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  • Hospital Drains

    • Whats up guys! I got a new job as a maintenance plumber in a hospital. I always get calls for slow sink drains in patient rooms. It is a PITA because we cant use chemicals so I end up using a sink plunger, homemade drain blaster (made out of a valve i screw on to the trap and washing machine hose connected to faucet), and taking apart the tail piece and trap and replacing only to have minimal improvement.. There is only so much I can do since my hands are tied working in a patient room with someone dying or really sick a few feet away from me. It takes too long and yields poor results. I have also learned that hospital drains get caked up with some wierd sh..stuff. Its like this black biofilm jelly with ajax and mineral deposit pebbles. It contains anti-biotic resistant germs and is nasty stuff ...but soft. This stuff fills the sink when plunging. Id rather not have to deal with this mess. The shop has k45 machines but they are not used since they splatter...we cant have the splatter in patient rooms. I was wondering if the Ridgid auto clear machine or the k40 would be best to use? The auto clear has bad reviews and seems to be geared toward home owners but seems small and clean. The k40 has the guide hose which seems to be good for anti splash... I need your opinions. I only plan to use it on up to 1-1/2 lav and sink drains. No more than 6ft. I just need it to loosen the drain jelly up and cure slow drain. Thanks for your help!


  • #2
    Asstyme will chime in on this one. I replied to you on PZ.

    You may want to try out the ro-pump.

    Comment


    • #3
      Depending on how blocked up they get, a wet dry vacuum can do wonders on clearing small lines or sucking out the gunk before running a machine through.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JFDI View Post
        Depending on how blocked up they get, a wet dry vacuum can do wonders on clearing small lines or sucking out the gunk before running a machine through.
        We used that technique at the casino. God that vacuum stank when we turned it on. It was awful to drain it. Bad memories, disgusting.

        Comment


        • JFDI
          JFDI commented
          Editing a comment
          If I think it gonna be bad, I sometimes add a little commercial sanitiser / deodoriser to the vacuum first to dampen down the smell of foul air blowing through - doesn't always work, but it helps at least half the time.

      • #5
        Originally posted by NyNick View Post
        • Whats up guys! I got a new job as a maintenance plumber in a hospital. I always get calls for slow sink drains in patient rooms. It is a PITA because we cant use chemicals so I end up using a sink plunger, homemade drain blaster (made out of a valve i screw on to the trap and washing machine hose connected to faucet), and taking apart the tail piece and trap and replacing only to have minimal improvement.. There is only so much I can do since my hands are tied working in a patient room with someone dying or really sick a few feet away from me. It takes too long and yields poor results. I have also learned that hospital drains get caked up with some wierd sh..stuff. Its like this black biofilm jelly with ajax and mineral deposit pebbles. It contains anti-biotic resistant germs and is nasty stuff ...but soft. This stuff fills the sink when plunging. Id rather not have to deal with this mess. The shop has k45 machines but they are not used since they splatter...we cant have the splatter in patient rooms. I was wondering if the Ridgid auto clear machine or the k40 would be best to use? The auto clear has bad reviews and seems to be geared toward home owners but seems small and clean. The k40 has the guide hose which seems to be good for anti splash... I need your opinions. I only plan to use it on up to 1-1/2 lav and sink drains. No more than 6ft. I just need it to loosen the drain jelly up and cure slow drain. Thanks for your help!


        The PowerClear is a light duty machine and the cable frequently flips in the drum with the slightest amount of torque and is a PITA to take apart, not an easy task as with the K-45. The K-45's won't splatter much if you start with a dry drum/cable unless you make multiple runs in & out of the line bringing water back into the drum. Keeping the nose of the tool close to the drain opening on the way out also limits the mess.

        The K-40 has the same exact drum so splatter would still be an issue (just further back) unless as stated above.

        The RoPump doesn't do much good on a vented line unless the blockage is before the vent.

        I would think that if you take out the cable and drum, dry out after each use the K-45 would be just fine and as an added plus the cable would last much longer.

        Comment


        • #6
          Thanks for the reply AssTyme. What size cable and tools would you use to clear a path through that black biofilm muck to speed up a slow drain on a lav?

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by NyNick View Post
            Thanks for the reply AssTyme. What size cable and tools would you use to clear a path through that black biofilm muck to speed up a slow drain on a lav?


            Are they PVC or galvanized lines?

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by AssTyme View Post



              Are they PVC or galvanized lines?
              Cast Iron... Brass tubing fixture drain to cast iron. What is this PVC you speak of?

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              • #9
                Originally posted by NyNick View Post

                Cast Iron... Brass tubing fixture drain to cast iron. What is this PVC you speak of?

                https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.oFuGFRLmALY
                Last edited by AssTyme; 09-15-2018, 12:24 PM.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by NyNick View Post

                  Cast Iron... Brass tubing fixture drain to cast iron. What is this PVC you speak of?


                  The blockages are in the cast iron or copper pipes?

                  1 1/2" pipe?

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    I was joking about the PVC..Im in NY. We dont use pvc as much on big jobs as other places do..its cast iron..when your in a union at least.
                    The blockages are mainly in the fixture drains 1-1/4 1-1/2"and trap arms going into 2" or 3" cast iron. In some rooms two lavs share a wall back to back. They might connect to a 2" wye which drops into a 3" line. I usually auger under 5ft to remedy the slow drain.

                    ​Nothing really solid except for ajax powder soap caked up its mostly a buildup of biofilm jelly mud stuff as opposed to a blob of hair or a hard solid.

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                    • #12
                      What results have you have with a quality vacuum?

                      With the lines mostly being short & under 2" I would imagine you should get the line cleared a reasonable amount of the time with a vacuum?

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                      • #13
                        You may be right JFDI but unfortunately I cant use the vacuum because of the exhaust air and the noise probably wouldnt go over to well either. Snakes make some noise also but they are really more concerned with the air.

                        Comment


                        • JFDI
                          JFDI commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Bugger! - They are so handy.

                      • #14
                        Are you able to rod through the drain without removing the trap? If so I'd use a 5/16" hollow core cable. This way you would be able to run the water as soon as it opens up (with the cable still in the line) to further wash out the sludge.

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