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The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

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  • The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

    I think the reason my posts get frozen, is because I posted a link to another manufacturer's product.
    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
    OK. That was it. No linking to competitors tools.
    So, has any one used Gen-Wire's cutter ball-head cutter for 5/16ths inner wound cable? It's called a ClogChopper. Here's some info about it:
    "Rip through tough stoppages with the unique ClogChopper™ multi-function cutting tools. Six self-sharpening blades dig into encrusted debris and root masses, easily grinding up stoppages, scale, and crystallized urine, without risking pipe damage.
    The spherical design maneuvers around tight bends and traps, thoroughly and safely cleaning metal, plastic, and clay pipes. As it spins it also self-sharpens as it scrapes along the pipe walls. It’s excellent for clearing stacks, downspouts, mains, as well as for drain lining jobs.
    General offers a variety of sizes, and connector options, including for our drum type cables and sectional G connectors, as well as for Ridgid® and Electric Eel® connectors."


    What I'm wondering is, will all of the "encrusted-debris" from 1968-era cast iron make it down the 1-1/2 waste line, 25 ft. to the 1,0000 gallon septic tank without chasing the snake with an cracked-open garden hose? Home Depot sells a brass hose nozzle, that's small and will produce a pin-point stream. Works great to chase a snake with a tiny stream. Snaking a kitchen sink from an open line (p-trap and waste arm removed). and aimed correctly into the pipe, it won't back-flow.


    I plan on going through the tub overflow with the 5/16th and this 1" ClogChopper. Do you think that using a hose to chase the pipe, with a stream of water jetted into the pipe periodically, will keep the "cast iron soup" from clogging the line, say, mid-way without warning?
    Thanks in advance!



    Imo, after 25 years as a general and plumbing contractor and a one-man shop, there's 3-trades involved in plumbing: New Construction, Drain Cleaning, and repair-plumbing. The tools are different within the 3-trades. The tools and mechanical discipline for repair-plumbing are totally different than new construction. Drain work is in a class all by itself. If you don't do drains all the time, you'll get in trouble. If you don't have every drain tool in your truck, the one you don't have, will be the one you need to get the job done.
    Last edited by Hydra-Glide; 01-15-2014, 12:39 AM. Reason: A test of intuitive thinking.

  • #2
    Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

    over the past 38 years, I started in service and repair the first 6, then 15 in large new construction, another 6 in remodels and the balance in service and repair. have always done drain cleaning and honestly, it keeps me busy 6 days a week. it also is a feeling of accomplishment when you clear a line that others have failed.


    between cameras, snakes, jetters, pipe bursting and the rest of the specialty tools for drain cleaning, I would say it cost the most to be fully equipped compared to the other jobs of the trade.


    years ago, plumbers were not drain cleaners. today most are. but are most competent and honest? not the ones 1 follow.


    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

      . today most are. but are most competent and honest? not the ones 1 follow.


      rick.[/QUOTE]

      I agree Rick. Most around here in Texas can't find their own clean out with both Hands
      "don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been"

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
        over the past 38 years, I started in service and repair the first 6, then 15 in large new construction, another 6 in remodels and the balance in service and repair. have always done drain cleaning and honestly, it keeps me busy 6 days a week. it also is a feeling of accomplishment when you clear a line that others have failed.


        between cameras, snakes, jetters, pipe bursting and the rest of the specialty tools for drain cleaning, I would say it cost the most to be fully equipped compared to the other jobs of the trade.


        years ago, plumbers were not drain cleaners. today most are. but are most competent and honest? not the ones 1 follow.


        rick.


        The only plumbers that do drain cleaning around these parts work for the large shops. I get referrals from around 10 self employed plumbers, sometimes even the large shops when they are busy or can't get it open. It really helps me out.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

          Name:  57ec036c6828f8b8fafccca31604ac00.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  49.5 KB
          This is the brass overflow. The tub was originally installed off-set from the riser (A bit of a disappointment, since the entire structure is redwood, and otherwise a model for 1968's "modern, troweled plaster interior, an radiant ceiling heat.
          Finding their old brass overflow installed at a cocked angle, I needed to half-cut the brass tube, create a kerf in a certain radius, that would allow the tube to bend on itself and when closed, would be in a more-than-I-found-it, plumb-ish alignment, and then re-solder the tailpiece kerf sealed.

          The 5/16 cable is going to be knocking around inside the tail-piece, but shouldn't damage or dislodge it using a slow (variable) speed. This wall is no longer open, unless I feel the tail piece moving while I'm feeding cable, then it will be. I've marked my cables at 15, 20, 25 feet with paint, for different applications in different structures - all with septic tanks. I also keep a log book on repairs of what happen and which tool-head I used. It helps.
          I'm going through the tub overflow, not disassembling the brass overflow. If I don't get a response to the water-chaser (H.Depot sells a small nozzle that will create a constant tiny stream), I'll use the tool head and let you know if it gets jammed tight!... but I think dropping the ClogChoppa' in the line until it hits some stoppage, then adding some water, then removing the hose-nozzle from the tubs overflow opening, then feeding the cable into the line a few feet under forward power, then reversing the cable and pulling back a foot, and adding more water to the line - might get me through.
          Reversing a Choppa'-ball in the line might not
          have the potential for locking-up with gobs of cast iron interior wall "gravel", as the two opposing scouring blades or the drop-head coil might.

          Last edited by Hydra-Glide; 01-15-2014, 06:27 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

            wait till you get over 25 posts, then start posting links to the competitors. no one listens to us anyway
            ~~

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

              I rod drains like that all the time in my area. The only cable that I have had luck with is a regular 1/4" general IC cable with hook auger and a nice 45 degree bend in the cable about an 1.5" behind the hook. I also have a 1/4" cable that has the hook auger broken off that I have to use on some really old lines.

              The fittings are all cast iron drainage fittings that have NO sweep. You will never get a general clog chopper of ANY size through a tub drain like that. It will break off or break the pipe.

              Don't use a cable with a head on the end. I usually use my general handyelectric with the hand chuck on it to make the tight turns, or sometimes my K-50 with the drum attachment if the tub is actually

              BTW, you're sure that there is not a drum trap buried somewhere? If it is a cast iron P-trap you probably need to use a cable with the hook broken off. ONE time and only once did I get a 5/8 reverse auger with the k-50 to pass the old 1.5" cast iron trap

              ~Chris

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

                Thanks Chris:
                "The only cable that I have had luck with is a regular 1/4" general IC cable with hook auger and a nice 45 degree bend in the cable about an 1.5" behind the hook. I also have a 1/4" cable that has the hook auger broken off that I have to use on some really old lines."
                ••••••••••••••••••
                Using my 1/4" general cable with the auger hook through the tub overflow is the only way I've cleaned it in the past.
                Something I failed to consider with my work on this tub drain in the past, is that the 1-1/2 tub drain line transitions underground to a wye or a san-tee, then into the 4" soil line, where cast iron scale is not a problem (all the lines drain fine). This revelation has caught me by surprise - and I need an illustration. I have a line-drawing from a Plumbing text book, a page containing several different drain line combinations.
                I might have gone too far with the 1/4" cable - all the way into the 4" soil line and then to the tank! For what?... I'm lucky the 1/4" cable didn't ball-up at 25', after hitting the the concrete septic tank bottom.
                Maybe I should concentrate the 1/4" auger hook cable on just the run of 1-1/2" pipe, 10-15" out, tops?
                So, you made a permanent 45-degree bend in the auger 1.5" behind the bulb (hook) .... and that acts as a flail to the interior walls of the 1-1/2" cast iron? So very cool. Plus a hose water chaser? Motor....scooter! Sounds good. Thanks!
                •••••••••••••••••
                And I have a 5/16" x 1" ChopperBall waiting for a job. Tools are everything.
                ••••••••••••••••••••••••
                "You will never get a general clog chopper of ANY size through a tub drain like that. It will break off or break the pipe.

                Don't use a cable with a head on the end. I usually use my general handyelectric with the hand chuck on it to make the tight turns, or sometimes my K-50 with the drum attachment..."

                ••••••••••••••••••
                Good advice.
                Last edited by Hydra-Glide; 01-15-2014, 09:06 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

                  good lord, it's a tub drain. shove a 1/4" cable through it and be done with it.
                  This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

                    "good lord, it's a tub drain. shove a 1/4" cable through it and be done with it."
                    •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
                    I uh..., but I,...uh....I did once, the water drains from the tub, but..... s...l...o...w...l...y.

                    I kain't leave it like that. Now I gotta put a 45-bend in mah' 1/4" cable and try the "whippin'" action of a flailing auger-bulb.
                    "Out of my way........ Out of my way.............. I'm holding a live Super-Vee............ and I'm not scared of nuttin'", song of the weekend warrior.
                    •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••
                    What I've learned from 25 yrs. of buying a lot of the wrong motorcycle parts from a parts catalog, a Spartan 100 that I never used, + a bunch of other wrong stuff, is, that every task you perform is a process. If you just jump into something without thinking about what you expect as an end result, you'll end up scratching it, or damaging something because you dithered into it at a half-step. It takes planning, tooling, and talking about it - even if you're only talking to yourself (but getting good answers). That's mechanical discipline. Trying to have all the tools you need in front of you, instead of making a jillion trips to the truck.

                    Had I not took the time and effort to make my questions known, down the the nitty-gritty point of absurd-detail (depending on where you're perched in the trade), my genetic dyslexia would have me trying to push a 5/16 line and Choppa' Ball through an ancient 1-1/2" P-trap and killing it, with my first-time-luck, for certain.

                    So thanks Chris @ Swade Plmbg., for your antique Speed Kleen advice. It was real Harley of you. And Ace Sewer for the op-ed soapbox provided. It's takes all of that for me to feel like I rode the procedure to the ground.
                    •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••
                    No I don't have a drum trap, but here's a picture of one. Even one with a tub illustration, one depicting a tub lateral entering a soil line san-tee:
                    https://www.google.com/search?q=drum+trap?&client=firefox-a&hs=mqv&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&tbm=isch&source=iu&imgil=KfCqxJiifHhm7M%25 3A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9 GcSIcD7umFwT-VGrldlxThcMjNy-UsWjJG23UFapHIkY42BDRocLOw%253B500%253B273%253B8O7 NIqLmnWMDSM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fchestofbo oks.com%25252Fhome-improvement%25252Fconstruction%25252Fplumbing%2525 2FElements-of-Plumbing%25252FDrum-Trap.html&sa=X&ei=60rYUunTK-PhsASbq4GQDQ&ved=0CE8Q9QEwAQ&biw=1280&bih=580#facr c=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=KfCqxJiifHhm7M%253A%3B8O7NIqLmn WMDSM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fchestofbooks.com%252Fho me-improvement%252Fconstruction%252Fplumbing%252FElem ents-of-Plumbing%252Fimages%252FFig-33-Drum-trap.gif%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fchestofbooks.com%252 Fhome-improvement%252Fconstruction%252Fplumbing%252FElem ents-of-Plumbing%252FDrum-Trap.html%3B500%3B273
                    Last edited by Hydra-Glide; 01-16-2014, 03:17 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

                      Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                      good lord, it's a tub drain. shove a 1/4" cable through it and be done with it.
                      That's what I was thinking. Tubs are the hardest to get the hang of. Different shape of traps and conditions. Or back to back with double santees, etc. It's kinda of a live and learn procedure. Different bends on the cable, no head, or bulb,, cut it off,,, , maybe a little reverse here and ther.
                      And instead of soldering I would have put a no hub in.
                      I think your over thinking this, like ace said, put a 1/4 inch down.... If it gets through it will drain nicely. Good luck
                      Last edited by theplungerman; 01-16-2014, 11:43 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

                        ok, if we're flogging dead horses, I'm in. Most of the time I find people want me to help with their problem tubs because "it's got to be waaayyy in there." They are almost always wrong, and it is something easy and silly and close, or they are just asking for too much.

                        - some tubs just drain kind of disappointingly at best due to the way they've been installed. Or the building shifts a little. Are you certain, as in you personally saw it, that it drained significantly better in the past?

                        - If it has sat for a day, does it drain fine for a little while, like less than a minute, then get slow? If so it's probably a clog, and it's in there a little ways, and the length of time it takes to slow down shows you how deep in it is. A few seconds = close, 30 seconds or longer = a ways out.

                        - Just how slow is it? Most tubs will not keep up with the tub spout. If it keeps up with the shower head, that's good enough for me. You might be asking for too much.

                        - you snaked from the overflow, right? Remove the overflow cover plate and stopper assembly hanging down from it and see if it drains ok then. Common for people to have a mal-adjusted stopper and think they have a clog.

                        - also common for a wad of hair and or soap sludge to be in the short leg from the drain to the overflow. You might have missed this when snaking from the overflow.

                        - toe tap stoppers are notorious for having a huge wad of hair collected right under them. if you have a toe tap, remove it and check for hair under it.

                        - if it is deeper than this, ie it takes a while to back up and drain slow, then it stays slow until you let it alone for a while, you might need to go a bit deeper with your cable. They like to clog where the tub drain line joins with the next line. This is typically within ten feet in my area, but not always. Sometimes much further in oddly laid out buildings. rarely over 25 feet.


                        good luck.

                        ps; it's an 1 1/2" line. A 1/4" cable is going to grab hair and clear it, whip or no. if it goes to cast or galvy you might have a scale problem, which I'd run water with the cable for that.
                        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

                          "- you snaked from the overflow, right? Remove the overflow cover plate and stopper assembly hanging down from it and see if it drains ok then. Common for people to have a mal-adjusted stopper and think they have a clog. "
                          •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••
                          Yeah.... I;ll have to pull the trip lever and stopper and check the drainage with nothing obstructing the shoe. I notice in the literature that they require 3/8" of air gap between the bottom of the stopper and the top of the drain. Mine my be 3/8" clearance from about the middle of the stopper.... and that's not right.
                          -----------------------------------
                          "- also common for a wad of hair and or soap sludge to be in the short leg from the drain to the overflow. You might have missed this when snaking from the overflow."
                          •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••
                          True. In this case, the cottage has been vacant, but I would have missed a clog going through the overflow.
                          -----------------------------------
                          "ps; it's an 1 1/2" line. A 1/4" cable is going to grab hair and clear it, whip or no. if it goes to cast or galvy you might have a scale problem, which I'd run water with the cable for that."
                          •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••
                          It's an 1-1/2 line. I think the problem lies down the line at where the line transition to a wye of san-tee. Calcification, etc. at the fitting.
                          •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••
                          The main house which was built before tax records were being kept in San Diego, was California's first years of indoor plumbing. Reason being, the house is solid redwood tongue & groove siding and framing studs. The indoor plumbing was 3/4" and 1/2" schedule-K brass pipes. I've never seen brass pipes in a house, so we are thinking the house was built around 1910 or 1912. I did the dig-out and removal of the original tub plumbing. The 1-1/2 P-trap was one-piece cast iron, then it transitioned to 1-1/2" brass pipe lateral (threaded into cast iron), directly buried in concrete, but looked brand-new when I chipped the concrete off the brass. There was a tremendous amount of calcification where the brass pipe connected to the discharge side of the p-trap, I'm figuring there's the same dissimilar metal corrosion at every junction throughout the drainage system. There was no way to remove the old tub faucet, unless the brass H & C risers were cut and re-threaded on-site, in position, for adapters to be screwed on. Everything in the house was "hard plumbed". I re-piped with schedule "L" copper.
                          •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••
                          I'll try the stopper removal and drain test, before I break-out the snake. Once resolved I'll return for a summary. Thanks for the useful tips of "drain detection".
                          I use them so rarely that I lay cable out on pickle weed (ice plant) and nozzle-hose them down, then wear a beater cotton glove and soak a palm-section of cable, whilst I walk the line with my "cupped hand 'round a (tin can) section of wire, I mean, and a jet-stream of WD-40 dead-center.

                          My mentor, Bart Cerney, from La Jolla Plumbing, said they fastened a section of 2" abs with 8" (open) stand pipes on each end to a saw horse, then added some automatic transmission fluid, so they could have a snake bath to drag their cables through before putting them away. There was always fluid collected in the drums, when I tried it. WD-40 leaves a dry-graphite residue though and no juice.
                          Last edited by Hydra-Glide; 01-19-2014, 12:53 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

                            Originally posted by Hydra-Glide View Post
                            "- you snaked from the overflow, right? Remove the overflow cover plate and stopper assembly hanging down from it and see if it drains ok then. Common for people to have a mal-adjusted stopper and think they have a clog. "
                            •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••
                            Yeah.... I;ll have to pull the trip lever and stopper and check the drainage with nothing obstructing the shoe. I notice in the literature that they require 3/8" of air gap between the bottom of the stopper and the top of the drain. Mine my be 3/8" clearance from about the middle of the stopper.... and that's not right.
                            -----------------------------------
                            "- also common for a wad of hair and or soap sludge to be in the short leg from the drain to the overflow. You might have missed this when snaking from the overflow."
                            •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••
                            True. In this case, the cottage has been vacant, but I would have missed a clog going through the overflow.
                            -----------------------------------
                            "ps; it's an 1 1/2" line. A 1/4" cable is going to grab hair and clear it, whip or no. if it goes to cast or galvy you might have a scale problem, which I'd run water with the cable for that."
                            •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••
                            It's an 1-1/2 line. I think the problem lies down the line at where the line transition to a wye of san-tee. Calcification, etc. at the fitting.
                            •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••
                            The main house which was built before tax records were being kept in San Diego, was California's first years of indoor plumbing. Reason being, the house is solid redwood tongue & groove siding and framing studs. The indoor plumbing was 3/4" and 1/2" schedule-K brass pipes. I've never seen brass pipes in a house, so we are thinking the house was built around 1910 or 1912. I did the dig-out and removal of the original tub plumbing. The 1-1/2 P-trap was one-piece cast iron, then it transitioned to 1-1/2" brass pipe lateral (threaded into cast iron), directly buried in concrete, but looked brand-new when I chipped the concrete off the brass. There was a tremendous amount of calcification where the brass pipe connected to the discharge side of the p-trap, I'm figuring there's the same dissimilar metal corrosion at every junction throughout the drainage system. There was no way to remove the old tub faucet, unless the brass H & C risers were cut and re-threaded on-site, in position, for adapters to be screwed on. Everything in the house was "hard plumbed". I re-piped with schedule "L" copper.
                            •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••
                            I'll try the stopper removal and drain test, before I break-out the snake. Once resolved I'll return for a summary. Thanks for the useful tips of "drain detection".
                            I use them so rarely that I lay cable out on pickle weed (ice plant) and nozzle-hose them down, then wear a beater cotton glove and soak a palm-section of cable, whilst I walk the line with my "cupped hand 'round a (tin can) section of wire, I mean, and a jet-stream of WD-40 dead-center.

                            My mentor, Bart Cerney, from La Jolla Plumbing, said they fastened a section of 2" abs with 8" (open) stand pipes on each end to a saw horse, then added some automatic transmission fluid, so they could have a snake bath to drag their cables through before putting them away. There was always fluid collected in the drums, when I tried it. WD-40 leaves a dry-graphite residue though and no juice.
                            A sketch of the 2"abs and saw horses to oil cable would be great. Can't get My head around the set up. Tanks Tool
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The 1-1/2" Cast Iron Drain Cleaning Question (again)

                              Name:  21e508d6dd08f570b233dc2ac6766fb8.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  82.9 KB I forgot to add that plumbers tape holds the 2" pipe in place, but an illustration will explain it.
                              Last edited by Hydra-Glide; 01-22-2014, 12:40 AM.

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