Potato peels and blocked kitchen sink

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  #1  
Old 07-18-17, 01:05 PM
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Question Potato peels and blocked kitchen sink

Hi everyone,
So peeled about 4 sweet potatoes and gave them to my insinkerator to eat. A little while later water was backing up from both sides of the sink (double sink). Waited for it to slow drain and removed the ptrap but it's clean. I then added some Drano with no luck. Got myself a 25' auger and after using all 25' the blockage is still there. I'm thinking that I might need a 50' but wonder if that would fix the problem. I started thinking about the main drain pipe outside in which there are two. One on the backyard around the proximity of the bathroom so I'm thinking that's sewage. Then there's another one at my property line up front where it meets the sidewalk. I assume that if I was going to visit the main drain that I should go to the one upfront, no need to open the backyard one and go finding "goodies".

I suppose my question is, do I try a 50" auger or try the 25' that i already have on the main drain.

Thanks!

PS- don't have a septic tank
 
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Old 07-18-17, 01:10 PM
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Sounds like you have a main line blockage, %0 foot may reach but don't know how long drain line is. If tree roots you will need a cutter blade. Why did you post twice?
 
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Old 07-18-17, 01:22 PM
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Please delete the second post. Mistake on my part.

The main line would mean going to the front of the house and running the auger in there? How would I know if the auger is going towards the house (I assume peels are stuck between house and main) vs the auger going the other way away from the house?

Haven't had any drain issues until the peel incident. Why would you think tree roots?
 
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Old 07-18-17, 01:25 PM
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FYI - I deleted the duplicate post (no responses in it).
 
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Old 07-18-17, 01:40 PM
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The cleanout should have a sweep, not a tee, so that your snake will only want to go downhill. Those peelings are relatively heavy though, and it's doubtful they got too far yet, so barring a pre-existing problem that you weren't aware of I would suspect that the problem isn't too far down stream yet. I would be more inclined to think that the end of the snake may be piling them up someplace. But it's only guesses at this point. Once you get it worked out though, two things to keep in mind; 1) it's much better to wrap up things like that and put them in the trash than to run them down the drain, and 2) there's almost never a good time to use a chemical drain cleaner, at least in my opinion.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 01:44 PM
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Try to determine what lines are backed up by using the various sinks and toilets. Guess you don't have basements there but it might help you figure out where the clog is... if every sink tub, toilet backs up, it's likely clogged outside the house... if only some things back up, and not others... the clog is in the house... between A and B.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 01:49 PM
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I agree with Pedro. But I think it would be worth the cost of a 50 ft snake. Drain chemicals are pretty much worthless. If you should call a professional, please be sure to tell him you used a drain chemical.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 01:51 PM
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I would suspect that the problem isn't too far down stream yet.
I would agree with that.

I had a recent similar problem but it was onion skins. The problem was in the wall where it went down to the stack. The snake kept going right by the clog. It took several days to unclog it.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 02:06 PM
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thank you all for the input.

No, I do not have a basement. There are no other clogs, the bathroom sink, tub and toilet drain fine as well as the washer. The clog is only in the sink.

So from the explanations, the peels might still be stuck between the sink drain and the main line outside? Trying a 50' might reach farther down the house line before the main and hopefully break apart the clog?

And if I was to try the main, the snake would go downhill (away from the house) because of the sweep? Which by my google searches is a curved pipe (not necessarily a hard 90 degree turn)?

Regarding the chemicals, do they not work for difficult clogs like this? Or would they work for gunk stuck in a ptrap? And yes, I'll advise any plumbers about the use of it.

And silly (and obvious question). When I am sticking the 25' snake down the sink pipe, that pipe actually leads outside towards where the main drain connection is?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 02:20 PM
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I would say yes to each of your questions. The connection to the main drain could be at several junction points. Can you send a picture of the drain and where you think the drain exits the house?

Chemicals do little good in actual cases. If and when they reach the clog, the will most likely be diluted beyond use. Over use will eventually damage pipes and last but no least they do a lot of harm to the water table and our environment. The reason to alert the plumber to the use is to give him a heads up and protect him of splash and chemical burns.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 02:25 PM
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I dont think the sink automatically goes straight outside like you think... your sink line generally runs toward the other fixtures inside the house... toilets are generally closest to the main line that goes out of the house. So if you drew an imaginary line from your kitchen sink to the closest toilet... that would be a good guess of which direction that line goes.

I agree the snake is probably getting wadded up somewhere.

Are you removing the p-trap and feeding the snake into the open drain at the wall?
 
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Old 07-18-17, 02:47 PM
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so here's my home along with the various locations. I am thinking that the drain would go out to the main somewhere, but I am possibly 100% wrong. when I feed the snake I do feel some resistance at two points, at first hoping the clog, later I figured it could be a curve somewhere. Now I am thinking just a junction point and the snake is going where the clog is not located.

yes, I Am taking out the ptrap and feeding the snake straight into the pipe coming out from the wall and down in the ground.

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Old 07-18-17, 02:57 PM
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It looks like the street is in the top of the picture. The sewer line would not be run to the street and along it to a cleanout.

The line would more likely exit the right side of your house which means your kitchen line heads towards the bathrooms.

There is only one line from your house to the street.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 03:11 PM
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yes, street up top.

so when I am fishing the snake it's possibly heading towards the bathroom. Since I have no backup in the bathroom (yet) this means that the peels could be somewhere between kitchen and bathroom? If they were to get to the bathroom then backup will begin to happen there!?!? (bad, bad, bad).

and what would the cap in the backyard be for?

I also added the washer on this image, for my own knowledge, this might drain either straight towards the bathroom and then towards main OR it could go to kitchen > bathroom > main?

thanks again for wealth of knowledge.
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Old 07-18-17, 03:16 PM
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That picture now looks closer to what you most likely have.

If it were me.... I'd hire a plumber to come in with a camera snake and sounder. He can send the snake into the lines and track their routes with a handheld wireless receiver. If not now.... keep it in mind. It's good to know all about the drain lines.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 03:20 PM
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darn, I am trying to stay away from the plumber in hopes to save some $ as a DIY.
as a last resort I could insert and remove the snake many times to see what happens, maybe hit the right pipe.

Else, yes, plumber is in my future.

I know it all changes, but average cost of a plumber for a clogged pipe?
 
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Old 07-18-17, 03:57 PM
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Off topic but now you know why they invented garbage cans and some say you should never install a garbage disposer. But just the opinion of someone who has never lived in a house with a garbage disposer and doesn't see the need of one.

More on topic I have tried occasional as a favor to snake a regular customers drain and always gave up after a few tries and suggested they call a drain cleaning company. The drain cleaning company was usually very quick compared to the time I wasted trying to snake it. This is a DIY forum but sometimes you just need a pro.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 04:17 PM
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Ray, I echo your feelings of a sink disposal. When we remodeled our kitchen, my wife wanted one. I suggested no, but she insisted. I suggested the right side of double bowl sink. She decided left side, where she keeps her just washed or rinsed bowls and strainers. As a result it's never used because it's on the wrong side! Maybe two wrongs do make a right sometimes!
 
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Old 07-18-17, 05:55 PM
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Silly question but I never saw in post where you cleaned trap under sink? I would hope so.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 07:16 PM
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Yes I checked the ptrap before anything else in hopes of a quick fix It's on my original post

And growing up we had a disposer and never had problems. I've lived in properties that had them and no problems either. This time around I think I just got over confident and threw more that it could chew and hence my predicament. It's a personal preference and if you know what to throw and what not or how much to throw in it then it'll work just fine.
I guess time to call plumber tomorrow.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 07:23 PM
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Just to add..... my drain was predominately clogged by eggshells. They accumulated along a short horizontal run and then the onion skins got caught on them.

Needles to say the word went out.... No more egg shells.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 07:25 PM
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If you have a shop vac, you could try putting the hose on the exhaust (so that it blows) and try to force air down the clogged pipe... assuming you can make an adapter for the hose to pipe connection. You would want the line to be backed up with water... Maybe you will get lucky and force the clog past the obstruction.
 
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Old 07-19-17, 04:14 AM
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We use disposer a lot but try to keep veggie skins out as they seem to give us the most trouble and I really hate working under the sink.
 
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Old 07-19-17, 05:46 AM
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We're on a septic, but have and regularly use a disposer, and no problems related to it in 30+ years. But the disposer is simply for final clean up. We wrap anything meat related in aluminum foil, and peelings, heads of carrots, spoiled fruits or vegetables, etc. in either in the same foil or in plastic bags, and they go in the trash bag. Egg shells and coffee grounds go directly into the trash bag. After the dishes have been cleared of any larger items, the disposer is used only during the final rinse before they go into the dishwasher or on the other side of the sink to be hand washed. (Yes, I know, they say that you don't have to rinse everything off before putting it into the dishwasher, but neither of us can help ourselves!) I've seen people though run peelings and everything else down disposers, and septic or not I cringe at the potential problems they are creating. The worst I ever dealt with was after someone had apparently run grease from a turkey down the drain. Happened to a neighbor who had just moved in a few months before and someone suggested he call me. We snaked that drain two nights, both times seemingly successful, but the backup returned so I gave him the name of a professional, and he told me later that the guy who came out fished this blob out of the line and told him it was turkey grease because he had run into it a number of times before. Anyway, I think there is a place for disposers, and don't know of any reason to avoid them, except that people need to know they are not a do-all machine.
 
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Old 07-19-17, 06:34 AM
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Well I ended up calling a plumber this morning to get this cleared out and should hopefully be taken care of later today. There's only so much DIY you can get away with.

Thank you all for the help. Learn something new every day.
 
  #26  
Old 07-19-17, 06:08 PM
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75' worth of snake later and the clog is still there
The plumber ran it twice, no go. Clean snake with no potato pieces, grease or dirt (in case of root out busted pipe) There's no stack near the kitchen to go from the roof and I have one of those ventilators things under the sink so he snaked directly under the sink.
I have a stack above the bathroom area but the plumber said that wouldn't do anything.
So he suggested a water pressure jet thing that he doesn't own. Says those type of jobs are expensive 500-1k. So I'm at a loss here, might have to spend the extra cash
 
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Old 07-19-17, 06:56 PM
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Find a plumber with a camera. You need to see where the clog is. Guessing is not the solution. And the water jet option is not necessarily a god one. It could bust a pipe or blow out a fitting.
 
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Old 07-19-17, 06:56 PM
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Now you know why in post #17 I wrote to call a drain cleaning company. A plumber may not have the experience or specialized equipment.
 
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Old 07-19-17, 08:33 PM
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Plumber and drain cleaning... Interchangeable terms to someone who's never had the need for a plumber or drain cleaning.

What's the difference?
 
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Old 07-19-17, 10:43 PM
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A drain cleaning company is one that specializes in cleaning drains. The classic example is the original Rotorooter company. Plumbers do drains as part of many other things. https://www.google.com/search?num=10...01.sFMYClRCkTU
 
  #31  
Old 07-20-17, 06:41 PM
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A happy ending to the story without spending a dime....

I tried the shop vac idea as posted earlier. With water clogged up I placed a cap on the disposer side and the shop vac fit perfectly on the drainer of the other side. Powered on and held both the cap and hose down... After a few seconds powered off and I could hear the water draining. Tried again and this time I didn't feel the same pressure. Let the water run and voila! No more clog. I checked the clean out pipe and there was the beautiful water draining thru!

So thanks for the shop vac idea, didn't try it earlier thinking about water rushing back out the sink but it didn't and all is good in our plumbing world!!!

Thanks everyone for the tips and advice.

Note to self, trust the disposer.... Not the pipes
 
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Old 07-20-17, 07:18 PM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for posting back.
 
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