We have a bad smell coming out of utility sink (which is near
kitchen, so it hurts). I suspect the vent going to the roof. The vent
has no cover and has a 3" wide opening. Then it narrows and turns a
little inside the attic.
I cliembed the roof today and used some hose (compressor hose, no air,
just hose) and stuck it "in there" and wiggled. It did feel like there
was an obstruction. I think that I pushed it down a few feet, not yet
sure whether it went down far enough to be cleared. Time will tell if
the smell diminishes.
My question is, how to properly deal with such obstructions.
Try flushing with water. If that doesn't work you can use an auger or
snake. But I don't follow your pipe obstruction plan at all. I think you
most likely have a dried out sink trap under the sink rather than a clogged
vent pipe. Run the water in the sink for a minute and see if the smell goes
Well, the sink gets daily use, I cannot see how it would dry
out. Plus, I did feel an obstruction when I pushed in a hose to probe
stuff. I think thatI am going to pour som sulphuric acid cleaner down
the vent, wait a while, and then flush with water.
I wonder if pouring lye there a day before flushing would be a good idea?
First of all, with a username 'Ignoramus' I can't help but feel that you are
just yanking everybody's chain because the above suggestion is just too
foolish for words. Cover your ears, I'm going to shout: NEVER ADD WATER
TO ACID. ONLY ONLY ONLY ADD ACID TO WATER AND DO IT SLOWLY!!! Either of
the above suggestions could wreck your plumbing or hurt you permanently (I
use 'you' here for anyone else who might be reading this thread and taking
this guy seriously). DO the hose idea and if not successful - here it comes
again - CALL A PROFESIONAL!!!!!!!!!!
I wouldn't pour either of these down there. Why do you think it is
agood idea? What did you read, for example? I've never heard of any
one using sulfuric acid for anything like this.
What is the pipe made of and how fast does that material disolve in
lye or sulfuric acid?
Why hot a plumber's snake, or an electrician's snake, to puncture an
obstruction if there is one.
BTW, there is normally no cap on any of these air vents. Have you
ever seen a cap?
I can see how an obstruction could dry out the trap however. If the
vent doesn't vent, the water will siphon out of the trap. Probably
won't get all of the water, but maybe enough that sewer gas can come
up through the sink.
To add to what I said, I've heard of using lye in drains, but isn't
there always instructions to wait for a certainl length of time and
then flush the pipe with water, to flush the lye away. Do you intend
to be on the roof flushing the lye away at the right time, even if it
is dark or raining out? (I don't think the rain will be enough to
flush it, but will be enough to make the roof slippery.)
In addition, lye is needed because of human hair that is hard to
dissolve in anything else, and is hard to get a snake through, isn't
that so? Not sure that anything in the vent is so hard to penetrate.
(They had an unusall thing on Max something on tv, trying to get a
kitten out of vent, but after breaking though the wall etc. it was a
bull frog. Still, very unusual, and probably not your case.)
Thanks. After yesterday's "poking", there does not seem to be any more
smell. That's probably because I punctured the obstruction enough with
my compressor hose (no air, just hose).
That smell was intermittent, so, it is a little early to declare full
So, while the urgency of this has been reduced, I think that I need to
finish the job and clear out the remainder of what was there.
What is that luquid plumber that you mention, is it sulpuric acid or
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