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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    2

    Exclamation Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    My N. Florida home was built in the 60's with cast Iron pipes. In the past 2 years I have had to call a plumber 5 different times to come and clear the drain connecting my kitchen sink and my laundry room due to extremely slow/ no drainage. Nothing else is effected when this problem occurs. I've tried different companies that have tried different techniques and given me different reasons for my reoccurring problem. Some say it is the grease I pour down the sink (I try to avoid this so I disagree) Some say it is the powdered laundry detergent I use. One even suggested I illegally drain my laundry in my backyard. The crawlspace is too small to really check out the pipes in this area. The entire floor is covered with beautiful tile and the pipe is a 2" pipe (too small for a camera). HELP what can I do? Should I purchase my own 100' snake?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,314

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    Are both your kitchen drain and laundry drain go to the same 2" drain line? If yes, this is your problem.

    Get a dependable snake and clear the line from where the kitchen drain goes into the wall. Working a snake is a trade, and you will need how to do it to get results. You can try it and if you are a quick learner, you can solve your problem, for now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    also , do you have a garbage disposal being used at the kitchen sink ?
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elyria, Oh.
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    In my five story apartment building built in 1913 I have lots of these 2 inch pipes draining my kitchen sinks. I have had to replace some of the sections because of leaks and when I cut out the section there is probably 1 inch or less of usable drainage area as the the pipe becomes clogged with deposits that collect on the side of the pipe over time - a combination of grease and other debris. At least twice a year in the four plumbing runs that serve the sinks I have to snake out the drains because that one inch or less of space totally clogs.

    The snake will not clean out these hardened deposits that have already collected on the side of the pipe and will only clean out the current clog. The only permanent solution is to repipe that area. The temporary maintenance solution is at least once a month turn your water heater up to its maximum temperature and run at least ten minutes of hot water only with lots of diswashing soap down that drain. You can also use a commercial drain cleaner on a once per month basis and see which works better. The hot water and soap solution is the safer solution.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    YES these 2" pipes connect the kitchen and the laundry and then continue to the rest of the house. When it clogs I only have issues with the beginning of the line (kitchen and laundry).

    YES there is a disposal in the kitchen. I try not to put much down there since I realized we had a reoccurring problem.

    The last plumber recommended using "Rid X". I don't know much about the product... What do you think?

    Also, Am I doing damage to my pipes by continually snaking them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elyria, Oh.
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    There is a variety of drain cleaning products, acid, lye etc all sold in hardware stores or home box stores. Most of them work especially when you use them in a maintenance situation rather then when the drain is totally clogged. Try one drain cleaner for several months. If it works continue using it.

    The snake will not damage the pipes unless the pipe wall has become thin through normal wear and tear and remember the hardened deposits on the pipe wall will prevent any pipe damage.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,208

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptTCB View Post
    There is a variety of drain cleaning products, acid, lye etc all sold in hardware stores or home box stores. Most of them work especially when you use them in a maintenance situation rather then when the drain is totally clogged. Try one drain cleaner for several months. If it works continue using it.

    The snake will not damage the pipes unless the pipe wall has become thin through normal wear and tear and remember the hardened deposits on the pipe wall will prevent any pipe damage.
    Don't use drain cleaners. I wouldn't be concerned about damaging the lines from snaking them but I would be from continued use of drain cleaners.

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elyria, Oh.
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    I dislike using drain cleaners but sometimes as a last resort when a snake won't penetrate - it becomes necessary. I even have a hand snake of last resort with the tip cut off and sometimes that will not penetrate. As long as you follow the instructions and flush the pipe well after using the drain cleaner they can and do work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,208

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptTCB View Post
    I dislike using drain cleaners but sometimes as a last resort when a snake won't penetrate - it becomes necessary. I even have a hand snake of last resort with the tip cut off and sometimes that will not penetrate. As long as you follow the instructions and flush the pipe well after using the drain cleaner they can and do work.
    What do you mean by it won't penetrate? Are you saying you can't get the snake through the line? The only time a snake can't get through a line is if the line is broken. In that case drain cleaners would be of no help.

    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elyria, Oh.
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Expensive Cast Iron Drain issue

    I mean exactly that. The snake will not penetrate. It will not go through the p trap or will not make the 90. My cut off snake will usually make the 90 of a lavatory drain but none of my snakes have made it through the p trap of the bathtub drain. Trust me - the line is not broken. The only choice I have is to go down a floor in my five story building and cut out the ceiling to get access to the upstairs drain lines to replace them - which I have done 11 times or use a drain cleaner.

    It is an extremely messy job which also disrupts the tenant in the lower floor so if I can use a drain cleaner and achieve sucess I use the drain cleaner.

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