Glenn McCarthy

Looking for plumber whose seen it all...............

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2nd floor bath sink drain, well doesn't.  The plug I believe is about 4" down from the bend where the drain goes into the vertical pipe.  Chemicals don't do a thing to it.  My manual snake hits it and stops.  Won't break through it for anything under the sun.

Six months ago I rent a drill auger, make sure it makes the turn going down (not up out the vent!) and run it 12' down to make sure I've deposited/pushed the block into a larger pipe.

Son of a gun, I'm back to square one today.  It is plugged again, I now have a manual spin the handle auger, it hits that 4" block and I spin for a while and it goes through.  I run it out 10' (max length) and reconnect the drain. There is another bathroom directly under this 2nd floor bathroom. Dang if it doesn't fill the sink with water instantly.  It isn't in the vertical pipe drain, or the trap, or the horizontal going into the wall.  Clearly it is in the vertical pipe in the wall.

What could be 4" down the vertical pipe and act like a hard flap, punch through with an auger, then immediately clog?

 

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Squirrel.

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Auger from the lower sink drain down, that's where the clog is.

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The sink on the first floor drains without issue and I can definitely feel something in the drain on the 2nd floor 4" down and got it cleared 6 months ago.  Only to feel something stuck there again.  Also, as it does drain extremely slowly, if we left for a weekend, you turn on the water and it only takes a moment for it to fill the sink.  If the clog were on the first floor, the 2nd floor faucet would have to fill the drain pipe from the first floor to the second floor sink before it would start filling the second floor sink.  It doesn't take that long or take that much water.

If a squirrel, did I punch a hole through it at lunch time today and did the carcass close back up that quick?

25 minutes ago, See Level said:

Auger from the lower sink drain down, that's where the clog is.

 

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26 minutes ago, Glenn McCarthy said:

The sink on the first floor drains without issue and I can definitely feel something in the drain on the 2nd floor 4" down and got it cleared 6 months ago.  Only to feel something stuck there again.  Also, as it does drain extremely slowly, if we left for a weekend, you turn on the water and it only takes a moment for it to fill the sink.  If the clog were on the first floor, the 2nd floor faucet would have to fill the drain pipe from the first floor to the second floor sink before it would start filling the second floor sink.  It doesn't take that long or take that much water.

If a squirrel, did I punch a hole through it at lunch time today and did the carcass close back up that quick?

 

 

Can you get up on the roof with a flash light and look down the vertical stack vent   Last time I needed to get a guy out to clean our pipes he had a Bluetooth bore scope that had a 50' line to it...  found a the clog first,  changed the auger on the snake and went to town.  I asked about it and he told me he got for $30 on line...  and used his iPad for the screen... 

 

 

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When's the last time you had your septic tank pumped?

 

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Just now, Willin' said:

When's the last time you had your septic tank pumped?

 

City sewer.  All other devices, washer, dishwasher, kitchen sink downstairs bath, etc. all draining fine.

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15 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

 

Can you get up on the roof with a flash light and look down the vertical stack vent   Last time I needed to get a guy out to clean our pipes he had a Bluetooth bore scope that had a 50' line to it...  found a the clog first,  changed the auger on the snake and went to town.  I asked about it and he told me he got for $30 on line...  and used his iPad for the screen... 

 

 

I likes this!  All of my ladders are at the boat right now doing a big job on it.

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Manual augers suck. Electric drill augers are better but see if you can't get your hands on the next size up in augers.

They use a rubber pad switch that you step on to turn the auger on and the snakes length on them is roughly about 26 ft.

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40 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

 

Can you get up on the roof with a flash light and look down the vertical stack vent   Last time I needed to get a guy out to clean our pipes he had a Bluetooth bore scope that had a 50' line to it...  found a the clog first,  changed the auger on the snake and went to town.  I asked about it and he told me he got for $30 on line...  and used his iPad for the screen... 

 

 

I have one of those. It’s excellent.

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I fixed a weird block in the bathtub (1 story 1 br) by putting a hose down the roof vent. Never had an issue again.  A thought though - have you considered using a shop vac on the sink drain? something with a 2" hose, just holding it over the drain should seal well enough.  What doesn't go down may come back up. 

I hate having to auger since I never know where it's going on what is happening.  Must check out that blue tooth thingy.

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4 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

Squirrel!

FIFY

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17 minutes ago, d'ranger said:

I fixed a weird block in the bathtub (1 story 1 br) by putting a hose down the roof vent. Never had an issue again.  A thought though - have you considered using a shop vac on the sink drain? something with a 2" hose, just holding it over the drain should seal well enough.  What doesn't go down may come back up. 

I hate having to auger since I never know where it's going on what is happening.  Must check out that blue tooth thingy.

The vent would break the vacuum..from the vacuum.

Also sinks have overflow system that is connected at the drain, 

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5 hours ago, Glenn McCarthy said:

 

What could be 4" down the vertical pipe and act like a hard flap, punch through with an auger, then immediately clog?

 

4" down from the drain entrance would be about the right spot for a pipe joint. Maybe the auger is hanging up on it?

How old is the house? You want to be careful pushing a power auger down a plastic DWV pipe.

 

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Dropped a flashlight on a string down the vent stack, absolutely clear from top to bottom.

I'm guessing the sink drain is 1-1/2" (don't hold me to that) and when it goes into the wall horizontally, it is connecting to a vertical pipe (T connection) and that vertical pipe is the same size 1-1/2".  The drain is not connecting in the wall directly to the vent stack.

So I'm guessing the design is something like this?
https://www.rooterplus.com/inc/phpThumb/phpThumb.php?w=400&zc=c&src=/sites/rooterpluscom/images/plumbing-diagram.jpg

 

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Dead squirrel.

I had a duck decide to roost on my chimney top one night, and apparently it got overcome by the hot water heater fumes, and fell into my wood stove flue..... Broke several flue tiles and caused a lot of bad combustion in the wood stove that fall, before we found the poor Mallard.....

 But it was one of those stories that just can't not be told......

 I won't do the full story here, now, but remind me when wood stove season starts up again in New England... (It's 90f and sweltering here right now)

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1 hour ago, See Level said:

The vent would break the vacuum..from the vacuum.

Also sinks have overflow system that is connected at the drain, 

except if it isn't draining? If the block is before the vent... otherwise you are correct. hey, I try the easy stuff first. 

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2 hours ago, See Level said:

4" down from the drain entrance would be about the right spot for a pipe joint. Maybe the auger is hanging up on it?

How old is the house? You want to be careful pushing a power auger down a plastic DWV pipe.

 

1956.  All cast iron pipe.  Now that I see this picture it makes sense that the vertical pipe behind the sink 4" down is connected to a horizontal pipe in the wall that must go to the toilet or tub.  It is tub against the wall to the right, toilet in the middle, sink on the left.  I just found that the tub is not draining well either.  But the toilet flushes just fine.  Looking at the cleanout on the lower level at the base of the vent, it appears to be roughly in line with the toilets 1st and 2nd floor.

There is a cleanout for the tub, time to open that up and send the snake through there.  Maybe through the toilet too.



plumbing-diagram.jpg

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The big problem I had years ago in an old house was the tub - it's hair that never disintegrates and that is what the hose down the vent pipe finally cleared.  I don't remember what the problem was but an auger/snake couldn't get to it no matter what I did.   good luck. 

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On 5/21/2019 at 3:02 PM, Mrleft8 said:

Squirrel.

Where?I like squirrels

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It's a rubber ball.  Pushed down from the roof.  It was used to flare the lead flashing from the vent, but it didn't come out. The sink has always drained a little slow, but recently it has become plugged.  Because that ball worked it's way down the vent into the drain, 4" below where your sink T's in.  Push hard enough with a snake/auger, and you will squeeze past it.  When you pull the snake back out, the ball springs back into shape.

 

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If there was a rubber ball in the vent, the sewer gasses would have indicated a problem years ago.

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The gasses would have had to make it past the p-traps?

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If it's a squirrel, am I the first to call dibs?

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The ball doesn’t make an airtight seam - if it did, it wouldn’t be able to finish forming the inward bend on the standing portion of the flashing.  The diameter of the ball would be the ID of the vent minus the thickness of the lead.

Some plumbers/roofers used the handle of a hammer to push through, others pushed a ball on a string through. The string broke, and the plumber/roofer left the ball in place.

The ball would be loose enough to allow venting, albeit poorly, but have tight enough tolerances to easily hang up. It has now worked it’s way down the stack, past the T from your sink, and jammed up due to buildup on the sides of the pipe.

Or it’s a squirrel.

 

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57 minutes ago, CyberBOB said:

The ball doesn’t make an airtight seam - if it did, it wouldn’t be able to finish forming the inward bend on the standing portion of the flashing.  The diameter of the ball would be the ID of the vent minus the thickness of the lead.

Some plumbers/roofers used the handle of a hammer to push through, others pushed a ball on a string through. The string broke, and the plumber/roofer left the ball in place.

The ball would be loose enough to allow venting, albeit poorly, but have tight enough tolerances to easily hang up. It has now worked it’s way down the stack, past the T from your sink, and jammed up due to buildup on the sides of the pipe.

Or it’s a squirrel.

 

And this process manifests itself in 63yrs?  Not doubting your explanation but will be amazed if true.  Good luck Glenn, piss in the downstairs sink.  

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Hair and soap ball is my experience

Good luck

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Sash weights?

Open the wall, fix it.

 

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Maybe more fiber in your diet.

 

oh, sorry, it's the sink.  My bad.

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2 hours ago, bmiller said:

Sash weights?

Open the wall, fix it.

 

:lol:

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On 5/22/2019 at 2:05 AM, Mrleft8 said:

Dead squirrel.

I had a duck decide to roost on my chimney top one night, and apparently it got overcome by the hot water heater fumes, and fell into my wood stove flue..... Broke several flue tiles and caused a lot of bad combustion in the wood stove that fall, before we found the poor Mallard.....

 But it was one of those stories that just can't not be told......

 I won't do the full story here, now, but remind me when wood stove season starts up again in New England... (It's 90f and sweltering here right now)

Smoked duck......tasty.:)

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8 minutes ago, mad said:

Smoked duck......tasty.:)

One side was a charred mass of creosote, the other side was nearly perfect. Poor thing had her head tucked under her wing (Hence the supposition that she was overcome by fumes while sleeping), complete with that signature blue hash mark.

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8 hours ago, bmiller said:

Sash weights?

Open the wall, cut out section of pipe, don't have enough time to look inside, but plenty of time to document and upload.

 

FIFY

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This is dragging out a bit, you retired guys that are following please message me when the actual problem is solved.

TIA

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5 hours ago, hobot said:

This is dragging out a bit, you retired guys that are following please message me when the actual problem is solved.

TIA

we are still listening to the ding dongs argue who really should have won the Sydney - Hobart race conclude their closing remarks.

Then we will be over here straight away...

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Well john holmes and wilt are dead so that leaves mick jagger. Seriously though only two things really matter, vent is blocked or an outflow line is blocked. If your neighbor is flowing free then the problem is in your system or right at the street where your sewer line connects to the main. My dad and i routinely ran a hose down the main cleanout to the street to free up his system until he finally put in a new line to the street. Once every two or three years we did it. Nasty black job but it always worked.

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1 hour ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

Well john holmes and wilt are dead so that leaves mick jagger. Seriously though only two things really matter, vent is blocked or an outflow line is blocked. If your neighbor is flowing free then the problem is in your system or right at the street where your sewer line connects to the main. My dad and i routinely ran a hose down the main cleanout to the street to free up his system until he finally put in a new line to the street. Once every two or three years we did it. Nasty black job but it always worked.

On what planet does that explain the first floor draining fine?

I do appreciate the John Holmes reference but the repeated use of 4" has no place.  

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We could crowdfund to hire one of those plumbing camera companies and do ppv on the live feed?

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Sharing a plumbing story about blockage because I was bored. Who cares what floor? Blockage is blockage. Plumbing is easy once in place to code. Get under sink, removebasin pipes from wall to bottom of basin. Get small snake, feed back and thrn down. Hit block, spin snake and try to break it up or grab it and pull out. No block down test by feeding water hose up side of house and through window. Toss rope down from windo first. You have created a vent so stuff garden hose into outflow pipe and turn on water. Use valve on end or walkie talkies or whatever. If water flows well. Close up and move entire show to roof and repeat snake and water test. If water backes up snake is too short or not stiff enough. Get stronger longer snake and go to roof. If bathrooms are stacked you can try snaking up perhaps. 

Someone better than I should post the scene in beverly hills cop where eddie murphy jokes about the banana in the tail pipe if its out there.

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FWIW, those "flushable" baby wipes from Cosco, are NOT!

damhikt..

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1 hour ago, justsomeguy! said:

FWIW, those "flushable" baby wipes from Cosco, are NOT!

damhikt..

Yeah..... The aides at the surgical rehab place I was at for a month last summer found that out too..... I couldn't walk, so I couldn't be blamed, but boy, oh boy! did those things foul up the plumbing system!!!!! The supervisors kept telling them to use the trash bags, but they just thought flushing them was easier....... Until.....

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The boat launches in 7 days, I have two major project underway and even talking about delaying the launch of the boat.  This plumbing thing became a minor nuisance on the scale of things.

So I caved in and brought in a friend who is a plumber. He is sure the bathtub connects to the toilet drain, puts the drill auger into the tub trap and sends it through bringing out?  Hair, no squirrel fuzz or bones.

Same with the sink, thinks it too connects to the toilet drain, runs the drill auger through the sink drain pulls out some hair. 

Both flow with no issues.

While here, I have him take the big machine and auger the main drain out to the street, good old roots, again (it was time, knew things were slowing up).

It put a kink in the boat work this weekend, all of the rain didn't help either.  I'd run to the boat each night this week, but rain is forecasted until Friday.

 

 

 

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Wow. Glad to know outcome even if no dead aliens in pipe. There are silicone hair filters for drains, use them in my bathroom tub and sink. See Amazon or local hardware store

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