Unplug central vacuuming pipe - Crayola Marker


Old 03-22-14, 10:56 AM
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Unplug central vacuuming pipe - Crayola Marker


My central vacuuming pipes are clogged. After some investigation, I discovered the source : a crayola marker.

Here is my best effort at making a cross section of my house so you can see the pipe. All the pipe is inside finished walls. I am certain that the marker's turn pipe is under hardwood flooring. Given that quality of my camera, I can not be 100% of where the pipe actually goes, so this is an approximation :

imgur: the simple image sharer

I ran a endoscopic camera down the pipe with the help of a sewer snake and some some zip wraps.

Here is a picture of the marker :

imgur: the simple image sharer

The turn seen in the picture is indicated in the diagram by the red circle.

If my son managed to get a marker in there, I am certain that he got other things in their too.

Now I need to find out the least expensive way to get this marker out while doing the least amount of damage to my walls and floors.

I've thought of a couple solutions involving water, but my wife is concerned that the vacuum pipes would will not support water. I have no idea, I bought this house with the pipes and walls in place.

Please help!


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Old 03-22-14, 11:10 AM
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If I was trying to dislodge the marker I would attach a strong shop vac to the inlet where the marker went in. Disconnect piping from vacuum unit in basement and attempt to suck the marker backwards. You could place your hand over the disconnected pipe in basement and release it a few times to cause air flow to accelerate. I think that would dislodge the marker.
Might try sucking a string through the piping backwards and then tying a swab of cloth to it at basement end and pulling through the piping to dislodge marker if the above suggestion does not work.

Hope something works.

Old 03-25-14, 09:01 AM
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I like the string idea too. Suck it down into the vacuum unit, then disconnect the pipe at the vacuum. Tie some cloth to the end and pull it back upwards through the pipe. It will bring the marker and anything else up along with it. You might be surprised at how easy that is.

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