Snaking tips from the experts

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Old 08-26-17, 08:57 AM
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Snaking tips from the experts

I have a couple different snakes, including a relatively basic 25 foot auger with hand knob and drill connection.

I've had reasonably good success in several situations, but my current challenge is getting it even a foot into a relative's sink drain. It's old bad plumbing, and two right angles almost immediately.

All the advice and youtube videos make it look so easy. Any expert tips? Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 08-26-17, 02:57 PM
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First, pics will help. You are removing the trap. Right? Can you get access from the basement or other side of the 2 elbows?
 
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Old 08-27-17, 04:59 AM
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@Norm, thanks for the reply. The kitchen and bathroom are on opposite sides of a wall, the kitchen sink aligned with approximately the bathroom sink (although I suspect not to the same vertical pipe), between toilet on the left, bathtub on the right. The sinks tie in at 90 degrees right away. 50 year old house, this bathroom has been remodelled, questionable plumbing (ALL the neighbors in this old 1950s development have plumbing issues), Florida limestone, no basement, monolithic slab, where you're just happy if your house doesn't fall into a sinkhole,.

I've removed the trap on both the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink, going directly into the hole in the wall, where an inch in the pipe takes a hard 90 degree turn almost immediately. (A picture would just be of a hole under the cabinet that turns immediately). Also, it's not my house, so I can't go take a picture right now anyway... :-)

Thanks for any ideas!
 
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Old 08-27-17, 07:07 AM
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50 year old house in Fl. Not sure if they still used orange burg pipe at that time. If so most likely sewer line should be replaced. I had in the early 80's that collapsed on me. House was built about in your time frame. This was in Melbourne.
 
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Old 08-27-17, 07:20 AM
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Pugsi brings up a point. Is the clog just in the sink or is it whole house? If whole house then main drain is plugged, collapsed, clogged, whatever. If just the sink then it's just that drain line.
 
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Old 08-27-17, 09:04 AM
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Thanks, Pugsi and Norm. My friend is just a renter, not their house, and I was leaving off the part where there are also massive major plumbing problems, but in the short term, clearing the current blockage buys a couple months of showers and flushes until the next time.

There was also an addition too. It's a smallish house, with a laundry room on the far side of the house that ties into the main drain line, and works just fine. The kitchen and main bathroom are where the issue lies. Then the addition bathroom, ironically, is closest to the main line, and that works fine too. The sewer line is new PVC, but the pipes in the wall are cast iron. I'm not sure exactly when and where the PVC ties into cast iron, but my snaking from outside in takes me on the drain line to the laundry room, a straight 25 foot shot, well past where the problem area is in, so there's a spot where I'm guessing the bathroom/kitchen (clogged) is above the main line.

So somewhere in the mess between kitchen and first bathroom, is a mess. While snaking from the roof's vent stack, which sometimes helps, we saw some roots and bugs flow back into the bathtub (that never happened before), so yes, clearly major problems, but sometimes, you just want the bathtub to drain right now.

So yeah, some tough discussions with the owner are in the future, but if I could just get the darn snake behind the sink, either one, I'd at least feel that I tried something.

It's also raining like hell the past two weeks. Saturated earth has a lot to do with flushing toilets in that particular neighborhood. When they talk to neighbors, they all just shake their heads.

I appreciate the help!
 
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Old 08-27-17, 10:58 AM
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Non working plumbing in a rental is landlord responsibility, Could be a health issue and needs to be fixed. Call city and see if there are rules for this. If you work on this and something breaks owner could say you are responsible and charge you.
 
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Old 08-28-17, 08:47 AM
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@Pugsl: Yes, I hear ya, good advice.

We took a calculated risk, still contemplating it, because sometimes you just want a clog to go away. Plus, landlord had acknowledged up front (old neighborhood/old house) that the plumbing backs up when it rains a lot. Thanks though, smart universal advice, even when people aren't smart enough to listen... ;-)

Also, just for my own education, my original question: Are their tips that people who actually know what they are doing use, to get snakes past difficult corners?
 
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Old 08-29-17, 07:21 AM
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I'm not a plumber, but I've snaked many a drains over the years. Sometimes it just takes lots of persistence. Many time you might have to attack it from a different direction. Sounds like you need get down and dirty with this one. Will the landlord let you have access and allow you to get "into it"? Maybe a plumber is needed in this case.
 
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Old 09-01-17, 05:09 AM
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Thanks for the tips, great timing for this for me. I have a rental property that will need this done to in the near future.
 
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