Gurgling drain part 2


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Old 10-07-19, 12:08 PM
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Gurgling drain part 2

Iím awaiting delivery of a battery powered drain auger. Looking to solve my ongoing sink gurgling and slow drain.

I believe the issue is either a series of 90 degree joints or lack of slope in a long horizontal line. I have visual/physical access to the complex joints, but 95% of the long horizontal line is covered by drywall.

I am considering cutting a small access in the long horizontal line.

Is there a clean out that is allowed to be installed in a horizontal line?

How are sanitary Ts different than Wye Ts? Can either be used.

Iím hoping to crest an access point to regular snaking? Or is a simple Fernco coupler the better term idea?

I recognize that solving the slope and/or series of 90 degree joints is the better permanent solution but it will involve removing a large amount of textured drywall on the ceiling.
 
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Old 10-07-19, 12:17 PM
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Clean out's can be installed wherever you want. There is no restriction to where they can be placed.

Any type of T fitting can be used for a clean out. If it's somewhere where I can get right to the pipe then just a standard T is fine. The standard T lets you snake pretty easily in both directions. You can use a wye (Y) or sanitary T fittings if you wish but they can limit you to snaking in only one direction.

Whichever T or Y you choose, put the opening facing upwards or up as much as possible. This will help minimize spilling when you remove the cap.
 
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Old 10-07-19, 12:35 PM
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Is there a vent (stack vent) close on this line and is it clear?

If your snaking does not work and there is not a vent then you may want to install one.

Saw one site that called it an Air Admittance Valve (AAV).
I do not know if they would pass code in your area.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 10:31 AM
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It's unlikely that the blockage is in the straight run. Even when flat, it's rare for things to just stop there. It's 95% certain that the blockage is at one of the elbows.

So I'm not sure that adding a cleanout in the middle of the straight run is useful - unless it makes it easier to get to the clogs upstream or downstream.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 02:19 PM
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I’ve confirmed the blockage is in the long horizontal run. I provided some photos of the elbows and a fernco fitting that is just beyond the elbows.
I removed the fernco and confirmed thick grease partial blockage and standing water.

I’ve tried a 25 foot 1/4 inch auger (at the sink location) but the snake kept finding the vent and not travelling the length of the horizontal line. I’ve been using a enzyme cleaner for about a week and have doubled the dosage this week based on the manufacturers suggestion.

My next thought is to again remove the fernco and snake the drain from that point. Then install a clean out in the horizontal line as pictured in photo 4 and 5. Any problem with either of those clean out setups?

I’d need to cut a small access hole to do so, but it would allow me to clean it out annually as this is the 2nd year I’ve had the problem. Looking to rent a 50 foot 1/2 inch manual drum auger with grease gutting blade to assist.

I’m convinced the horizontal line isn’t sloped enough. Vent is clear. Looking for options
To save me an annual plumbing bill and/or re-sloping the line and removing a 20 foot section of ceiling drywall.
 
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Last edited by zhy987; 10-23-19 at 02:52 PM.
  #6  
Old 10-24-19, 10:10 AM
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confirmed thick grease partial blockage and standing water
What kind of enzyme drain cleaner are you using, it doesn't sound like you are using it correctly. This is the type of sludge enzyme drain cleaners are so good about cleaning up. In 3 or 4 days of proper use, the sludge should be entirely gone.
 
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Old 10-24-19, 10:22 AM
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The current one Iím using is called Bioclean which contains Lipase. Double dosage per the manufacture is two scoops with 1 Litre of warm water. I tried a gallon of Green Gobbler liquid previously.
 
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Old 10-25-19, 09:56 AM
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I am not familiar with either product you have used, but I did see that the Bioclean is sold by plumbing contractors and apparently not even sold in a retail store. That may be a good product, but I could not say. I believe I would continue using the Bioclean a few more days following the instructions. Try treating the drain in the evening and don't run water down it till the next morning.

I have had the best luck with a product called Plumb Clean, but it's a little pricey.

https://plumb-clean.com/

I see the packaging has changed since I last bought it, just hope there isn't a new owner that has changed the product.
 
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Old 10-25-19, 10:52 AM
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Thanks. Looks like itís the same manufacturer that produces both products. Iíll keep at it.
 
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Old 10-26-19, 10:43 AM
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I also saw the same manufacturer, I just hope the formula hasn't changed. Plumb Clean used to publish a warning that on the first use there was a possibility of so much build-up being broken loose that it could collapse and clog the pipe. This happened to me, but it was simple opening the clog. I used this product for over a year and then switched to a similar, but less expensive product, Drain Care by Zep. But, I believe Zep discontinued their powdered product and replaced it with a liquid version so I switched back to Plumb Clean. Now it is looking like Zep has a new powdered version, but it is named Drain Defense.

Regardless, I had repeated drain issues every few months till I started my monthly preventive drain treatments. I haven't had another issue in 30 years.
 
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Old 10-26-19, 12:14 PM
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Well Iíve been at it for over a month with various solutions. One more week for the enzymes, then Iím calling a professional to hydrojet it.

Bad thing is, Iíve recently discovered a small leak in the same area. It occurs when the water softener regenerates. I guess the massive flow of water is backing up and leak becomes evident. My softener use to regenerate at 1am so have no idea how long the leak has been occurring. Carpeted floor.

I changed the regeneration time to 10am recently as I didnít want any water flowing while I slept and thatís when I noticed the leak. No two problems to deal with. Seriously trying to avoid cutting into drywall as the ceiling g has a textured finish. Agh!
 
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Old 10-27-19, 11:07 AM
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And on it goes......so due to the drain backup, a leak developed anytime my water softener regenerated. I took down some drywall behind the kitchen cabinets to determine the source of the leak. Cracked pipe? Poor joint?

I discovered a four way tee below the sink. Shown below. The pipe coming in from the right is from the sink. The one going up I presume is the vent. Single story home. Then I discover a pipe I never knew about coming in from the left.
On to the next cabinet to pull some drywall away. This particular cabinet was designed to hold a clothes washer by the original owner. What do I discover there? An uncapped drain......presumably the rough-in for the clothes washer!

When the softener regenerated, it backed up and came pouring out this uncapped pipe.

This wouldn’t be another vent would it? I’m positive the cabinet was designed to hold a clothes washer with an adjacent dryer next door. Electrical outlets are present.

I assume I can simply cap this pipe? It will probably make my slow drain even slower. Pretty dangerous cause who know how long that trap has been dry or how long the leak has been occurring without my knowledge. It wasn’t a massive leak.....probably less than a gallon....with carpet below that I never felt wet, but were not in the basement daily.
 
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Old 10-27-19, 04:50 PM
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You can definitely cap that pipe, especially if there's a proper vent as part of the sink.
Obviously the clog you have is causing the overflow, but no need to keep that old washer standpipe.
 
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Old 11-11-19, 10:52 AM
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Finishing off this thread. Had a guy come into hydro jet. He made some progress but still couldnt break through what was hardened grease. Then called another plumber who used a grease cutter and went at it from the main stack in the opposite direction vs. Trying from the sink.

He was able to cut a whole through the grease but it was making some serious thrashing/cutting noise. The grease had hardened to something like rock salt.

Hopefully this and the removal of my garburator has solved the problem for a few years.
 
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Old 11-12-19, 10:05 AM
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Wow, good to know you got it resolved. Onto the next project!
 
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Old 08-26-20, 01:29 PM
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Problem has returned. Yay! Seems like annual Professional snaking is on The agenda.


thinking of snaking and then starting some sort of maintenance treatment. the ones mentioned below arenít available in Canada.

what ingredients am I looking for in a monthly maintenance powder or liquid?
 
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Old 08-27-20, 10:10 AM
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It's not uncommon for a grease issue to come back after a handful of years, but I'm surprised that it's been less than a year. That implies to me either:
1) The original clog wasn't removed... just poked through enough to get water to drain. From your description though, it sounds like they cut through it.
2) Someone is pouring considerable amounts of grease down the drain. Washing the remaining grease off the pan won't collect that quickly.
3) There's some other issue. A main with a dip in it, or roots infiltrating causing it to catch TP and such.

If it was my drain, my next step would be to get a camera snake in it, before and after another snaking. Some of the bigger plumbing companies here do that as an included part of their drain clearing, to 'prove' that it was cleaned well, and also to point out other potential issues.

Do you recall approximately where the clog was? Above ground or below ground?
 
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Old 08-27-20, 03:34 PM
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The clog is just to the right in the first picture below (post #5). There are two 90 degree elbows close together, then a long 20-25 foot run with very little slope.

I think the 90 elbows slow the drain velocity, then the small slope makes things worse.

theres a Fernco fitting there too which leads me to believe this was a problem for the previous owners too. We moved in 2017.

the pipe itself in in the ceiling of the finished basement. The photos below are the only points of access. Taken from a small unfinished utility room.

we collect all grease and oil in a metal can under the sink and dispose of it. We also removed our garbage disposal About 9 months ago.

the plumber snaking is around $200. He said last year that he used a cutter which was smaller than the pipe. He couldnít use one to match the pipe size due to the elbows along the path. (He snaked it from the other end, where the main drain pipe is). I think he said he used a 1 inch cutter.

Only the kitchen sink uses this run of pipe. The baths and toilets head to the main drain another way.

do you believe in the enzyme ďmaintenanceĒ products?
 
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Old 08-28-20, 10:20 AM
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I don't have much experience with the enzyme cleaners, but others here have had good experience with them.

It looks like it's a tight area, but I wonder if it would be worthwhile to replace the double 90's with a pair of 45's. You may save an inch or so to pull the pipe up a bit for more of a slope.

I would personally consider reworking that section of pipe even if it requires drywall work. The $200/yr snaking cost would get annoying.
 
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Old 09-01-20, 02:31 PM
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had the lines re-snaked again. 3rd year in a row. Plumber also replaced the 90s with 45s. Letís how this goes.



 
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Old 09-02-20, 10:56 AM
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I think that'll be a good fix. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!
 
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Old 09-03-20, 07:38 AM
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do you believe in the enzyme ďmaintenanceĒ products?
I doubt you would have the reoccurring problem had you started a preventive maintenance program with a good enzyme drain cleaner. Just once a month has been good for me.
 
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Old 02-22-21, 09:49 AM
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The saga continues and appears to be getting worse. My first 2 snakes done by plumbers bought me one year of trouble free use each time. Now...not so much. Last snake was in sept. Gurgling has returned when there is a lot of water sent down the drain or when the softener regenerates.

since this problem started, weíve removed the garbage disposal, collect grease in metals cans, removed two 90 degree joints and replaced them with 45s. Starting using an enzyme cleaner once a month. All these things have appeared to do nothing as I know need another snake....only 5 months later.

I fear I will need to rip up the textured drywall ceiling in the basement and redo the 20-25 ft horizontal drain run. The plumber said he couldnít cut the drain 100% clear as the 1.5 inch cutter canít make it around a 90 degree elbow. The drain is obviously not 100% clear and canít be 100% cleared...and it likely has a dip or insufficient slope.

agh!

thereís a fernco fitting at one end of the long run. Obviously the previous owners had the same issue. I think I want to break the drywall at that point and open up the fernco. Iíd then have a straight long run where I could rent a snake with a full 1.5Ē cutter. Iím afraid what Iíll find if I open that fernco. Is that a good plan. I plan to cut a square opening and make a hatch like for an attic




hereís a couple more pic.
 
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Old 02-22-21, 10:35 AM
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If you're 95% sure the recurring clog is in that horizontal run, I'd cut a 16" square out of the ceiling on the 'left' side (looking at the pic). cut out a piece and add a cleanout set to horizontal or tipped up a bit. Then cover it with a spring-fit plastic panel painted to match.

My next (or maybe should be first thought) is to buy a cheap borescope and metal snake. Use it as a camera to see actually what's clogged and where it's clogged. I find it hard to believe an ABS pipe from the kitchen sink is clogging that quickly, even with a dip in it. I mean, I believe you that it is - but I'm wondering if there is something larger that's stuck in there that keeps catching who knows what. There just shouldn't be that much food/grease/gunk going down the sink that it should keep clogging this often.
 
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Old 02-22-21, 10:54 AM
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I should have mentioned the plumber put a clean out where that horizontal run enters the main stack. So from the clean out, is a short run over that room then a 90 onto the long run.

are you opposed to opening the fernco up at the far (right) end?
 
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Old 02-22-21, 11:00 AM
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I suspect that the plumber is only able to snake a small hole in the blockage. That long horizontal run could be 40 years old.
 
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Old 02-22-21, 11:08 AM
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I should mention...it is not completely clogged. When we run water down one sink (we have 3 in our kitchen)......one of the other sinks start to gurgle and burp...if I then run water down that second sink, it will start to back up. Only really happens we we dump a large pot thatís full of water down the main sink.....or when the softener regen (which drains at the start of the long run on the right).
 
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Old 02-23-21, 09:54 AM
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are you opposed to opening the fernco up at the far (right) end?
I'm not opposed to it, but it's rare that the pipes would have enough play in them for you to actually be able to disconnect at that point.

Looking again, maybe you can cut to the left of the softener tee and pull that tee out completely. Using a Fernco or no-hub to reconnect.
 
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Old 03-12-21, 04:54 PM
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So, Iím ready to cut into the drywall to solve this ongoing issue. I have two plans. Cut into pipe and snake it again, this would be a straight on snaking and not involve going around 90s and 45s. The plumber said he couldnít use a 1.5Ē cutter on his snake because if the 90s. I figure if I can avoid any bends, I should be able to get a 1.5Ē cutter through,

1. cut into the drywall below the fernco. Open the fernco and see whatís up.
1b. Cut into drywall on the opposite end of the long horizontals run and see whatís up. This would be the area circled in red in my bad drawing. Also shown on the left side of the photo I attached earlier.

option 2. completely replace the entire horizontal run.

I do have a question with either option.

would you put a fernco elbow at the red circle or a 90 with a cleanout (y joint with cleanout). I get completely overwhelmed with the options at the hardware store. Show me a pic of what I should use.
and....at the existing fernco coupling.....would you put a cleanout there? The existing fernco is about 1 foot from the start of the long horizontal run. The only cleanout I saw in the store where shaped like a t. Iím trying to visualize a cleanout for a 90 degree turn. Do you need to buy a ďtrueĒ cleanout, or are you cobbling together y fittings with a threaded cap. Show me examples please.

Would you agree with zorfdt, the best place to start is to cut at the 90? And add a cleanout there? Again, please show me samples of that I should add there for a cleanout.

 
 

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