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Jim
Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain

I have an addition on a 100+ year old house that was built around 60 years ago for a kitchen and full bath. We've been in the house 15 years. The kitchen sink is backing up and draining out very slowly. This has happened once many years ago and the plumber had to cut the stack pipe just above the clean out (it was corroded shut).

So, last night I went in the basement and removed the sleeve (the cut was about a foot above the basement floor) and poured in some water to confirm that the clog was somewhere between the clear out and the main line. Everything else in the house is draining fine, including the bathroom fixtures on the other side of the addition. The pipe filled up quickly, so I ran a hand auger down the pipe a distance of about 15 ft. I removed the auger and found very little residue on the auger tip. I poured water again and the water quickly backed up again to the top of the pipe. Then, Gross Alert!!!, I noticed something floating on top. I examined it and it appeared to be a piece some dog fecal matter. I told my wife about it and she confirmed that she had flushed a dog accident a few hours earlier in the toilet on the other side of the room.

So, how did that happen?! I understand the two pipes join together at some point. But how could a still intact portion of a dog pile make its way up the kitchen sink pipe when the pipe will barely allow water to drain down. If the clog was farther down the line from where the toilet and sink come together that would make sense. But the toilet, bathtub, and bath sink all drain perfectly. Thanks in advance for any helpful thoughts or ideas. I’m puzzled.

johnjh2o
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain

There is a stoppage in the main line at a point beyond were the kitchen connects.

ed21
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain

Is it possible the other fixtures appear to drain properly because the back up into the lower pipe from the kitchen. Then it drains slowly from there so that you don't notice.
Assuming that the good drains have a long horizontal run before turning down to meet to slow drain.
That would make me think there is a clogged drain beyond the Y. Probably a collapsed sewer tile or roots in the pipe outside the house.
I've actually seen this happen. We couldn't figure out why some drains seemed to work and others didn't, but it was a collapsed section of pipe just outside the house.

dj1
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain

I'd clear the main line.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain

The answer is easy ; Poop floats.

As they said you have a main line blockage.

ed21
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain

I thought they said , " all poop flows down hill", but I see your point.:)

dj1
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain
HoustonRemodeler wrote:

The answer is easy ; Poop floats.

Except poop with specific gravity of more than 1.0

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain
Quote:

Except poop with specific gravity of more than 1.0

Sure, in pure water. What about that salty, greasy.... ick .

New topic.

Jim
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain

Thanks for your replies and glad that I could provide some entertainment as well. lol.

I would agree that the clog is somewhere farther down the line, but not the main line. I have plenty experience with that as well. When the main line would get clogged it would back up through a floor drain in the original part of the house. We had the main replaced several years ago and nothing like that has happened since. Interesting that, back then, seeing water in the basement after running the clothes washer was a sign that it was time to route the main again. Interesting because the washer is not in the basement, but in the kitchen, and drains into the same stack that the kitchen bathroom does.

Tonight I’ll back up the sink again and start releasing copious amounts of water from the bathroom and the watch sink level. I’ll also check that floor drain to see if there’s any activity there.

Thanks again.

Jim
Re: Puzzling results when attempting to unclog a drain

Interesting that released water from all three bath fixtures had very little impact on the water level in the kitchen sink.

I finally had time to run my had auger again and the clog released in the last five feet of the auger. Nothing dramatic and no evidence what it was, but working perfectly now.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and the comic relief. ;)

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