How do I get a snake through a double elbow?

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Old 08-08-13, 01:49 PM
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Question How do I get a snake through a double elbow?

My bathroom sink gurgles. I took it all apart, the J trap is a clean as the day I put it in. There is a short section of pipe going into the wall. I took it apart too. That was full of some black gunk. It looked like a rubber hose until I stuck a screwdriver into it. I cleaned that out and I cleaned as far into the wall as I could. Problem is the pipe has an elbow going down, then another elbow that takes the pipe out to the soil pipe and air vent pipe. I've tried just about anything I could lay my hands on to shove down the pipe to clean it. I can't get past the bend in the elbows. I have 2 snakes, one is a flat blade type (really old style) and a flexible one. The spring on the end of the flexible one is too big to make the turn.
I hooked an elbow to the pipe coming out of the wall and poured a bottle of Draino (gel formula) down the pipe. I Left that sit for an hour and 1/2and took a break Then I reconnected the sink and poured the sink full of boiling hot water and drained it. That help the slow draining part but it still gurgles????
 
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Old 08-08-13, 03:19 PM
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Gurgles usually be a clog farther down near the vent and the line is filling with water and partially blocking said vent... You have partial flow and it may clogged but its partially clogged...


Probably need a hand powered snake on a drill and take it as far as where it goes into the main....
 
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Old 08-09-13, 05:16 AM
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Mike is tack on about the vent/partial clog.
My wash tub in the basement use to do the same when the washing machine discharged (~15ft or so worth of drain pipe away).

On the draino topic..... Trust me when I say do not use that stuff. Give it away (to someone you don't like maybe). You or a plumber if you hire one, will hate the fact you used it. I'll find my thread regarding my clog this past spring and my wife's draino usage.

Edit:
Here is the thread. A few lessons learned for sure.
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bl...s-learned.html
 
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Old 08-09-13, 05:39 AM
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Have you tried down the vent stack with the snake? Had to snake my Mom's kitchen sink two weekends ago and it has a 90 degree turn at the wall (there's a pass-through opening directly over sink. Took my snake up on the roof and ran it down the vent; did the trick.
 
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Old 08-09-13, 07:02 AM
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I not only ran the snake down the vent pipe (roof), but I also ran the garden hose down there too. The vent runs into a 45 as it goes into the main drain line. Sink drain joins about 2' above that. This is a metal drain and vent. I don't know what is in the wall without ripping out that section, which entails ripping out part of the wall, pulling a wall cabintet, and the toliet. If I had to do that, I'd hire a plumber and have it all converted to PVC. The hose didn't have any problem, nor did the snake. I doubt I could figure any way to get into the sink line from there though.
I know about Draino and clogs, wasn't one of my brighter ideas I'll admit. I did flush it with about 3 gallons of boiling water though. Come to think of it, I think I remember the first pipe (elbow) being PVC. I can't see up through the floor to see what it is that joins the main line, I'm assuming it's metal.
I tried two different snakes, one hand and one drill powered, neither navigate that double turn. I'm going to pick up some light weight steel cable later and see if I can get that down there.

I also discovered that the main vent has a small hole in it someplace cause I had a small puddle of water on the basement floor. Stuff can't get down the main vent cause I have a screen tied over the top of it. Squirrels kept dropping stuff down there. PITA!!!!!
 
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Old 08-09-13, 07:15 AM
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If you have steel pipe then when you snake you probably are loosening big chunks of stuff and making it worse... The ides is to run water while snaking them.... If you cant get the snake from the rook all the way to the main, while running water from the sink, then it will be fruitless IMO....

Whats the next best thing??? A jetter!!!!!! A jetter should clear that line.....

I would not dump any more chemicals down there... They just do not work.....And are dangerous...
 
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Old 08-09-13, 08:30 AM
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For the snake, if the end is small, add a very small bend to it, ~3/4" to 1" from the tip. When you are sending the snake in and hit a bend or elbow, slowly turn it while applying pressure will sometimes get it to go around the corner a bit easier. It'll also scratch some junk off the sides of the pipe.

I had to do this as I was getting caught in elbows and the way too many unions. The snake my wife grabbed for me at the hardware store also has a really skinny end on it (not much bigger then a pencil), so I could punch through the clog, but the hole was so small, it wouldn't do anything. The bend, some light force and turning would scrap it down nicely.
 
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Old 08-09-13, 12:52 PM
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lawrosa; I have one of those jet things you hook to a garden hose, is that what you mean? There is a warning on the package not to use it on plastic pipe because it can evidently create enough pressure to blow the fittings apart. I was afraid to try it although I really seriously thought about it. If I could have gotten the snake in there I would have poured some water in by hand. I did try to shove the garden hose through there but it kept hitting something, probably the pipe joints.

Mike; My flex snake has an end about 2 1/2" long and it's a spring. I didn't find any cable that looked like it would do the job. It would probably go through the pipe, but just bunch up if it hit something solid. I bought some # 12 electrical wire, put a bend in the end like a little hook and finally got that worked up in there. Once I got past those elbows I didn't hit a lot of resistance. Plus the wire was flat enough I could twist it around like a snake.

Anyhow. It works great now, no more gurgle and the sink drain really fast.
Thanks
 
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Old 08-09-13, 01:17 PM
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Anyhow. It works great now, no more gurgle and the sink drain really fast.
Sounds like you where successful.

I would suggest (for this case or future cases) that when you think you won, snake it some more.

I personally got caught this spring. I thought I had won my clog battle, but apparently I had dislodged the clog which re-established it's ground further down and cause me issues. My issue was a very slow, almost fully clogged kitchen sink.
 
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Old 08-09-13, 01:22 PM
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I think I made it all the way to the main vent. Unless the wire kinked someplace (a lot) I measured the length and I should be there. You are probably right though, I'll put it on the list of things to do in the fall. I'll snake it out again, just to be safe.
Thanks again
 
 

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