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Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

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  • Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

    what do you guys use? I find the standard drop head 5/16 cables ineffective on back to back situations, particularly in situations where the the cross is not visible (longer branch arms with 45's).

    Anyone ever double up the general down head fitting with a drop head?

    thanks

  • #2
    Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

    I've done a few cross tee drains with the k50. I take the narrow retriever thingy and bend it so it catches the drop when it hits it. Slide the cable in, usually goes easy for me, bend down and only start the machine when i hear it clink into the drop.
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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    • #3
      Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

      Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
      I've done a few cross tee drains with the k50. I take the narrow retriever thingy and bend it so it catches the drop when it hits it. Slide the cable in, usually goes easy for me, bend down and only start the machine when i hear it clink into the drop.
      I've tried that with the drop head, but these kitchen sinks are back to back (or should I say side to side) with a 3.5' arm that is 1.5" galvy to each sink and the cross is buried in a heavy plaster wall. the drop head on the K-50 makes it about 1 in 10 times. The other times it binds up. This is an old stringer-type fitting with a built in cross (for re-vent to stack, common here in buildings from the 20's to the 60's.

      Getting a bent up auger to make it all the way to the cross is not happening. Maybe if it were 2" on the arms.

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      • #4
        Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

        I've had to use a camera in the past to guide me down from the other sink.

        Of course a roof vent will usually solve the back to back problem.

        Rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

          I use the Ridgid 5/16" hollow core drop head. For the tough ones I also bend it at the very end.

          I have a General 1/4" hollow core double drop head but haven't had a reason to try it out yet as the Ridgid cable has served me well.

          I've had to chase it with my microDrain on one PITA job. Good thing it was a very slow drainer so I could see.

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          • #6
            Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

            Most effective way to clear the back to back fitting? The vent.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #7
              Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

              Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
              This is an old stringer-type fitting with a built in cross (for re-vent to stack, common here in buildings from the 20's to the 60's.
              The vent is not an option my Cali compadres. This is on the 3rd floor of a 4 story building. Each floor has back to back kitchen sinks with revents that loop back to the main vent stack. Rodding from the vent would not work. If it had, we would not be having this conversation.

              Didn't try the camera yet. My micro broke last year and I haven't had a reason to replace it yet. Maybe it's time for a CA-300. I have been looking for an inexpensive way to get digital recordings. I'm still using a dinosaur VCR monitor that doesn't even have the invert button.

              AT, I've tried that general "double down" 1/4" cable. It does not like 1-1/2" CI 90's. Kinks the snot out of it. That's why I am considering using the General DHC attachment with a drop head to make a heavier "double drop" head that I could put onto a 5/16" general cable with female end.

              Thanks all for the input
              Last edited by Swade Plumbing; 01-20-2013, 05:24 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

                Sometimes you need to cut into the vent to allow for an easy access to the line. Being a back to back, in different units, you might not have a choice. Taking the nipple out allows you to see the tee. But with a dirty arm that's not accessible, you're stuck with feel or camera.

                If you know the distance to the tee, you can mark your cable and have A bend on the end. Attach a vice grip 6" past the total length. Keep the vice grip handle in line with your bend to act as a visual direction feeler. Then you have better feel of your distance and direction of the head.

                Works great with a 5/8" sectional and rick reverse auger. Having access to both sinks helps too.

                Rick.
                phoebe it is

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                • #9
                  Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

                  I've honestly never needed one. I rely on feel and I open the cable like a corkscrew if the drop is full of scale. Otherwise a coil head or small blade works just fine. Put a nice "j" type bend on the cable end and just make sure the cable is facing down at the drop. Might take a few shots, but you'll get it. Whenever I train a new guy they always hate back to backs. After a few jobs, they lose their fear of them.
                  Last edited by NYC Drain Guy; 01-20-2013, 07:29 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

                    Usually they are not a problem, but the arms are 3' long and run through multiple cabinets. Seldom able to get the arm out (not a nipple at the wall. It's a 3' long piece of pipe with 45 at the end.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

                      Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
                      Usually they are not a problem, but the arms are 3' long and run through multiple cabinets. Seldom able to get the arm out (not a nipple at the wall. It's a 3' long piece of pipe with 45 at the end.
                      Take out a piece of cable a little longer than what you need to reach the drop. With the bend of your cable facing down, clamp a vice grip with the handle facing up on the section of cable closest to you. Now you know that when the vice grip is up, the cable bend is down. Feed the cable into the line until you reach the drop. Make sure the cable is facing down at that point. Then just remove the vice grip and when you begin operating your machine, keep steady pressure on the cable with the hand closest to the pipe. If you go across or up, then keep repeating this until you make the drop.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best drop/down head back to back sinks?

                        What ^^ he said.

                        Or just say that you want to rod the line across to the other trap or up the vent, when the cable hears this, it will act contrarily to your wishes.

                        Sometimes I use various drop heads or I just bend the end of the cable sharply and push the cable in by hand feeling for the vertical. Then I push hard and bump the foot switch a couple of times. You'll either go up or down. If it's consistently going up, then pull the cable back, bend sharper a few inches back and go again, if still not going downward, put the machine in reverse for a couple of "bumps"

                        Currently my favorite drop head doesn't have a spring at all, just the swivel and the fitting the spring was fastened to. The spring was sprung pulling a washcloth out of a drain.

                        Sometimes the rotation of the cable makes all the difference when getting started.

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