How to deal with clogged drain

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Posted by: from Kitchener
3/9/2016 at 9:20:15 PM

Water from the kitchen sink bubbled up in the bath tub.. Toilet when flushed, did not drain, also bubbled up in bath tub. on the main floor. I tried to use the plunger and found later that water was seeping from beneath the wall in the bath room downstairs.

Called plumber:

He said that the "lead elbow" underneath the toilet was cracked, which caused the water to seep. He suggested to replace it and also to replace the existing cast iron pipe that runs across as well as the cast iron pipe that collects the water from the kitchen and the bath tub. He assumes that the clogg may be in the lower part of this pipe. He wants to cut it at the very bottom, beneath the trap. Than he wants to check if the clogg is there or even maybe beneath the floor. He anticipates to maybe have to open the floor to find the source of the obstruction. He suggests to replace the cast iron pipes with plastic pipes.

How much do you estimate this might cost and if all of this is neccessary to rectify the problem? Our house is app 60 years old and the cast iron pipes are the original pipes.

I would appreciate your answer. Thank you

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Date/Time3/10/2016 at 4:17:32 AM

You should clear the clogg first, then send camera down drain to find out if line is cracked before digging up floor.

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Date/Time3/10/2016 at 2:39:06 PM

Hi Uta,

Rodney in the previous post has the right idea. With today's technology (or the last 20 years for that matter) you can find exactly where the clog is without breaking up the pipes to find it.

If the bathroom and kitchen you are referring to are on your main floor and you have fixtures in the basement, I would check to see if those backed up first. If they are on the same line and the basement has not backed up, I would suspect that the clog is upstream (although this is not guranteed). You could start with a chemical drain cleaner and see if that makes a difference. From there you can move onto a "snake" however, the common snakes you can rent from a home centre are for main drains and cannot get into a sink or tub drain. You would need a "snake" designed for that and they are not always the best at dealing with tough clogs.

A camera inspection is the best idea regardless of whether the previous methods appear to have dealt with the clog. The reason being is the old cast iron pipes, while very robust and not prone to the vibration that current ABS pipes experience are just that, cast iron, and that means that they rust, and since the water is on the inside of the pipes they rust from the inside first continuously reducing the inside diameter of the pipe making it more and more prone to clogging. I have seen cases where a 4" pipe was just over 1" in diameter on the inside of the pipe.

A camera inspection will cost you but many companies will credit that amount if you retain their services to do the necessary plumbing work. The good systems will also be able to provide a DVD of the scope in colour and can not only find clogs but deficiencies in the plumbing system and can locate them very accurately.

Best of luck.

Jason Irving

Cedarfalls Building Consultants Limited

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