Slow Basement Drain

Discussion in 'Drain and Sewer Cleaning' started by dbailey60, Jan 15, 2013.

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  1. Jan 15, 2013 #1

    dbailey60

    dbailey60

    dbailey60

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    What are my chances of unclogging a slow basement drain with a little Muriatic Acid ? I has seen plumbers use it before and they would just made sure they ran plenty of water down the drain after they were finished. Now bare in mind I'm talking about a home that was built in 1925 and there are about four different floor drains in the basement and they all drain fine except one we have been using for our washer drain and of course they are cast iron drains . The drain that is slow is only about 25 to 30ft long and runs into another line under the poured cement floor that runs fine. I have used snakes in all clean outs which I am so thankful for but this drain well I'm going to say all drains are static and getting any kind of snake in them is beyond me if I can take a picture of them I will and post here. Any comments would be taken with good advice and intentions.

    I found this on the internet and mine are the same just a screen over them.

    thCA0U0MPR.jpg
     
  2. Jan 15, 2013 #2

    stevemachine

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    Well I wouldn't recommended any drain chemicals. Especially old piping in my opinion its suicide. It could turn ugly quick, from a hundred some dollar job to hire someone to auger it out to Hundreds or a thousand dollar job to replace some piping under concrete. It's your call but drain chemicals used properly don't always work effectively. I'd just get it augered/snaked and save the headache.
     
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  3. Jan 16, 2013 #3

    phishfood

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    On cast iron piping, I would strongly recommend against using any kind of acid, that is a good way of turning a clogged drain line into one needing replacement.

    A skilled drain guy can usually get into and through most kinds of drains.
     
  4. Jan 16, 2013 #4

    dbailey60

    dbailey60

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    I hear what is being said and I do agree it is just that I can not even get a small snake to go through this small opening at the bottom of the drain which take's a small curve to the left facing the drain . I would say the drain opening at the bottom is only about 2 inches in diameter and have or at least seems I have done everything I can to get a small snake 1/4" to go any where with out any success. I make it about six inches and that's it. It drains ok but not as fast as the other two in the basement.
    If I remember right when we first bought the house in 2007 all the basement drains were clogged and I rented a commercial auger ran it down all clean outs and everything went as I had hoped meaning all drains flowed freely and I have just completed another session of drain cleaning with my small 1" hand held snake and on all cleanouts I can manage to use it on are clean as can be just as before when using the larger auger. I'm going to say that since this drain is being used as a washer drain it must be lint getting past my screen and it looks as though this drain is no longer than 20ft at the most. I am stuck on what to do next as I hate getting on my knees as I used to being an age problem and all the hard work I have done in the past as a matter of fact I was a residential construction crew boss at one time and built many stick homes at one time and would love to do it again but my body says no. Darn knee's!


    So if any body has any more Idea's please through them at me I really do not want to go the plumber route but if I have to I have to.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2013 #5

    stevemachine

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    The 1/4 cable your trying to use is it power or handheld? You may need a good powered snake to punch through it, maybe your getting stuck on an elbow? It's hard to say without physically being there. You may want to look into a drain enzyme and try that. It may make a difference. I would agree its lint more than likely. The scale on cast iron catches a lot of stuff and plus the soap scum causes the lint to bunch together in the drain, most enzymes will eat up the soap scum and therefore should alleviate your issue, especially if you use the enzymes regularly like monthly.
     
  6. Jan 16, 2013 #6

    IFIXH20

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    Do your floor drain have a clean-out on the inside wall of the drain, if so remove the clean-out cap/plug and pour water down the drain to see if it drains, if it drains then your problem is in the trap ,if not it's the drain line (and possible the trap). If the problem is in the trap I have had luck running a 1/4'' power cable with a wet/dry vac hose in drain(pushed down to the trap entrance) while running the cable.
     
  7. Jan 17, 2013 #7

    johnjh2o

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    If the line is 2" I wouldn't use a 1/4" cable. A cable that small in a line that size can turn on itself and become stuck in the line.

    John
     
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  8. Jan 17, 2013 #8

    IFIXH20

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    I agree John that the cable can come back, But we use 1/4'' cables on 2'' shower drains & floor drain traps all the time, but then again we're professional and know how to handle a drain machine. 3/8'' or little bigger would be a better choice.
     
  9. Jan 18, 2013 #9

    dbailey60

    dbailey60

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    stevemachine , the 1/4 is just a handheld and there is an elbow at the bottom of the drain I can manage to get two fingers in it. It turns to the left when facing the drain from opposite side of opening facing the outside wall. If I had to make a wild guess the clog is way past the elbow. I have no clean out on that drain but have removed three others and had a blast ! Ha ! I will probably go ahead and rent me a power auger and run with that to see if I can get any where. I'll even jump up to a 3/8's to keep everyone happy . I don't think I mentioned it but I've only got about 10 to 12 ft. to reach before I run into the main drain ( 6 in ) that I just ran down with a 1 in power auger. Clean as a pin !
     
  10. Jan 18, 2013 #10

    stevemachine

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    Yes definitely get a power auger, and you'll probably wind up with a drill type or something if you rent which typically. Only advantage to 1/4 is they usually can make it through a trap easily but I'd suggest for a homeowner (like John already said) 3/8. I'm sure that will do the trick for ya. Those hand augers usually can't punch through any decently solid blockage, unless its really soft maybe.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2013 #11

    stevemachine

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    On the upside you did maintenance on your drains haha. If you ever do it for "maintenance" might I suggest cleaning from top floor down then do the main line last. That way all the scum and such falls into main line then once you auger it your set. However its still good to go! Let us know your results!
     
  12. Jan 19, 2013 #12

    DetroitRob

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    That old house probably has a drum trap.
     
  13. Jan 19, 2013 #13

    dbailey60

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    stevemachine, I am a maintenance freak . On the second floor the only pipes to take care of are the sink and bath and commode which are always cleaned when I first notice that there are no more Tornado's ! Those pipes are only 8 ft. in length and the one under the tub runs directly under the old cast Iron Monster. I would hate to ever have to pull it up but I know that day will come as the wife and I are doing a total restore on this place and as usual it will be a live achievement to get there and this late in life besides (60) yrs. old .

    The home is a wonderful old house has lots of character and we have photos of the original owner along with what the home did and has looked like over the yrs. We also have photo's of Babe Ruth in the basement shooting a game of pool with the first owners .
    I will keep you guy's up to date and I hope not to much gets in my way between now and then. By the way where would that drum trap be located ?

    Much has been done already and much to go and 99% of the work is done by me except the brick work and a new drive to the right side of the house which was not much before. Just some old asphalt. Some windows have been replaced along with block glass in the 4 basement windows. One block glass window in the back of the house below the kitchen window is 5x8 ft. Huge ! I have also replaced some of the old cedar siding on the left with Hardie board and still have the rest of the house to do. Like I said God help me !

    Dayton-20121013-00083.jpg

    OUR HOUSE 5.jpg
     
  14. Jan 19, 2013 #14

    stevemachine

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    That's a nice house for sure! Glad to hear you keep up on maintenance. And drum traps are usually on bath tubs (in my experience) and above ground. It's like an old school p trap basically that you cannot get an auger through. If you're going through the trap or the c.o. There's not gonna be a drum trap. Anyways yes let us know the result and best of luck!
     
  15. Jan 19, 2013 #15

    stevemachine

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    I myself have never came a drum trap underground. I highly doubt they would have been allowed by code to be underground. They have a plug on one end to make them accessible, they are considered an interceptor because they catch hair and other stuff without it going into the drain, more so than a p trap.
     
  16. Jan 19, 2013 #16

    phishfood

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    That is a nice looking house!
     
  17. Jan 20, 2013 #17

    dbailey60

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    Thanks guy's . Like I said I have a long ways to go here are some more way back 1930's before pic's and one right before ( 1976 ) the other folk's that had it right before us (2007) is when we bought it . The folk's that had it right before we bought it from a bank let it go to well you know what ! Lots still to do hand railing on flat roof's just name it.

    Scan 5.jpg

    Berore 1.jpg

    Before 2.jpg

    Dayton-20121022-00096.jpg

    Before 3.jpg

    Dayton-20121022-00098.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
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  18. Mar 6, 2013 #18

    natineah

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    It would be nice if it was preserved and maintain its natural structures.
     
  19. Mar 9, 2013 #19

    dbailey60

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    I hope I can as it is hard to find some items to keep it that way and that is my goal to maintain the true Image of the house .
     
  20. Mar 9, 2013 #20

    stevemachine

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    Any luck with the drain?
     

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