Plumbing

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Von Jones, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I love DIY. So now I have a slow draining sink in my bathroom. I've tried Liquid Drano and no success which leads be to believe that something is stuck in the drainpipe. The question is should I now call the plumber or pull out my snake and do it myself. To do this on my own I would need my power drill to attach to the snake; then loosen the drainpipe in two places; and proceed. Doing this would save me about $80 bucks the cost of the plumber. Should I or shouldn't I, that is the question?
     
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  2. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    I do all my own plumbing Von and bathrooms often suffer from blockages because the pipes are often long and have a low angle of run. If it's only the sink that's slow draining its often the trap under the sink, I don't know your particular system but you can usually unscrew a part of the trap to clean out the gunk that is causing the trouble.

    Here is video, a tad melodramatic :rolleyes:


     
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  3. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    @Terry Page hilarious but very good DIY video for me. I do have a tougher stomach so before I get all gun-ho I'll try as performed in the video. Thanks, Terry.
     
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  4. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I have a hand auger I've used in the toilets here. I constantly have plumbing issues, because the landlady refuses to pay professionals to fix anything. The last guy she had work up here (her son-in-law) replaced some pieces of pipe, then neglected to tighten the connections, so I had a big leak I wasn't aware of for months before I figured it out. If I had money (in your situation), I'd try something small...not sure I'd use the drill and loosen pipes/connections, but I'd try small things such as the hand auger/plunger first, and if that didn't work, I'd probably get a few plumber estimates.
     
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  5. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    Unfortunately, all my efforts even the one @Terry Page suggested didn't work and I'm going to need a plumber.
     
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  6. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    Oh dear Von sorry to hear that I guess you can't win every time :(
     
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  7. Bonnie Thomas

    Bonnie Thomas Very Well-Known Member
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    Reading all of the above, I think of my mothers advice for bathroom drain problems ... pour a bottle of Coca-Cola down the drain! :D ... that was her answer! She believed it would eat up anything.
    She absolutely hated coke for human consumption .... told everyone who would listen, how it will eat your stomach up. ..:oops: .. and she believed it wholeheartedly.
     
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  8. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    Sorry to hear your DIY did not work. We had a leak coming from the furnace and had no idea where it was coming from. The HVAC guy out and removed a few pipes that were in plain site easy to remove cleaned them out and asked for a check. A DIY that I will be happy to do next time.
     
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  9. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    Okay, I take it that you already pulled the trap off and cleaned it out. Just a small question before you invest in a plumber. Does the bathtub as well drain slowly? Just asking because if the bath is free and clear and the trap to the sink is also clean then chances are it's the pipe that goes into the wall that the trap was hooked to. (Otherwise, if the tub drains just as slowly as the sink.........it's plumber time. )

    Try this: Use your hand snake and work it about a foot at a time into the pipe going into the wall, periodically pulling it out and cleaning the coil at the end of the snake. By pulling it out and cleaning it you stand a better chance of not compacting the obstruction more and creating a bigger problem in the end.
    Note: You might already know this but just for the sake of "maybe you don't" keep the auger barrel as close to the pipe inlet as you can while only working an inch or two at a time into the pipe. This will keep the cable going straight as it proceeds down the pipe instead of winding around like it's name a "snake" before the inlet.

    Hope all goes well. I HATE to pay someone for something I can do unless a tool I might have to buy will cost more than having the serviceman do the job. God Bless.......
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    If your clog is further down the line, and you're feeling a bit on the wild side, you might consider a drain bladder, sometimes known as a clog buster or a blow bag.

    Our drains have been problematic since we moved in here sixteen years ago. Unfortunately, the fix for our problem will cost several thousands of dollars since the problem is that the section of our sewer pipe that is under the street (which is also a state highway) is an old clay pipe that is prone to being obstructed by tree roots, and may collapse at some point. Ours is not one of the communities in which the pipes under the road are the town's responsibility.

    In order to repair it, we would have to have the front yard, sidewalk, and half of the road dug up. Since it's a state highway, we would need a permit from the town and from the state, and have to pay for flagmen during the project, and that is not something that we can comfortably afford.

    At some point, the pipe will erode completely, at which time it will erode the street, and have to be fixed whether we can afford it or not. At that point, however, the town will probably pick up at least a portion of the cost, and the state might pay for the flagman and for the street repairs. Plus, when and if this occurs in our lifetime, our homeowners insurance might cover our portion of it.

    In order for things to work out well for us, we would need to avoid having a long history of plumbers doing temporary fixes, however.

    After paying a plumber a few hundred dollars shortly after we moved in here, I found that, although they had tried a bunch of other things, the thing that actually cleared the problem was a $10 drain bladder.

    clogbuster.jpg

    Since our drains and toilets were draining at all at that point, the drain bladder was left in place for six or seven hours before everything suddenly broke through, and our drains worked well for a few years.

    Once I learned that the thing that actually fixed it cost only $10, I bought one for myself. Actually, I bought a couple of them -- one large enough for the sewer pipe and another small enough for regular drains, although I have never had to use the one for the drains.

    Just a month ago, we began to hear the ominous sound of gurgling in the downstairs toiler whenever water was running elsewhere, so I ran the drain bladder on the sewer lines again. This time, it only had to run for about fifteen minutes before it cleared the line. It's fairly easy but, for some reason, I still can't get my wife to do it.

    One of the only downsides are that it can be a rather disgusting job on the sewer line, although it would be a fairly clean one to use on the regular drain.

    The other one is that, I am warned, there is always a chance of a drain bladder bursting the pipe if the obstruction cannot be cleared. But then, it would be the drain pipe that would burst, not an active water line so it's not like you'd have water pouring all over the place, and if the drain bladder is unable to clear the obstruction, you'd probably have to spring for a plumber, anyhow.



     
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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
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  11. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    This thread is the exact opposite of our house. When we need some repairs, we call a handyman or a carpenter or a plumber. In fact, our bathroom in the ground floor has been needing new tiles since some years ago. We already have a budget for that but the missing ingredient is the plumber or the tile setter. It is too difficult to find a good house worker nowadays because a good worker may be too smart as to fool us with the expenses while a kind and honest one is not a good craftsman.
     
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  12. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    @Bobby Cole. My tub is draining fine it's just the sink. The trap was clear. I did use my snake but now the water won't drain at all.

    @Ken Anderson. I don't think I want to take a chance with the drain bladder. Our house is old as well.

    After our first attempt to solve a plumbing problem unsuccessfully, we decided not to DIY any plumbing issues with the exception of a clogged drain. My purchase of the snake was an investment and for clogs which was fine but the problem now is in need of a professional.

    Thank you, guys for your expertise.
     
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  13. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    It seems @Ken Anderson, that we have been mutually sacked. Tell me Ken, is there any unemployment compensation attached to this forum? If not, I'll simply tuck my tail between my legs and whimper off into some uncharted forest for which all failures such as I are doomed to live out their lives.
     
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  14. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I'll think of something else you two can make suggestions on in the near future. I'm not putting you out to the curb ...yet.;)
     
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  15. Sandy Wood

    Sandy Wood Active Member
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    Hope your plumbing problem was solved cheaply. Last winter our drain pipe froze from the wall of the house to the street. It was solid ice. We had plumbers come in and take out all the old fashioned 1900 pipes and replace with new PVC. They said the reason we had so much problem with the draining was the old pipes were half filled with rust and stuff. There was only about two inch space left for water to drain. We had to get a outside port-a-potty set in driveway until the outside line thawed out. And we all used bed side bucket potty's for that 2 weeks. That was the worst mess I ever had and dealing with that embarrassing issue was terrible.
     
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  16. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina Isobe Very Well-Known Member
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    Hmm, plumbing problems at my home is cleared up with a little white vinegar, baking soda and boiling hot water. First put the baking soda 3-4 table spoons in the clogged sink top side, then pour vinegar like half a cup and then the boiling hot water over the whole thing and watch the sink bubble up with the mixture and it unclogs it all. Or you can use this tool that this video shows about. Good luck in unclogging your sink.


    Baking soda, white vinegar and boiling hot water method.

     
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