I'm an idiot! Please Help! Drano


Old 11-02-02, 12:39 AM
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I'm an idiot! Please Help! Drano

My wife and I bought a house a couple of weeks ago which had been vacant for more than a year, if not closer to two and it was built in 1954; I knew I'd need to and plan to replace the plumbing, sooner rather than later and I'm planning to do it, basically top to bottom because we bought the thing as a fixer-upper...

Since moving-in, I've been band-aiding everything as is needed just to get the place livable and because all of my "problems" have been coming one at a time, I actually haven't turned-on all of the water yet in an attempt to manage to "start-up".

I thought I had everything under control, but then suddenly, the kitchen sink has gone so slow that you could say it's completely clogged; I'm sure it has something to do with decades of food bits; It came without a strainer; Which I employed within days of moving-in; Once again, a little more than two weeks ago...

I know most-likely why it's clogged; Food bits; And I'm fairly certain that the cast iron drain is clogged in the little valley that had formed due to a lack of support, possibly 20 to 25 feet from the sink. I should've snaked from it's clean-out; I considered putting some rooto pro down there, but Drano Max was on sale and though it really hasn't ever worked for me since going liquid; I've never tried Max and they are still in business, after all...

Well, though it says it'd go through standing water and there was about two inches in each side of the sink; I poured half a bottle, waited thirty minutes, poured the other 16 ounces; Waited another thirty minutes and tried to flush what was a lowered water level (about an inch, maybe) in super-hot water, per the instructions and that started by giving me a sink full of hot drano filling the air with a poisonous gas;

I waited another hour; Tried plunging it down, but unless I buy another plunger, or find my other in my unlit storage area, it's proving to be an impossiblility. I ten covered the thing loosely in plastic and now, several hours later, I still have a sink full of drano; Please help!

At what point should I capitulate and take out the trap, letting the liquid go into a bucket; Personally, I don't see a reason to bail; It'd be easier to drop the trap; Though, since I'm not going to using the sink; Could it just sit there until it all drains, naturally or until I decide to capitulate?

It's a metal, dual sink; It shares a drain and a trap; You pour water in one side and it comes up in the other; The inside drain and trap were clear before pouring-in the drano; I'm pretty sure that the clog is down the line...

The drain pipe is cast iron connected to cast iron, but the inside work is all done in plastic...

I was reluctant before the trouble started to lift the valley and set it on a rock or block, because I'd hate for it to work any fittings loose in a leak-free pipe; But now, I guess that's the band-aid, once I get my drain cleared; Or possibly, if I were to go under in the morning and lift the valley, the clog will break free and proceed into the main drain which I had spent the previous week or so, clearing...

BTW: The kitchen drains on the street-side of the main bathroom; The baths all work; The problem is in the actual kitchen drain which is shared by the laundry room; We tried a test-run in the washer to check it's drain, a couple of weeks ago...

Haven't used it since, because of the main drain issue; But it too, I'm sure is a contributing factor to the clog in the valley.

How long could I leave Drano Max in my sink? Does anyone see any other problem with simply lifting the valley, before or after the drain clears?

Thanks in Advance;
Old 11-02-02, 12:47 AM
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BTW: Drano Max is Sodiuym Hydroxide; Sodium Hypochlorite; Sodium Silicate and Surfactants

(Darn-it; I am an idiot; I should've editted my original post)
Old 11-02-02, 05:32 AM
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Open the pipe and drain out the water and chemicals you used. (Wear rubber gloves and a face shield)
You may be able to snake the line but if this line is 100% open for viewing and easy to get at, how about replacing it with ABS (black plastic). Eliminates several problems at one time.
Cost of renting machine to clear line will cost about the same as 30' of 1 1/2" pipe and some fittings.
Don't want to replace line, snake it out. No chemical on the market will do what you want done in this situation.
Old 11-02-02, 05:41 AM
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Start at the cleanout and snake the line. Just be careful about coming in contact with the waste water that now has a quart of Drano in it. That stuff can burn your skin. After you have it clear there, then remove the trap. Clean all of the under sink drain parts and you can use a small snake to clean the pipe inside the wall, to the cleanout.

This "valley" you mention -- has the drain line sagged? Need to fix that. Water will stand in the low spot and the line will clog again.

Forget the chemical drain cleaners. There are none on the market that are going to clear what you have.
Old 11-02-02, 06:53 AM
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Thanks guys;

I should've snaked, back when it would eventually drain and I assume from your posts, that letting the drano sit for a couple more hours, won't hurt; After all, it is going down, some...

During the night, I decided that since you can repair without a permit; I'd just replace the culprit after it warms up some and my local supply houses, open.

I am going to end-up with drano, somewhere and most likely in two places; I'll drop the trap and empty the sink; then, I'll go pick up my supplies, possibly eat a bite and then, replace from the sinkside out past the clog; And possibly, replace the line all the way out; I'll have to see which is more manageable and will result in the least amount of drano...

After all, the culprit will get replaced in the curb to curb, anyway; It wouldn't kill me to go ahead and replace this part, now.

But, so ya'll know for educational purposes; The current drain is laying on the ground and it appears that the previous owner added a faucet on the outside of the house, running the supply through a vent and positioned it over the patio, but up next to the house. Without a hose, water drains back through the vent, they tried to partially block with a bit of 1/2" plywood; Whenever water ran from the faucet; Quite a bit of overwash went back through the vent and it appears that it may have eroded out from under the drain that's once again, simply laying on the ground.

But of course, not wanting any drano; I'll start by trying to pick the sucker up in hopes of breaking the clog free, when I go down to take measurements and list the necessary supplies.

Thanks for your help;

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