bathroom sink clogged

Discussion in 'Drain and Sewer Cleaning' started by will91, Feb 13, 2020.

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  1. Feb 13, 2020 #1

    will91

    will91

    will91

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    Hello:

    Odd recurring problem with a bathroom sink clogging. The sink builds up a clog over time and drains more and more slowly. Ultimately I give in and pour drano or something similar down and let it sit for a while.

    Then the following has happened a couple times: after letting the clog break down, I rinse the sink and water is flowing smoothly, normally. No problems. Then maybe I clean a bit or try to scrape something off the drain and all of the sudden water starts flowing completely, totally still, nothing going down.

    What's going on?

    Thanks———
     
  2. Feb 13, 2020 #2

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber

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    “and all of the sudden water starts flowing completely, totally still, nothing going down.”

    Did you mean to say, water STOPS flowing completely?

    If you did, that makes sense.

    The clog just re-forms as body oil and soap and hair keep sliding down the drain, and get caught in a tight spot.

    It is critical to run a ton of super hot tap water after the drain cleaner opens up the clog.
    I usually pour super hot water from a five gallon bucket filled from the tub faucet.

    If the sink drain has a history of clogging, then the whole drain probably has a grease and hair coating that is just waiting to break off and cause more clogs.

    An enzyme cleaner like Drain Defender will gradually eat that stuff away safely, and open up more of the whole pipe diameter, with regular and correct use.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2020 #3

    will91

    will91

    will91

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    Yes-that is what I meant, thanks.

    It's bizarre though, water is TOTALLY stagnant. Tried plunging some more and pulled more and more gunk up, so the sink bowl is just a black mess. But the water level has literally not descended a millimeter.

    The odd thing is—this has happened before and then at some point the water inexplicably will rapidly drain, almost as if there were a suction issue somewhere in the pipes preventing it from going down. Again, this always happens in situation like this where the water is ABSOLUTELY stagnant, not merely *slowly draining* as was happening when this problem began..
     
  4. Feb 13, 2020 #4

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    Put on some gloves and eye protection (in case of splatter from any drain cleaner remaining in pipes-- that stuff can burn you), put a bucket underneath the drain, dismantle the P-trap and see if anything is clogging it. Clean it out as best as you can. If it doesn't appear to have build-up or obstructions, you can then get a plumbing "snake" to snake the down the pipe and see if it clears any obstructions in the line. Using a snake to clear a clog is more effective than using chemicals. If you're not sure how to use one, I'm sure Youtube can show some techniques. I had to snake from the cleanout just before the septic tank to break up a clog in a pipe somewhere inside-- something was catching stuff & stopping the flow. Can't use the drain cleaners on a septic tank.
     
  5. Feb 13, 2020 #5

    Geofd

    Geofd

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    I'm with zanne there are some small hand spin snakes you can buy for about 20.00????? i think we have guys in our shop that only use drain cleaner does it work yes but over time you will be replacing your drain
     
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  6. Feb 13, 2020 #6

    will91

    will91

    will91

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    Thanks for all the input. I fear it's something more complicated.. so I woke up this morning and the water had not drained AT ALL, leading me to believe this is not just a simple blockage? Or it's very deep in the pipes?

    Anyway, I took apart the U-bend (I think that's the p-trap?) under the sink, no major blockages. The water in the sink drained out the bottom and I cleaned up what was basically sludge in the sink. Put it all back together and—the water starts backing up again! Same issue, will not flow at all.

    As this happened, it almost looked as if very small bubbles were coming up from the drain—I don't know if this suggests some sewer gas issue or is unimportant and just from the disturbance caused by running water.

    So frustrating! Any thoughts? Get a snake?
     
  7. Feb 13, 2020 #7

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Geofd

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    yes get a snake....if your not experienced ridgid makes a hand crank snake were you said it filled right up its fairly close..... there is a (ty) in the wall...one way is the drain....the other goes up...its the vent when you push the snake in use a flash light to make sure you are going down the drain DO NOT FORCE IT...patience is key...when you feel resistance stop feeding it in.but stay there and crank it until you start moving again....keep going until you have no cable left....
    on question i didn't ask is if you have access in the basement.....i forget what floor this is on if its above the first floor this won't help if you have access in the basement try
    that after you have tried under the sink....if this all makes sense
     
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  8. Feb 13, 2020 #8

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    I'm with Geofd on this. Sounds like you have a major blockage farther down the line. Using a hand auger "snake" might be able to clear it. It just takes patience. Drain cleaner can eat through the pipes over time. If you are unable to clear the blockage yourself, you may need to hire someone to come in with a camera to see if there are pipes penetrated by tree roots or some sort of breach allowing mud or debris in to block the pipe. Sometimes if the pipe comes apart underground and is not aligned it will clog.
     

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