Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!
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cszhao
Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!

Our kitchen sink started clogging about a year after we moved in and has gradually gotten worse. At the beginning it stops draining when a lot of water is poured down the drain, now its water "tolerance" has gotten smaller and smaller. The strange thing is we tried everything from Drano to plunger, and they simply didn't work. We even took out the garbage disposal and looked inside, nothing. We had a plumber look at it and he used electric cables of all sizes and lengths with no results. We bought the strongest draining solution recommended by the Home Depot guys, poured down half a bottle, left there overnight and a day. STILL nothing. The house is old but was remodeled about 4,5 years ago. I called up another plumbing service guy who said the only solution left is to dig up the floor and everything to look at the pipes because they have rotted. I truly hope that's not the case. Does anyone here have any ideas about this? ANY input would be great!

dj1
Re: Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!

When all conventional methods, including snaking, fail, you may be looking at drain pipe replacements. That's the bad news.

The good news is that it's only in the kitchen.

cszhao
Re: Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!

That's what the plumbing guy said too, rebuild another plumbing pipe altogether.
What I don't understand is if the pipe is rotten, why wouldn't the cable go through? Did the pipes simply collapse?
If it comes down to rebuild another pipe, how much would it usually cost? And how long would it take?

dj1
Re: Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!

It's hard to say what happened to the pipe without a camera. I've seen pipes get filled with mud, roots, debris, garbage, rodents and a lot more. It also depends on the type of pipes you have.

Cost? hard to say too, it depends on the amount of labor it would take, since the pipes and the connectors don't cost a fortune, labor does.

Mess? yes it will be messy. Like a surgery.

Time? no plumber can guarantee a completion time, cause there are many unknowns.

Pipes have a certain life span and they eventually give in. Here you must replace.

cszhao
Re: Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!

Hmm, all these debris can't be dissolved with drain cleaner?

cszhao
Re: Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!

And another thing, when the house was remodeled the previous owner changed it to copper piping, would that have included the plumbing pipes too?
The house itself is 70+ years old. So if they haven't changed the plumbing, I think it's probably about time the pipes have rotted out too. Oy.
Thanks a lot for your advices.

dj1
Re: Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!
cszhao wrote:

And another thing, when the house was remodeled the previous owner changed it to copper piping, would that have included the plumbing pipes too?
The house itself is 70+ years old. So if they haven't changed the plumbing, I think it's probably about time the pipes have rotted out too. Oy.
Thanks a lot for your advices.

- Copper is widely used to deliver hot and fresh cold water, not for drains (some copper is used for drain, but very uncommon).
- The chemicals you pour in the drain don't do much good. I usually tell folks not to use them.
Oy Vey, for sure.

johnjh2o
Re: Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!

With the home being 70 years old my guess is the pipe is cast iron. Cast iron pipe can be very hard to get a snake through. In most cases they can be cleaned but it takes time and experience using the snake. You have to use the right size cable with the proper head on the end of the cable. Before replacing the line it may pay to let another plumber have a shot at it. I,m not saying your plumber doesn't now what he's doing he may have been to busy on that day to take the time that was needed.

John

A. Spruce
Re: Stubborn clog in kitchen sink...HELP!
cszhao wrote:

We had a plumber look at it and he used electric cables of all sizes and lengths with no results.

I sure hope you mean he was using what's known as a power snake and not actually trying to stuff an electrical cable down the line.

If using a power snake won't clear the line, then the odds are the line has problems beyond a "simple" clog. The only way to know for certain would be to send a camera down the line for inspection.

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