck to the walls of the pipe---
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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Slop sink backing up... help!


Yeah, I had a feeling I'd be getting wet if I opened the cap. The water does go down, slowly, if I don't run any water anywhere in the house. I have to run out for a couple of hours anyway, so I'll let the drain and hopefully I'll get less of a gusher when I open it later.

Anyone ever used a bladder? I have this main pipe bladder that you hook up to a hose and drop into the pipe. It expands and seals the pipe, then applies pressure downline to move the blockage.

Do these things work?
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:24 PM   #5
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Slop sink backing up... help!


is this on city or private sewer
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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Slop sink backing up... help!


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Originally Posted by mikemcd View Post
Yeah, I had a feeling I'd be getting wet if I opened the cap. The water does go down, slowly, if I don't run any water anywhere in the house. I have to run out for a couple of hours anyway, so I'll let the drain and hopefully I'll get less of a gusher when I open it later.

Anyone ever used a bladder? I have this main pipe bladder that you hook up to a hose and drop into the pipe. It expands and seals the pipe, then applies pressure downline to move the blockage.

Do these things work?
If I could open the clean out after it dried up, I would give it a try. Can't make it any worse
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
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Slop sink backing up... help!


Those old clean out caps can be a challenge to open---If you have trouble---come back---we all have a method or two that has worked---
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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Slop sink backing up... help!


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is this on city or private sewer
City.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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Slop sink backing up... help!




Ok... now what...

Edit: Nevermind. I know I'm in over my head at this point. Calling in some professional help.

Not sure my guy can come out, though. I'm in NJ. We're supposed to be getting a little weather tomorrow.

He's going to call me at 7am to see if he or someone else can get out here. I'm in-land enough that hopefully we won't get the heavier part of the storm until later in the day, and maybe the plumber can get here before then.

Last edited by mikemcd; 10-28-2012 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:18 PM   #10
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Slop sink backing up... help!


Is that cap brass? If so you can knock the center out with a hammer---then collapse the threaded part into the opening using a cold chisel and hammer---

Might be a good idea to wait---pack that hole with a glob of plumbers putty or cover it with grey tape---
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:25 PM   #11
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Slop sink backing up... help!


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Is that cap brass? If so you can knock the center out with a hammer---then collapse the threaded part into the opening using a cold chisel and hammer---

Might be a good idea to wait---pack that hole with a glob of plumbers putty or cover it with grey tape---
I ended up hammering the broken part back into place as best I could, then duct taping the hell out of it. I stuck a bucket underneath just in case of any leakage.

Just to be sure, I flushed a toilet and ran a sink to see if anything leaked. It's totally dry, so as long as I don't use a ton of water, it should be fine till morning. Or worst case, until this storm is over.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:35 AM   #12
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Slop sink backing up... help!


This must have been a bad weekend for DIY plumbing---you are the second member to throw in the towel on a project and call in a plumber----

Don't feel bad--those old plugs are stuck most of the time and require brutal methods to remove----plastic ones are used to replace the old metal plugs by may people.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #13
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Slop sink backing up... help!


I'm glad I did throw in the towel. My pipe snake wouldn't have done it. The plumber ran the Maxi Rooter for almost an hour to clear the blockage.

He tells me my house was once on septic, and the pipes run in some crazy configuration under the house. It was hard for him to reach the blockage because the pipes seem to run towards the back of the house, then turn and head forwards to the street. It's a longer distance to travel to get to the blockage.

So even if I could have reached the block, which is doubtful, it was severe enough that my snake probably wouldn't have done much to move it.

He put a fit-all cap on to replace the broken one.

Just glad it's done. I gave him an extra $50 for coming out in a hurricane.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #14
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Slop sink backing up... help!


I suspect you learned something and that is if the water level in the sink is below the clean out cap and blockage wasn't between the sink and the clean out, water wouldn't gush out the cap when removed.

If the fit all cap has threads and the plumber didn't apply teflon tape to the threads I recommend removing it and doing just that so it can be removed in 20 years if need be.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:18 AM   #15
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Slop sink backing up... help!


Glad that worked out for you-----Rodding out a main line is a real skill---I hire out all of that work--

Those machines weigh a lot and cost a bunch-----I believe those guys earn their money----the hard way.

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