Top water slow, bottom water clogged

Old 01-11-17, 09:40 AM
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Top water slow, bottom water clogged

I'm having the strangest problem with my kitchen sink ... one that seems to defy the laws of physics!

My pipes are clogged. Normally, I can take the pipes apart by unscrewing them and simply scooping out the crud in the pipes with a spoon. But this time, the clog seems to be so far down that I can't reach it. I've tried liquid clog remover, but that doesn't work.

But here's the weirdest part: If I put water in my sink, it will take about 10 minutes to go down the drain. That's slow, but at least it gets the job done.

But when I took the pipes apart to attempt (in vein) to scoop out the crud, I noticed that the water in the pipes just doesn't want to go down. At all. I can leave it there overnight, and the water in the bottom pipe (the only pipe I can't unscrew) is still there!

Now that's the part I don't get! If the clog is so strong that the water doesn't drain at all, then how can the top water still drain? If anything, shouldn't the weight of the top water press down on the bottom water and push it through? After all, that's how water towers work!

How Do Water Towers Work? | Mental Floss

But the water in the top pipe still drains ... slowly, but still drains ... while the bottom pipe is totally clogged! If anything, shouldn't it be the other way aro

I'm about to call my landlord for help. But this is weird! Does anyone have an explanation as to how this could possibly be happening?
Old 01-11-17, 03:07 PM
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If you look at your drain piping and sink you'll see that when it's all connected that the piping and sink are higher than your drain in the wall. That height creates a bit of pressure. Maybe just enough to help it force past the clog. Also, clogs usually form in the bottom of the drain pipe and accumulate upward. So, there is likely an opening at the top that allows water to get by.

If you are clogging the drain often enough that you are in the habit of opening the drain to clean out the trap... you are putting things down the drain you should not. Grease is the biggest no no but whatever you are scooping out of your trap should not be there. If you are using your drains properly they almost never clog.
Old 01-11-17, 09:28 PM
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Not to go too far off topic but I rent a house and have made numerous repairs that just weren't going to get done by the landlord. Was missing 4 window screens, they wouldn't replace since they aren't absolutely needed (not section 8 housing here). Pulled sliding door panels that would barely move, cleaned tracks and replaced rollers and weatherstrip, still need to find a cheap screen. Insulated garage door. Removed, cleaned, rebuilt and painted range hood cause it was in bad shape and wouldn't draw. Just finished replacing tub drain and toe pop-up. Could have used a stopper, but they are ugly and I had all the parts needed except some putty and thread seal. Adjusted fence gates so they actually aligned and would fully open in each direction. Replaced weatherstripping on front door after adjusting it to close correctly. Fixed leaky kitchen faucet by replacing O-rings. They just raised my rent by $50, but that was after 2 yrs. Bet it would have been more if I called trying to get them to send someone for all the above.

Now, if my range broke, the heat went out, or my HW got cold, I'll call them, but not for just comfort/convenience items. Anything I may have made or installed will go with me when I leave (coat hooks in closets, curtains and rods, shower curtain and rod, shelf I made for medicine cabinet, command hooks in baths, etc). I even have a box full of CFLs that I replaced with LEDs. They get what I got when I moved in.
Old 01-11-17, 10:32 PM
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Well I will always admit I'm lazy. It is almost my hobby, that and setting in my chair. I'll use any excuse to get out of doing any work.

I shouldn't have been so harsh in my post. Apologies to the O/P. I have deleted my post.
Old 01-12-17, 12:58 AM
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Hey, no probs. Would be different if I was in an apmt and my work could affect others.
Old 01-12-17, 06:50 AM
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Your pipes are simply clogged, the weight of the sink water cannot push the clog through, it would take something that pressurizes the water.

You landlord should have a snake.

After snaking I suggest you use some type of enzymatic drain cleaner. These are not like instant liquid clog removers, the enzymes clean over time and you must use it regularly.

Trying to remove clogs with a spoon or a screwdriver almost never works. You usually end up pushing the gunk further back into the pipe and make the clog worse.
Old 01-12-17, 06:31 PM
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I would highly recommend a Zip-It (there are others with similar names). They can be pushed down through the trap and pull out all the gunk that typically collects in bathroom drains. No snaking required! (unless it's further down or a really bad clog, but neither seem to be the case).

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