Slow Kitchen Drain - Tried Almost Everything! - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-12-2009, 11:14 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


I have posted this same problem on two other sites in the past two months. I'm looking for some fresh ideas, so please forgive me if you're read this before!

My wife and I own a duplex. The first floor was used by my wife's grandmother, who passed away several years ago.

I am finally getting around to remodeling the first floor. About a year before she passed away, her kitchen sink began stopping up. Usually, a quick plungering would solve the problem. Since she didn't use the sink much, it wasn't much of a problem.

While I was remodeling the kitchen, I began focusing on the drain problem. First I took apart the garbage disposal, but found nothing. I then replaced the S-trap. I even then poured Liquid Plumber directly into the drain in the floor and let it sit for a few days. Nothing helped.

The drain consists of a one-foot vertical brass pipe going into the floor, a 90deg elbow, a one-foot horizontal piece, a 45deg elbow, and then a 6-foot horizontal pipe right into the stack. The whole thing is 1.5" diameter.

I've had suggestions that the system isn't vented properly. I've had others say that once the S-trap was removed, that shouldn't be an issue.

I've had people tell me there's a blockage somewhere, however I have snaked and snaked until my arms have fallen off. I can get about eight feet into the drain, which, coincidentally, it right where the drain hits the main stack. In the beginning, I had some gunk come out, but lately, nothing other than stagnant, stinky water. I apply pressure and twist and twiat, and whatever the head is biting into, it's not budging. This makes me think the head is biting into the stack somewhere.

No other drains in the duplex have a problem. The general opinion is that the problem is definitely somewhere from the main stack to the sink. I'm about ready to just cut the pipe and get in there with a flashlight to see for myself what is going on, but now I'm afraid that if I do that, I will need to tear out the wall again and replace my older S-trap with an in-wall system and a P-trap to make it code-compliant.

Thanks for any help or guesses anyone might have. I'm a few days away from just breaking down and calling a plumber.

Advertisement

Critical Mass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 11:37 AM   #2
Tool Geek
 
PaliBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific Palisades CA
Posts: 2,546
Rewards Points: 2,072
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Critical Mass View Post
..........I'm a few days away from just breaking down and calling a plumber.
Counting 1,2.3
  • You have a main line problem
  • Ask your neighbors for a good plumber
  • Don't call one of the Radio Ad Plumbers
.

Advertisement

__________________
Disclaimer
& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery
PaliBob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 11:50 AM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Thank you for the very quick response, but can you please explain why you think it's a main line problem when everything else flows fine, including the bathroom tub and sink which enter the main stack a mere 8" above the kitchen sink? You're the first person to suggest that.
Critical Mass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 01:25 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 264
Rewards Points: 258
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Can you replace the pipe ? My in-law replaced his and it was over 50 % blocked. I don't think any amount of snaking would have gotten the buildup I saw. Since you are remodeling now is a good time. I would suspect a blockage at the junction to the main stack.

I have also heard pros and cons on the enzyme cleaners.
tribe_fan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,670
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


In most areas, "S" traps are not even allowed by code. They prevent venting. Caustic drain cleaners eat a small hole in the clog, and then run to the main, leaving a partial clog to start all over again. Enzyme cleaners such as Draincare by Zep, cling to and eat the organic matter. I am also guessing that the drain is galvanized steel pipe. These make their own problems with rust. If at all possible, I would replace this run of pipe.
__________________
If you have never made a mistake, you haven't done much.
majakdragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 01:45 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Yes, I CAN replace the pipe. My issues are, however:

1) I'm not exactly sure how the pipe is connected to the stack It looks like the 1.5" pipe is going into a larger hole in the stack with some sort of adapter. I don't know how standard this is.

2) I don't know that with my little standard butane torch and plumber's wrench, I would be able to un-sweat (correct term?) the pipe from this "adapter", especially since it's always filled with water.

3) I've thought about simply cutting the pipe about a foot away from the stack to get a better idea of what's going on. If the pipe needs replacing, I guess I would just use a PVC pipe and one of those "clamps" to join them together, but I don't know how "legal" that is, or whether or not I would now need to convert the S-trap into a P-trap.
Critical Mass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 02:45 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Sorry, majakdragon, I didn't even see your post.

It's a brass or copper pipe, not steel. And I think the problem with the drain cleaner is that there's so much water backed up in the pipe already, that the drain cleaner can't even penetrate into it. The drain cleaner I used before didn't even put a dent into it -- I poured it in, waited a few days, ran water, and it was still backed up.
Critical Mass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 04:18 PM   #8
Long-Time DIYer
 
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
Posts: 1,460
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Try the DrainCare as suggested. Always works for me.
Mike
Mike Swearingen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 05:31 PM   #9
Tool Geek
 
PaliBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific Palisades CA
Posts: 2,546
Rewards Points: 2,072
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Critical Mass View Post
.......can you please explain why you think it's a main line problem when everything else flows fine..........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Critical Mass View Post
I can get about eight feet into the drain, which, coincidentally, it right where the drain hits the main stack. ..

OK I take it back, since you know the Main Line is A OK do not call a Plumber
.
__________________
Disclaimer
& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery
PaliBob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 06:04 PM   #10
JDC
Plumbing Contractor
 
JDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 392
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


The Liquid Plumber didnt work because....well because its Liquid Plumber. That crap only does one other thing than what majakdragon stated. In addition to eating a very small (and I mean very small) hole in the clog any remaining Liquid Plumber will then begin to solidify causing even more trouble. Same goes for Draino or any other caustic drain "cleaner" on the market. Oh yeah...one more thing it will do. Caustic drain cleaners will actually react with copper and eat it up.

What kind of auger did you use? You need a power auger to get through it. However, given that you're remodeling I'd go ahead and replace the drain, throw in a p trap and a vent. If running a vent up the wall and tying it in somewhere or terminating it by itself through the roof isnt an option I'd at least put an AAV on it.

From your description of how the drain is tied into the stack I'm picturing the copper being soldered into a cast iron stack by way of a solder bushing. I'd cut the copper even with the fitting on the stack, cut a slot out of the solder bushing and with a hammer and chisel, get the solder bushing out. From that point I'd use a 1-1/2" fernco donut in the hub of the fitting to transition to pvc.

My guess is that if you do replace the drain you're going to find the clog right at the transition at the stack. If you dont want to go with the replacement then get a power auger and clean that sucker out.

Whatever route you go, get rid of that Liquid Plumr. If it actually worked dont you think we plumbers would make extensive use of it?
JDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 09:14 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: plano tx
Posts: 28
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


We had the same problem with one toilet. It was tree roots. Ask a plumber to run a camera down a vent pipe. Yes it cost money. Ours cost $13000. to fix. We spent the money and have not had a problem since. I tried to solve the problem myself but it was beyond me-- it took a plumber.
PLAIN O TX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 09:56 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


The ZEP draincare sounds familiar. If it's sold in a white canister with a blue and yellow label, and you have to mix a "scoop" of powder with hot water, yes, I've tried that, and no, that didn't work either.

It sounds like I'm going to have to try renting a power auger first before replacing the line...
Critical Mass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 05:36 PM   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Well, I went to Home Depot today, and I was told that since the pipe is only 1.5" wide, that the "bigger" and "thicker" augers won't fit well, and if I have any bends in my pipes, I could damage the pipe or the tool. The only one they had that they would rent me was 25' long and 1/4" thick. Instead of renting the power auger, I simply bought the same thing for $21.00, and attached it to my own drill.

I put the auger in as far as I could go, pulled the trigger on my drill, and it started to go in. I fed a few more inches and pulled the trigger. It went down. I did this one more time and pulled the trigger. It went down some more. I decided to pull the whole thing out and clean the crap out... and all I pulled out was 8 feet of 1/4" spring that was twisted up like a pretzel.

This can not be a simple clog. The head has to be getting caught somewhere. I'm going to have to cut this pipe and if I get nowhere, call the pro.
Critical Mass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 05:46 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


A garden hose from your hot water heater drain will force hot water at 50 PSI into the pipe. Use rags as a gasket. It's free and can't hurt.
Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 06:26 PM   #15
Tool Geek
 
PaliBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific Palisades CA
Posts: 2,546
Rewards Points: 2,072
Default

Slow kitchen drain - tried almost everything!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Critical Mass View Post
This can not be a simple clog. .... I'm going to have to cut this pipe and if I get nowhere, call the pro.
C.M.,Since you've gone this far go ahead and start with cuttng the horizontal run to the stack. Cut out the largest section that is practical to replace with ABS.

If you can possibly replace the existing junction to the stack with an ABS Combination Tee & Wye, you will never have a repeat of not getting an auger through the transition.

The combination T&W's come in a wide variety of inlet to body sizes but even if you can only find, say a 2" inlet for a sze that will fit your stack, then you can always put a reducer in the horizontal run.

A Good Plumbing Supply House has a much bigger selection than the Big Box stores.

Attached Images
 

Advertisement

__________________
Disclaimer
& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery

Last edited by PaliBob; 07-13-2009 at 06:32 PM. Reason: sp
PaliBob is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
venting kitchen sink drain illinifan Plumbing 2 05-03-2009 08:26 AM
washer drain is draing slow mrmordun Plumbing 13 03-08-2009 11:45 PM
Kitchen remodel, sink drain rework pinkertonpv Plumbing 3 02-18-2009 11:06 AM
Sudden SUPER slow drain in kitchen through disposal pcampbell Plumbing 11 11-07-2008 06:13 AM
The Bioswale, french drain, deck, drainage dilemma (long) seabright_sc Building & Construction 2 01-05-2008 04:37 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts