Basement drain clogged

Discussion in 'Drain and Sewer Cleaning' started by onceaduck, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Mar 27, 2014 #1

    onceaduck

    onceaduck

    onceaduck

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    I have a basement drain that quickly overflows, then very slowly drains, when water from the washing machine discharges into it or when water is run in the kitchen sink. The line from the kitchen sink runs pretty much straight down to the basement, then turns in the general direction of the drain (a few feet away) as it goes under the poured cement basement floor. The clog must be just past where the kitchen line joins the main line from the drain. The total distance from the kitchen drain to where the clog seems to be is 15-18'. None of the other plumbing, which is downstream, is affected.

    This is a 90-year-old house, and there is no clean-out plug in the open drain. The drain has a trap, but I haven't been able to get a manual 1/4" snake through it (and was worried about getting it bound up in the pipe). What do you think is the best way to approach this? If I use an electric snake running from the kitchen, it has to be narrow enough for the 1.5" line there, but the clog is in a 3-4" main line. Or should I try to run an electric snake directly into the drain and try to get it through the trap? What size/kind of snake do I need? Are there any non-snake alternatives (a clog buster or a hose, for example)?

    Thanks for any ideas!
     
  2. Apr 4, 2014 #2

    onceaduck

    onceaduck

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    All right--I'm getting desperate. As soon as I run water in the kitchen sink, it starts backing up and forming a pool over the basement drain. If I do dishes by hand, using as little water as possible, it still takes a couple of hours for the pool to empty back into the basement drain. It could stop draining altogether pretty soon.

    So here are the options I see:

    1) Trying to blow out the clog with water pressure by running a hose into the drain and stuffing rags into the drain and into the pipe under the kitchen sink. This sounds like a disaster (or at least a mess) in the making, but would it work? What are the hazards?

    2) Running an electric snake from the 1.5" pipe under the kitchen sink the 15'-20' to the clog. Could a snake narrow enough to make it down the kitchen pipe clear a clog in a 3"-4" main? If so, what size snake could do it?

    3) Running an electric snake into the floor drain to clear the clog maybe 5' away. Could a snake big enough for a 3"-4" line make it through the trap about a foot below the drain? What size snake?

    4) Running a snake from the lateral near the street into the main about 50' to the clog. What size snake?

    5) Say "Screw it" and call a plumber.

    Note that I have no experience with an electric snake (but some with a small manual snake) and that money is a big issue, so the cheaper and least likely to mess up (the two not being the same) the better.

    Any thoughts would really be appreciated!
     
  3. Jun 24, 2014 #3

    acesfour

    acesfour

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    I know you are cash strapped but I think you really need to call a plumber. If money is tight see if you can find a plumber willing to work with you by setting up monthly payments.

    Tracy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2014
  4. Jun 24, 2014 #4

    havasu

    havasu

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    I agree with Aces. To rent the appropriate snake will cost you ~$25-$40, then you have to deal with getting it home. Once you are home, you have to use the snake correctly, or you will easily snap a bone in your body or other injury. Then if you are lucky enough to guide the snake in the correct direction (not doing so will also cause damage), you may clear the back up. Then, you have to haul the snake back before 5 PM so as to not incur another day's charge of ~$25-$40.

    Yep, I'm with Aces and would rather call a professional. They know what they are doing, gets in quick and out quick, no mess, no fuss, and best of all, no injuries to yourself!
     
  5. Jun 24, 2014 #5

    Viking3080

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    A block like that should take no time with a professional a should only cost you 100 to 150 dollars at most aces is right
     
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  6. Jun 25, 2014 #6

    onceaduck

    onceaduck

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    Thanks for the advice. I agree that a plumber is the best option--just an option I'd hoped to avoid after a couple of expensive plumber calls in the last 3 years.

    Since the drain isn't completely clogged, I've been able to make do with a "bucket brigade" when doing laundry (wash and rinse water drain to a tub which drains to a couple of buckets that I empty into the basement toilet). All that has to make it past the clog, then, is water from the kitchen sink. So far, that hasn't been a problem. But laundry is definitely a hands-on activity now.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Aug 12, 2014 #7

    Miles

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    Hey I think your drain clogged problem is major, there is way to unplug a drain is to use about 90 pounds of air pressure down the sink hole. air compressor and a stopper. shoot the air into the pipe causing 90 pounds of pressure against the clog. Being the pipe is an inch and a half pressure builds up fast. If a gurggling sound is heard bu you then release the air pressure with the safety valve. The clog came loose. Pour lot of water down the drain and it should run through the pipe. but it maybe difficult for you. But try it if possible.
     
  8. Aug 12, 2014 #8

    havasu

    havasu

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    I'm sorry Miles, but I am going to call you out on this reply. Having an untrained person using compressed air, especially not knowing whether or not they have just used caustic chemicals in the same drain is a recipe for disaster.
     
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  9. Aug 13, 2014 #9

    onceaduck

    onceaduck

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    I appreciate the suggestion for the compressed air approach. For the record, I have not used any chemicals in the drain. However, I am untrained (in plumbing, compressed air, and a few other things) and am not clear how to use compressed air with a stopper.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. Aug 21, 2014 #10

    acesfour

    acesfour

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    90 psi is a lot of pressure for someone untrained. Look, renting a compressor etc is going to cost more than the plumber. Just hire the plumber. IMO.

    Tracy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2014

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