Can plugged air stack slow drainage?

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  #1  
Old 08-08-09, 04:09 PM
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Can plugged air stack slow drainage?

Hello,

My kitchen sink will not drain. My brother took off the trap and it is clean. The pipe going down to the basement seems free of clog. He took off a clean out plug and used a hose and the drain pipe under the cement floor is fine.

The only item we have not checked is the air stack that sticks out of the roof. Under the sink it is joined to the newer plastic pipe with some old strange fittings that we don't know what to do with. Once when we tried a plunger in the sink, some leaf bits came out so we 'assume' they came from the air stack but after that nomore bits came out when plunging.

The sink might drain a couple of cups an hour . My question is: can a plugged air stack cause poor drainage? My brother tried to take a metal clean-out plug off the old air pipe where it meets the sink plumbing but impossible to budge it as it is probably some old antique thing from the 60's or 70's.

Any advice much appreciated.
 
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Old 08-08-09, 04:35 PM
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A plumber can snake the stack from the roof.
 
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Old 08-08-09, 05:29 PM
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My brother tried to take a metal clean-out plug off the old air pipe where it meets the sink plumbing but impossible to budge it as it is probably some old antique thing from the 60's or 70's.
wow, I must be prehistoric then since I am from the '50's.


yes, a vent can slow a drain. If you have a small hose, you can run it down the drain beyond where the vent line connects to the drain line. If this allows the drain to drain, then you have a plugged vent line.

as MT stated, a plumber can snake the vent line but since this is a DIY site, maybe we can suggest your brother can snake it as well. Obviously, use all due caution and safety procedures when on a roof. Falling doesn't hurt but the landing can kill ya.
 
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Old 08-08-09, 07:44 PM
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Thank you for your help.

I'll send my brother on to the roof tomorrow. He's an arborist so he's spent many a day off the ground. We have an old snake thing that came with the house. It's metal and looks a bit like a bicycle tire with the flat metal strap wound under a rim. It has an arrow shape on the end. You have to pull the metal snake out a bit at a time.

I hope once we get it down the vent that we can make it turn towards the sink pipe. At least nothing will be as gross as the black goo that the snake went through when we tested the basement floor drain.

Your help is much appreciated.
 
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Old 08-09-09, 07:25 PM
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Stopped up drain

The vent is not the issue. Have your brother use a hammer and cold chisel to knock out the brass plug in the clean out that he can not remove. If never or seldom used these things freeze up to where they can only be removed in this fashion. A plumbers tape (which) as you described is not the best tool for this drain stoppage. Rent an electric drain machine with at least a 5/8" cable. Run it through the clean out plug that you removed with the hammer and chisel. When your finished replace this plug with a 1 1/2" expansion plug from Auto Zone.
 
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Old 08-11-09, 02:10 PM
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Thanks so much for all the ideas above.

The water is now draining better than ever. We aren't exactly sure what the issue was but we snaked everything there was to snake. In fact, we are going to do the bathroom next week before there is a problem...things drain 'ok' but not nearly as good as the kitchen now does. While we have the water off we'll also replace old washers in the sink and laundry taps.. The fellow at the hardware store, however, said to leave the shower alone if it's not a problrm as it can be tricky to do something or another and there isn't a shut off tap for it.

Thanks for everything. We'll donate $20 to the SPCA in appreciation of the money we saved doing this ourselves with your help.
 
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