Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Clogged pipes Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Clogged pipes

    I currently am a maintenance person at work at a Care Center (people come after surgery to get better, and we also have elderly people with dimentia). The building that I maintain was built in the 70s and has maybe 50 rooms with bathrooms piped with 1-1/2" Galvanized pipe from the sink to the toilet (usually about 6-12' of pipe). These sinks have a chromed trap with a little screw on the bottom of the trap that can be removed to let the water out. Problem is the way it was plumbed is that you can't unscrew the trap because you have to turn the water off out in the hall on the 1st floor then remove the shutoffs in the bathroom (because the shutoffs are about 3" too close for the trap to swing around). We attempted to remove one trap this way and it was a pain. Once it was removed though there's a 90 right behind the wall there, then it goes into a "T" about 2' afterwards, then another 90 right at the bottom of the "T", where it then becomes mainly a straight shot till the corner of the bathroom, or till it hits the toilet drain. Ok, here's the problem we have. On some of the bathrooms there's a slow drain, but it drains... we've poured some chemicals down the drain on some of them to dissolve the hair/whatever build up in the pipe to get them flowing, and it seems to have worked a bit on those that actually have atleast a bit of flow in them. Then there's others where we have tried taking the trap off and were unable to get the snake in past the 90 to get the clog freed... still a problem with those.

    Now this past week, I actually just cut the wall open, cut the pipe with a sawzall and saw when the little 2" piece of pipe dropped out that it was completely clogged. I cut the pipe just before the 90 below the "T" and sent the snake in the longer straighter part of the wall, then tried to get it up the 90, and finally got it after a few tries. We then slipped a fernco over the opening and tightened it up. Drain works great now. I do know that this week I will go through and re-clean that pipe out again with a larger head on a snake since the one I used (thats got a foot pedal and is powered) has no head on it. The stuff seemed to move pretty well with the snake pushing through it, but when the snake came out it was nasty black stuff that smelt horrible.

    The problem is i have to now go back and re-sheetrock these rooms and patch/paint them as well. This is very difficult to do in the environment that I'm in with the type of people who actually live here, it's very dissruptive to their lives and causes a lot of confusion, along with horrible smells. We have also tried Plunging the sinks which works in some cases to get the clogs flowing. Is there anything I can use that would allow me to go through the 1/2" hole in the bottom of the trap and might push around the 90 and down the "T" and other 90 a bit easier? Suggestions would be appreciated and they all don't have to be a long term solution, because about 20 of the bathrooms are going to be totally remodeled this year since it's been budgeted for 100k. We just really need to be able to get these worse ones unclogged for the time being. Oh yea, and just because it's not hard enough, quite a few of the bathrooms are back-2-back with another one, so the sinks line up on each wall, and there will be a "T" directly after the Trap to connect both sinks, so there would be another problem with getting a snake through the 1/2" hole to make a turn in the pipe without going right into the other sink.

  • #2
    Re: Clogged pipes

    What kind of snake do you use?

    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Clogged pipes

      I will have to check tomorrow for the type, i can't think of it now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Clogged pipes

        Reason I ask is that a top snake (K39 for example) can often negotiate traps and turns without dismantling. A slight bend in the end of a cable with a bulb auger can give a pretty good scrape of the walls on 1.5" to 2" to get things flowing.

        From what you describe (pics are better) I'd replace the traps too.

        J.C.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Clogged pipes

          Would it really kill ya' to call a pro?????

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Clogged pipes

            What JC says! Pics will help..but even a bare ended 3/8" cable *may* do a good job in a line with a good bend on the end of the cable.With out pics hard to say why you are having such a problem!
            Last edited by Jay Mpls; 05-11-2009, 12:02 AM. Reason: He's 'sposed to be the *pro* !

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Clogged pipes





              Here's some images to assist with picturing what I'm dealing with. My boss actually showed me a small drill type Rigid auger today that he says may fit in the hole in the bottom of the trap and try that for the next one. Our larger snake is a MyTana M661. Is there any way to keep all that black guck from splattering all over the place? seems to, no matter how slow i pull the snake out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Clogged pipes

                That's not that bad. Any drain person or plumber can help all of those while you keep the electrical under control.

                You gave me some advice on an electrical problem awhile back. I could have done what you recommended myself but.....

                I called the electrician in my phone. Wrote the check and kept on trucking.

                J.C.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Clogged pipes

                  I don't see from the pic why the trap cannot be removed. You don't typically have to swing the trap to unscrew it; it's held in place with nuts that untwist. Yours may be a style I've not seen, or more likely have been there so long the nuts have siezed to the trap so it seems as though you have to twist the whole thing to remove it. If there is something I'm missing about the way the trap comes off, then just cut the stupid thing off, break the siezed nut off the rough-in (save the threads) and replace with a pvc trap ($6 at your local retailer, about $1-$2 in bulk from your on-line supplier) that can be disassembled. Should be a piece of cake with the trap removed.

                  It will be tough to hit the back to back ones through the drain plug in the bottom of the trap. Not saying it can't be done, just prepare to have to be patient.

                  I prefer to jet sinks, but 1) jetting can be difficult in galvanized, 2) buying that equipment and learning to use it may not be possible in light of your cost and schedule needs.

                  The black gunk splattering all over the place is why I prefer to jet sinks. Also it does a a better job at cleaning than a cable on most things.
                  Last edited by Ace Sewer; 05-11-2009, 09:40 PM.
                  This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Clogged pipes

                    That ptrap appears to me to be screwed directly onto the galv nipple. They're a pain to take out and when you do get them off, the galv nipple is in such bad shape that you can't screw it back on. Rust is the only thing making a watertight connection on those traps.
                    Buy cheap, buy twice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Clogged pipes

                      never seen a trap with threads actally part of the trap... always nutted... I'll count my blessings that I haven't and either leave it be and find another way or bid accordingly when/if I ever do.
                      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Clogged pipes

                        just a suggestion if your cutting into the wall and it is difficult to access, put in a clean out there, that one can access in the future as most likely the galvanized will fill up again.
                        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                        attributed to Samuel Johnson
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Clogged pipes

                          The traps are threaded into the galvanized, that's why we have to unthread them, otherwise we woulda just taken them off if it was just a nut. And like i said earlier, about 20 of these bathrooms are getting completely re-done this year, but we just need these pipes cleaned out a bit for now until they are refinished. If it was up to me i would just have a drain cleaning crew come and clean all the pipes one day, but it's not my budget, so for now it's up to me to get them as free flowing as possible for the time being. Here's a close up of the connection, it's just got a female end on the back of the trap -

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Clogged pipes

                            never seen that before... hope I never do.

                            i'd be thinking in terms of twisting the trap the little room you have to break it loose from the nipple, then sawzall it so you can unscrew the piece left on the nipple, then clear the line, then replace with a regular trap. should work unless the end of the nipple is so rotted you've go nothing left to screw to. you said you did take the one apart; it's condition should be typical of the others, so that should let you know how it might go.

                            or if this is just a temp fix anyway and you don't want to risk beaking whats left of the threads off the nipple, do you have room to whack the trap so that you have a straight shot through what's still on the nipple and put it back together with a fernco? ugly but it might let you do what you need to if the drain plug proves frustrating as an access.
                            This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Clogged pipes

                              badabing are that style of traps a requirement there to protect the residents? if not do like ace said. you know if it's easy i ain't there. breid

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X