How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Brian Your Own Question

Brian
Brian, Architect
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3068
Experience:  Licensed Architect- 17 years
6457309
Type Your Plumbing Question Here...
Brian is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Clogged drain - Sink in basement overflows when water drains from kitchen above

Resolved Question:

50 year old tri level house. The drains were never cleaned when renovated. much of the drain pipe looks like 2 inch galvinized pipe. I cut into some of it and there was lots of crud in the pipes reducing the pipe diameter. There were lots of draino like products in the house when purchased - so the this problem must have existed for a while. I added a garbage disposal. This probably creates more of a problem.

There is food in the water when the basement sink backs up. The problem sink is spliced into the drain from the kitchen.

What is the best way to clean the clog
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Brian replied 6 years ago.

HelloCustomer

Welcome to Just Answer.

Sorry to hear about your problem.

 

The best choice would be to remove as much of the small drain piping as possible and upgrade to 3 or 4 inch PVC. This would solve many problems, but I know it may not be in your budget.

 

The next best thing is to use a tool that can scrape the pipes; a plumbers snake/ auger that has the correct size fitting on the end can help cleanup the pipes. You can rent these at a local rental shop or have it professionally done by a qualified plumber.

graphic

 

If you have any cleanouts, they can help. You will need to remove the end cap by twisting it off with a wrench. Once the cap is off you can use a plumbers snake/ auger to clear the clog.

 

Another approach you can take, for removing clogs but not so much for cleaning the pipes, is to remove the trap and use a product called the "Drain King," found at your local home improvement store or hardware store; they work great at unclogging drains. It comes in different sizes for different drain diameters and you simply attach it to a hose and slide the hose down the drain pipe or at removed trap, as far as it will go. You then turn on the hose and it builds up pressure to the point where it releases in several bursts, expanding and contracting. You can clear one obstruction and then push the hose further to get to others and they are only around 10 to 15 dollars.

graphic

 

Here is a short video on how the Drain King works, but ignore the foreign language.

 

 

 

 

 

Chemicals often do more harm than good on the plumbing, so I would stay away from them.

 

 

If you need further help or clarification on this answer, please do not hesitate to reply to this post.

 

Thanks for asking your question at Just Answer.

Best of Luck, Brian

 

Please leave feedback at your convenience.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I am just getting around to trying your suggestion. The clean out endcap probably has not been used in 50 years. I put a pipe wrench on it and could not get it loose. I sprayed it with a liquid wrench type oil and am going to heat it up with a propane tourch and see if it will come loose. If it does not - do you have any other suggestions?

 

Expert:  Brian replied 6 years ago.
Customer

 

No problem. If you cannot remove the cleanout and do not want to cut any piping, then you should rent a long snake/ auger and just enter from a toilet flange. This would involve removing the toilet, but would allow you to enter at a decent point in the system.

 

If you need further help or clarification on this answer, please do not hesitate to reply to this post.

 

Thanks for asking your question at Just Answer.

Best of Luck, Brian

 

Please leave feedback at your convenience.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Brian,

Sorry that I have not gotten back to you. There is no toilet on that portion of the drain... except at the very end. I think that I remember looking down the toilet in the basement when I was renovating and seeing water draining into it... but the water was coming in about 2 feet below the floor. I don't see how I could feed a snake into that.

 

I cut a large portion of old pipe out and then replaced it with a PVC run. I used rubber connecters at each end to connect the new pipes to old.

 

The blockage was not in the replaced pipe. The blockage was under the basement bathroom concrete slab. I could not get a snake past a certain point in the blocked pipe. I took a small diameter length of pvc pipe and pushed it into the clogged pipe. When I hit a block, I pushed harder and harder and finally ramed the pipe through the 'blockage'. I dont see how I could have broken though the pipe - but it feels like I did not totaly clean the blockage. At this point it now feels like I am pushing the pvc pipe through a small opening just big enough for the pipe to go through. I can push the pipe about one foot father but it is not going freely as it did up to the blockage

 

The initial problem seems to be fixed because problem drains are not overflowing. I feel like the problem may return at some point.

 

If you have any more thoughts on this please elaborate. Also there are other slow drain runs in the house. If I have access to a drain through a tub, how easy is it for a power snake to navigate the trap and traverse the pipe if the drain has right angles in it?

Expert:  Brian replied 6 years ago.
Customer

 

No problem...take your time.

 

It sounds like you may have cleared a large portion of it; since you still have slow draining sinks, there is still either a partial blockage or the drainage system is simply lined with crud, restricting flow, sort of like clogged arteries.

 

You can enter a tub/ shower or a sink; I was under the impression that there was a toilet on this branch and the 2 inch pipe would have been undersized, but if there is no toilet, the size of the pipe is most likely adequate, but probably just needs a good cleaning. Some even enter the vent, up on the roof, but this can be more difficult. The Drain King or a snake/ auger can be used down the vent stack or even thru a disconnected trap at a sink. This may take some time, but I feel that you probably will need to enter at each sink trap and try to clear as much lined crud as possible, that has built-up on the inside of the piping.

 

If you need further help or clarification on this answer, please do not hesitate to reply to this post.

 

Thanks for asking your question at Just Answer.

Best of Luck, Brian

 

Please leave feedback at your convenience.

Brian, Architect
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3068
Experience: Licensed Architect- 17 years
Brian and other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Marc

    Plumber

    Satisfied Customers:

    996
    Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/Veillplumb/2011-8-31_155028_IMG1104.64x64.JPG Marc's Avatar

    Marc

    Plumber

    Satisfied Customers:

    996
    Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/plmqwk/2010-08-28_151844_profile_pic.jpg Plmqwk's Avatar

    Plmqwk

    Master Plumber

    Satisfied Customers:

    850
    20+ years in plumbing field. Licensed master plumber, commercial plumbing inspector
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JE/jerrymassie/2011-1-15_45937_1111055.64x64.JPG Jerry's Avatar

    Jerry

    Plumber

    Satisfied Customers:

    777
    over 20 years residential plumbing experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PL/plumber171/2011-8-13_11445_plumber.500x500.64x64.jpg Mario's Avatar

    Mario

    Master Plumber

    Satisfied Customers:

    604
    Master Plumber, Fire Sprinkler, and Jobbing Spec.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ABSBoss/2009-03-25_163017_2007-1031_046.jpg Bud's Avatar

    Bud

    Plumber

    Satisfied Customers:

    538
    22 Years Field Experience - 17 Years Business Ownership - Residential or Light Commercial
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TH/theplumber717/2011-11-24_34039_DSCF7012.64x64.JPG Theplumber717's Avatar

    Theplumber717

    Plumber, Hvac Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    520
    Lic Plumbing contractor, 27/yrs res,com,repair,Universal HVAC Tech
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/skibum0101/2008-12-16_015819_just_answer.jpg Rick Mather's Avatar

    Rick Mather

    Building Inspector

    Satisfied Customers:

    494
    Assistant Building Official, HVAC Tech
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Plumber
Brian
Brian
Architect
476 Satisfied Customers
Licensed Architect- 17 years