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I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

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  • I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

    Hi folks - I'm way out of my element here. We had a slow flushing toilet, so I thought I'd check the stack with a snake just make sure the path was clear. Well the snake is now stuck in the stack in spite of several attempts to twist it around and free it.

    It's a steel ribbon style snake (maybe 1/2" wide) with a steel hook on the end...not the spring type. The snake entered the stack from a 2nd story roof and got caught somewhere near what I'd guess to be the 2nd floor level.

    I'm really clueless what to do. The drain system in the house still seems to be working ok. Does that snake pose any problems down the road if I can't get it out? Any suggestions on how to remove it?

    Thanks much for any input!

  • #2
    Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

    not 100% sure of the steel hook end. do you know how far you're in?

    anyway to get a stock photo of a similar hook end?

    it sounds like the hook is caught on a fitting or tee.

    a camera would make it easy to see what happened and then locate or figure out how to free it up. that would be my last choice due to cost.

    i would think if you can still push forward, then you are just caught on a turn or tee. is it possible to continue pushing forward to a downstream clean out? then disconnect or cut off the end

    if you can't go either direction, then you're really stuck

    keeping the snake in the line might not pose an issue, depending on where it is situated. but if it does cause a stoppage, then it's going to be messy to fix.

    have you tried a quick push in and out. this creates a whipping/ snapping action and might jump past the area where you're caught.

    see if you can figure out the distance you're in.

    a picture of that hook end and snake/ rod.

    and if the snake can move forward or not.

    these answers will help with the situation and possible fix.

    rick.

    ps. whats the weather and humidity like. joey needs a vacation.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

      Thanks Ric - The good news is that the weather has been beautiful in these parts for the past couple of weeks, which is good considering that we basically have "winter" and "construction season" around here!

      Couldn't find a pic of a similar hook and frankly, I don't remember it in great detail, but do know that it's very different than the round spring types. IIRC it looked like a bent piece of steel attached to a steel ribbon.

      I doesn't seem to be able to go any farther and definitely won't come up. I'm probably in ~ 10'.

      What happens if I just leave it?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

        Originally posted by hewood View Post
        It's a steel ribbon style snake (maybe 1/2" wide) with a steel hook on the end...not the spring type.

        A tape snake with a hook? Brute force to release it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

          10' is not bad.

          can you cut the snake off at approx. 2' past the opening. then possibly run a piece of pvc or pex onto the snake. this will coat the cable and also possibly release the hook when you get to the end of the hook. it's worth a try and other than a camera you just have to try.

          personally at 10' it doesn't sound like it will plug up you entire house. maybe just a section.

          still a picture of a similar snake and the opening you're in will give me more ideas. plus a picture is worth a 1000 words

          you got nothing to lose at this time. try the pex or pvc and see if you can release that hook. cut the pvc/ pex 1' shorter than the snake so you can controll the cable and pipe.


          sending in another real snake might get stuck, or it might free up your rod.

          i would try the pipe trick first. then if it doesn't work, you can just wait and see if it creates a stoppage. also will cooking oil help free the jam. you can pour the oil in via the pex

          good luck, off to real work and will check in tonight

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

            That PVC trick sounds interesting.

            ...thanks guys.

            Plumberscrack...I love that avatar!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

              get a couple big men and pull the snake tape out, being careful not to losse your footing and fall off the roof. its not fun but will get the job done.
              Or go 10 foot below and cut the pipe in wall and remove it from that point. I would just pull it out from the roof.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

                Hook it to a truck and pull, then call a sewer guy to clear the drain
                http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

                  i had a similar thing a few months back. someone convinced the homeowner he had a vent issue. he runs a ribbon/tape with a coiled wire head into the stack and it catches on something and he can't retrieve it. this is about 8 feet down a solid concrete wall. he calls and i suggest the PVC sleeve fix to try and loosen the head up. no luck after about 2 hours of this. he calls back and i half kiddingly say to get a couple of strong dudes and pull the crap out of it. he calls back later all happy as they freed the snake from the vent. the wire head was not quite so coiled anymore. still the toilet doesn't drain. i go over and EVerything else in the house works but this 1 toilet. cleanout is dry so i lift the toilet and lo and behold there is a wire frame from one of those "deodorizers" caught in the toilet.

                  still have no idea what the head caught on but the snake was worthless after that.

                  i'll go along with freddy on this one. brute force with EXTREME CAUTION. at least you probably have sheetrock walls whereas we have mostly concrete. you can use a knie, we use a demo hammer

                  good luck

                  steve
                  In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

                    Thanks...

                    The hook on this snake is not a flexible spring...do think there's any risk of the heavy steel hook breaking the PVC vent? I could care less if I ever see that snake again, but I'd hate to rip up that tube!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

                      really CALL A SEWER GUY that has VIDEO and get the job done right. You are gonna cost yourself more money if you dont. It`s hooked on something you cant see with-out Video. Get the right guy and save a ton of money
                      http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

                        Hey get yourself one of the micro cameras from ridgid with an extention and, you can see it for yourself down the pipe.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

                          Originally posted by freddy View Post
                          Hey get yourself one of the micro cameras from ridgid with an extention and, you can see it for yourself down the pipe.
                          Fighting inner demons urging me to make perverse off color humor regarding threads title....must fight urge....must fight urge.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

                            Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                            Fighting inner demons urging me to make perverse off color humor regarding threads title....must fight urge....must fight urge.
                            .... how's that saying about people in glass houses go Mr. "Duckbutter"?!

                            Seriously, my 17 year old's girlfriend overheard me talking about a snake being stuck in the drain vent and she assumed I meant a reptile and wouldn't use the facilities until I clarified!
                            Last edited by hewood; 07-03-2007, 08:25 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: I'm at a loss...my snake is stuck

                              Originally posted by hewood View Post
                              .... how's that saying about people in glass houses go Mr. "Duckbutter"?!

                              Seriously, my 17 year old's girlfriend overheard me talking about a snake being stuck in the drain vent and she assumed I meant a reptile and wouldn't use the facilities until I clarified!

                              I just hadda toss a lil' comic relief in there.
                              As far as your sons girlfriend, well...I'd have kept her thinking that...you know...inner demons.
                              I'm bad.

                              Comment

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