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Theplumber717
Theplumber717, Plumber, HVAC Tech
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 1938
Experience:  Lic Plumbing contractor,HVAC, All aspects construction 28 yrs exp
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I have to clear a blockage in a 3" waste line. I hired a plumber

Resolved Question:

I have to clear a blockage in a 3" waste line. I hired a plumber the last time. He cut off the frozen brass cleanout, and put in a double rubber gasket held on with a big wing nut. I want to use this cleanout port myself, but it looks like after you remove the wing nut, and outer gasket, there is still another gasket inside. Can this inside gasket be removed and then replaced without damage? Is this arrangement a one time use system and the plumber has to have a new gasket kit with him to reclose the port? If it can be reused, I need instructions on how to pull out the inner gasket without damage, and how to reinsert it without losing it inside the pipe, or ripping it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Theplumber717 replied 1 year ago.

GARY C :

Hi my name isXXXXX will do my best to solve your problem. Reply to this post and i will reply back with help before rating, Thanks Garyc

GARY C :

This is just a expandable plug, loosen the wing nut which will unexpand the plug

GARY C :

clockwise on the wing nut to loosen

GARY C :

there is a nut on the other side so you can pull the plug out when loose

GARY C :

and reinsert and just turn the wing nut clockwise to expand and seal it again

GARY C :

does it look like this?

Customer:

I don't know what you mean by "nut on the other side". You mean behind the inner gasket? Do you mean put the wing nut back on without the outer gasket, and screw it clockwise and the inner gasket will pop out?

GARY C :

does it look like the picture i posted?

Customer:

My cleanout doesn't have a metal outer plate you just see the orange outer gasket behind the wing nut.

GARY C :

this is a standard expandable plug, if it has a wing nut it is most likeky this type, if it is, to remove it turn the wingnut counterclockwise to un expand it, and reverse to replace it (It will not hurt it, its made to do this) just make sure the pipe is not full of water/waste when you do it.

GARY C :

if at all possible can you post a pick, if not if it looks similar its a expandable plug as stated before

GARY C :

meaning the line if its full and you remove the plug, expect water/waste

Customer:

I just picked up the outer "gasket" and realize its a hard plastic cover. IPS CORPORATION Test-Tite Mechanical Plug. I did turn the wing nut counterclockwise, and the orange plastic plate came off in my hands. The inner gasket, with the threaded bolt holder is still stuck inside. Do I just yank on the threaded bolt holder?

GARY C :

yes and then rethread the wing nut on to the bolt and you can reuse it again to plug the hole when your done

GARY C :

see how it works.... that wing nut when tightened expands the gasket to make the seal

GARY C :

so if you put it back together just tighten the wing nut so it fits in the hole snug once in there tighten more to make a seal

GARY C :

you may need to hold the outside to stop from spinng the plug at first

GARY C :

or tighten a little more before inserting it back in the hole

GARY C :

to make it tighter at the start

Customer:

So...what I'm seeing is the inner gasket is still a little expanded from being on so long, and that's why its not coming out? What still confuses me is there a magic distance from the end of the port, to inside the pipe where the plug should sit before tightening?

GARY C :

if its the right size plug that hard plastic on top of the pug, just under the wing nut shut rest flush on the pipe and not go inside. But if its a little smaller, something he had on the truck for example, it will work, but will need to be expanded more then normal to make a seal

GARY C :

you just want to make a seal but not have it inserted so far that it creates a blockage on its own, if thats what you are referring to

Customer:

I see. Well I think that's what's happened. The plug was not right under the plastic cover, but about 1/2 to 1 inch inside. It's probably the wrong size (too small). In any case, I should yank on the threaded stem using a rag, and pull the plug out. When I go to put back in, I can just put the plug right under the plastic cover and start tightening. Couldn't a too small plug get damaged doing this?

GARY C :

if your going to use this plug, you will just tighten it some, so it expands, then try it in the hole, you want it to be snug at first so it does not spin and then finish tightening it while its already snug in the hole

GARY C :

if its real loose tighten it more then try inserting it again

GARY C :

you want it kinda tight when you push it it so it holds itself

GARY C :

or get one size bigger plug at hardware/home store

GARY C :

take plug with you if thats the route you choose so you know the next size

GARY C :

typical cleanout plug size is 2", 3", or 4"

GARY C :

if its the main drain its a 3" or 4"

GARY C :

if its a sink drain, more likely 2"

Customer:

I do get the pre tightening thing. It's just that according to you the plug should have been right under the cover I took off. When I took off the cover, the plug was buried almost an inch inside the pipe. You're instructions assume that the plug was right under the cover, which it's not. I've measured the pipe and it's 3". Let's just call my problem the "buried plug" problem.

GARY C :

so the rubber gasket came apart and its stuck in the pipe?

GARY C :

is the bolt still attached to the gasket? (what the wing nut was attached to)

Customer:

Bolt is still attached to gasket.

GARY C :

take a pair of pliers and or a screw driver to pull/pry it out (Take care its not still holding pressure from the blockage)

GARY C :

then if its been in there that long i would get a new expandable plug

GARY C :

about$5-$8

GARY C :

the new one if you get a 3" the lip of the plug will set bettter

Customer:

Plumbing supply guys out here close at 5:00pm, and it's past that now. Is there any chance I can get a specialty item like this elsewhere? I fear Big Box stores don't carry this special type of plumbing gear.

GARY C :

no they have it, home depot, lowes, menards, ace hardware etc.... will have it (this is a stock item for all of them)

Customer:

OK. I think I've got it.

Customer:

Thanks

GARY C :

good deal, your welcome

Theplumber717, Plumber, HVAC Tech
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 1938
Experience: Lic Plumbing contractor,HVAC, All aspects construction 28 yrs exp
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Theplumber717
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