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  #1  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:19 PM
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Location: Eau Claire WI
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Slow tub/sink drains?

Hello everybody, Anybody know plumbing?

Reason I ask this, is because both the bathroom sink, and the tubs drains are going slowly. They've both been going slower and slower, and they've been ignored untill now. Both had lots of drano down them, to no avail. I took apart the sinks plumbing (to the p trap), and cleaned a bunch of gunk out of it, but its still slow. I'm dumbfounded as to what I should do to the tub, because doing the plastic fitting on the sink was a pita, cant imagion what the metal piping is like...

Can somebody help me? I really dont know alot about plumbing, but If somebody teaches me I can learn.

I hope to tackel it this weekend if its not major

Thanks alot
~Nate
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:45 PM
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Most tub and sink drains eventually tie together so the problem is probably after they join. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a good quality25' long 1/4 inch hand snake in a drum. (cheap ones are not worth it--they kink). I got a good quality Rigid snake at Home Depot. You'll need to remove the p trap from the sink to access the stub pipe coming out of the wall. You snake the tub down thru the overflow--you'll have to remove the face plate. Push the snake in, turning it if you hit a corner to get it around When the going gets hard and you feel the obstacle spin the drum and push it thru. 25' should get you being the 2' pipe into the 4' main drain which is probably clear. Pull out the snake. Immediately run hot water down the drains for at least 5 minutes. What often happens in situations like this is that on long runs with just a little drop, sludge will build up. It is black, slimy and virtually impossible to get off your hands. Wear latex gloves. This sludge can fall back into place once the snake has gone thru and resolidify. The hot water pushes it out. Have lots of paper or plastic around when you pull the snake out because there will be a lot of black sludge. Rinse off the snake.
Problem should be solved. Report back if not.
Remember the three rules of plumbing:
Get the stink above the roofline
Water flows downhill
Dont bite your fingernails

One warning. I once snaked out a poorly plumbed system. The snake went up the badly corroded galvanized vent pipe instead of the drain and became lodged in the rust. I had to take t he wall apart and remove the pipes to get the snake out. I now approach obstacles cautiously, snaking in an inch or two, then back out to avoid repeating my mistake.

By the way, a plugged vent can cause poor drainage. It is almost always accompanied by gurgling in the drain.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2005, 11:03 PM
GottaDiesel's Avatar
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Careful with snakes. You might shoot it through the P-Trap.

Want a hint.

Bleach. Go old fashion straight bleach. Poor a gallon down the drain in question and let sit for 2-4 hours. Overnight is best.

Wake up and flush good and hot water (boil it if you can first) and send it down the drain. Bleach kicks ass because it disolves hair, etc.

Cheaper than Drain-O and works GREAT!

Pete
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2005, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry edwards
Most tub and sink drains eventually tie together so the problem is probably after they join. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a good quality25' long 1/4 inch hand snake in a drum. (cheap ones are not worth it--they kink). I got a good quality Rigid snake at Home Depot. You'll need to remove the p trap from the sink to access the stub pipe coming out of the wall. You snake the tub down thru the overflow--you'll have to remove the face plate. Push the snake in, turning it if you hit a corner to get it around When the going gets hard and you feel the obstacle spin the drum and push it thru. 25' should get you being the 2' pipe into the 4' main drain which is probably clear. Pull out the snake. Immediately run hot water down the drains for at least 5 minutes. What often happens in situations like this is that on long runs with just a little drop, sludge will build up. It is black, slimy and virtually impossible to get off your hands. Wear latex gloves. This sludge can fall back into place once the snake has gone thru and resolidify. The hot water pushes it out. Have lots of paper or plastic around when you pull the snake out because there will be a lot of black sludge. Rinse off the snake.
Problem should be solved. Report back if not.
Remember the three rules of plumbing:
Get the stink above the roofline
Water flows downhill
Dont bite your fingernails

One warning. I once snaked out a poorly plumbed system. The snake went up the badly corroded galvanized vent pipe instead of the drain and became lodged in the rust. I had to take t he wall apart and remove the pipes to get the snake out. I now approach obstacles cautiously, snaking in an inch or two, then back out to avoid repeating my mistake.

By the way, a plugged vent can cause poor drainage. It is almost always accompanied by gurgling in the drain.
Yip.


I always run the snake through after removing the P trap.
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2005, 07:17 AM
MedMech
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Do you have a septic system or sewer?
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2005, 08:09 AM
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Pretty sure we have a sewer, but how can I tell for sure?

~Nate
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2005, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nateid15
Pretty sure we have a sewer, but how can I tell for sure?

~Nate
Most people would be paying a sewage bill of they had it....not with a septic system.....

Having city water is not an indication however.
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2005, 10:47 AM
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We had 2 situations where the main plumbing out of the house became clogged. Be sure to check the lowest drain in your house for backups, especially if you have a basement.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2005, 01:10 PM
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You can also try automatic dishwashing machine soap. Get a cheap big jug of the gel and fill the drain so your sure the trap is loaded before you go to bed at night. Run hot water then load up with the soap. Let set all night. Flush in the morning with hot water. Other than a physical blockage like a big old hair ball often times soap scum will build up at the lowest point, the trap. Repeat this process a few times. I do this at my house a couple of times a year. My girlfriend does not understand dumping bacon grease down the kitchen sink is really not a good idea.

The snake is the best but be careful. I have a few horror stories as well about using a snake. One time I had a snake bore a hole thru a rotten pipe and not find out about it for 3 months. The tub and sink were draining under the house for all that time. It was nasty!
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2005, 01:14 PM
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If you don't know if you have a septic or sewer..........CALL A PLUMBER. A f--- up with a snake could do much more damage.
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2005, 01:34 PM
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are there any Silver Maple trees or other large trees near the house? maybe the main drains are clogged with sap roots....
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1971 280SE W108
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2005, 01:50 PM
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I've had a fair amount of experience with these kinds of clogs as a landlord. I usually do a couple a year. If no other sinks or drains in the house have problems, it's almost certainly in the 2' line between the sink/tub and the main. Those two fixtures usually collect a lot of hair.
If your'e careful with a 25' handsnake, I don't think you can do much damage. A large powersnake on the other hand is a different kettle of fish altogether.
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