Mysterious Kitchen Sink Slow Drain

My kitchen sink was draining slowly. I tried Liquid Plumr and it didn't work. I rented an electric drain opener with a 25 foot auger - the auger went in all the way and came back bone dry and clean as a whistle, all 25 feet of it, meaning there is no clog up to 25 feet from the sink. The trap is also clear. BTW, the Home Depot rental guy said my 2 inch PVC kitchen sink drain tubing is rather small and can only take a maximum auger length of 25 feet.
A few months back, the drain was starting to slow and there were gurgling and popping sounds as the water drained down the sinkhole. Now the popping sounds are gone, but the water accummulation has gotten worse, even after the auger operation described above.
I'm beginning to suspect it might be our septic tank which hasn't been emptied out in 20 years. But if it is the septic tank is full, how come the bathroom which is on the same floor as the kitchen sink is flushing normally? And there are only 2 people in the house - we never put food particles in the sewage because we manually strain them before putting dishes in the dishwasher. We hardly use tissue and toilet paper since we rely on European style bidet faucets for personal sanitation. Also, the portion of our lawn where the septic tank is buried has been having dead grass over it, so it makes me wonder if the tank might be seeping through if not overflowing.
One other suspect is the air vent. But would a blocked air vent cause the kitchen sink water to back up? And how/where do you unclog a clogged air vent?
I don't mind calling a service person but if I can't do it myself, I still need to know if I should call a plumber to drain it (I already did that), or a septic tank hauler to clean it out, or a roofer to fix the air vent.
I would appreciate any help - I am pretty desperate at this point.
Thanks!
Fil
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On Tue, 14 Aug 2012 04:42:22 -0700 (PDT), Filibogado

rented an electric drain opener with a 25 foot auger - the auger went in all the way and came back bone dry and clean as a whistle, all 25 feet of it, meaning there is no clog up to 25 feet from the sink. The trap is also clear. BTW, the Home Depot rental guy said my 2 inch PVC kitchen sink drain tubing is rather small and can only take a maximum auger length of 25 feet.

popping sounds as the water drained down the sinkhole. Now the popping sounds are gone, but the water accummulation has gotten worse, even after the auger operation described above.

out in 20 years. But if it is the septic tank is full, how come the bathroom which is on the same floor as the kitchen sink is flushing normally? And there are only 2 people in the house - we never put food particles in the sewage because we manually strain them before putting dishes in the dishwasher. We hardly use tissue and toilet paper since we rely on European style bidet faucets for personal sanitation. Also, the portion of our lawn where the septic tank is buried has been having dead grass over it, so it makes me wonder if the tank might be seeping through if not overflowing.

to know if I should call a plumber to drain it (I already did that), or a septic tank hauler to clean it out, or a roofer to fix the air vent.

I had a similar problem - slow draining kitchen sink, which also gurgled. No other slow or gurgling drains. Plumber friend put a power snake down the vent from the roof. Hit something hard about 6' down. Took a while to get through it, and he thought the snake might not do it, but it finally did. Never did figure out what was in there, but the problem was gone. He guessed a rubber ball This was a flat roof and sometimes the tenants would go up there. I think it's highly unusual for a vent to get plugged, but it should be checked out. Could be a venting design/installation flaw too.
--
Vic


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I'm thinking a couple things. First, roof vent. Next thing that makes me wonder, maybe the drain pipe is sloped backwards, toward the sink. Third thing to wonder, maybe the clog is farther than 25 feet.
I agree, it sounds frustrating.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
My kitchen sink was draining slowly. I tried Liquid Plumr and it didn't work. I rented an electric drain opener with a 25 foot auger - the auger went in all the way and came back bone dry and clean as a whistle, all 25 feet of it, meaning there is no clog up to 25 feet from the sink. The trap is also clear. BTW, the Home Depot rental guy said my 2 inch PVC kitchen sink drain tubing is rather small and can only take a maximum auger length of 25 feet.
A few months back, the drain was starting to slow and there were gurgling and popping sounds as the water drained down the sinkhole. Now the popping sounds are gone, but the water accummulation has gotten worse, even after the auger operation described above.
I'm beginning to suspect it might be our septic tank which hasn't been emptied out in 20 years. But if it is the septic tank is full, how come the bathroom which is on the same floor as the kitchen sink is flushing normally? And there are only 2 people in the house - we never put food particles in the sewage because we manually strain them before putting dishes in the dishwasher. We hardly use tissue and toilet paper since we rely on European style bidet faucets for personal sanitation. Also, the portion of our lawn where the septic tank is buried has been having dead grass over it, so it makes me wonder if the tank might be seeping through if not overflowing.
One other suspect is the air vent. But would a blocked air vent cause the kitchen sink water to back up? And how/where do you unclog a clogged air vent?
I don't mind calling a service person but if I can't do it myself, I still need to know if I should call a plumber to drain it (I already did that), or a septic tank hauler to clean it out, or a roofer to fix the air vent.
I would appreciate any help - I am pretty desperate at this point.
Thanks!
Fil
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Some septic tanks do indeed work well after 20 years with no maintenance or pumping, possibly one in 10 or 20. I.e. chances are yours is clogged, but you cannot tell without excavating the hatch and having a look. Efficient operation requires a couple of internal pipes (inflow and outflow) and these commonly fail within 25 years and must be replaced.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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He says the other sink, on the same floor, works fine.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Some septic tanks do indeed work well after 20 years with no maintenance or pumping, possibly one in 10 or 20. I.e. chances are yours is clogged, but you cannot tell without excavating the hatch and having a look. Efficient operation requires a couple of internal pipes (inflow and outflow) and these commonly fail within 25 years and must be replaced.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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The other sink "which works fine" drains into the same septic.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Try that first. It needs to be done anyway, and it's cheap and easy.
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On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 4:42:22 AM UTC-7, Filibogado wrote:

This is what a grease buildup in a sewer pipe looks like:
http://www.accuracyinspections.com/clip_image006.jpg
A snake will easily go through it but water will not. To clean it you need a large snake with a grease cutter head. This is what a grease cutter head looks like:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41vrTJjpJzL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
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The vent pipe for this sink is clogged.
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On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 9:52:51 AM UTC-7, (unknown) wrote:

in the kitchen to scream at you if the water starts to go on the floor.
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While this is technically correct plumbing repair, it also makes for some strange metal images. With some imagination this could be a usenet flame. So, you want me to stick a garden hose in my vent, and scream?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Stick a garden hose in your vent and see what happens. Just make sure someone is in the kitchen to scream at you if the water starts to go on the floor.
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On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:36:47 AM UTC-7, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I see how your mind works.
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Now I've been found out. My life has ended.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:36:47 AM UTC-7, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I see how your mind works.
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On Aug 14, 2:31pm, "Stormin Mormon"

As others have mentioned, I suspect the drain vent from the sink to the roof. In order for water to go down the drain., the displaced air has to be able to flow up the vent. if not a vacume is created, which blocks the water from draining.
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I think the water pushing down the drain would create pressure, not vacuum. Anyone have a web page? I could be wrong.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
As others have mentioned, I suspect the drain vent from the sink to the roof. In order for water to go down the drain., the displaced air has to be able to flow up the vent. if not a vacume is created, which blocks the water from draining.
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Filibogado wrote:

How long does it take before it starts to drain slowly? By that I mean if you start to run the water in the sink, does it drain slowly right away, or does it take a while before it starts to back up and drain slowly?
If it starts to back up and drain slowly right away, the clog is probably only a short way in. If that is case, and if the other sink drains okay, that may be more evidence that the clog is closer to the sink drain entrance -- since I assume that the two sinks connect and share the same drain line not to far down.
If it takes a while before it backs up, that may mean that the clog is further down in the pipe and the whole pipe has to fill up first down to where the clog is before you start to see the backup. If this is the case, the clog may be down past 25 feet and a longer snake might help.
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The drain diameter has nothing to do with how long a snake you can use. Figure out how far it is from the insertion point of the snake to the septic tank, and use a snake that is that long or longer. How else can you clear the line all the way to the septic tank???? Also, have the tank pumped no matter what, I only have two of us also, and do it every 7-8 years just to be on the safe side so the laterals do not get clogged.
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/mysterious-kitchen-sink-slow-drain-709768-.htm dddon wrote:
Filibogado wrote:
> My kitchen sink was draining slowly. I tried Liquid Plumr and it didn't > wor> k. I rented an electric drain opener with a 25 foot auger - the auger > went > in all the way and came back bone dry and clean as a whistle, all 25 > feet o> f it, meaning there is no clog up to 25 feet from the sink. The trap is > als> o clear. BTW, the Home Depot rental guy said my 2 inch PVC kitchen sink > dra> in tubing is rather small and can only take a maximum auger length of 25 > fe> et.
> A few months back, the drain was starting to slow and there were > gurgling a> nd popping sounds as the water drained down the sinkhole. Now the > popping s> ounds are gone, but the water accummulation has gotten worse, even after > th> e auger operation described above.
> I'm beginning to suspect it might be our septic tank which hasn't been > empt> ied out in 20 years. But if it is the septic tank is full, how come the > bat> hroom which is on the same floor as the kitchen sink is flushing > normally? > And there are only 2 people in the house - we never put food particles > in t> he sewage because we manually strain them before putting dishes in the > dish> washer. We hardly use tissue and toilet paper since we rely on European > sty> le bidet faucets for personal sanitation. Also, the portion of our lawn > whe> re the septic tank is buried has been having dead grass over it, so it > make> s me wonder if the tank might be seeping through if not overflowing.
> One other suspect is the air vent. But would a blocked air vent cause > the k> itchen sink water to back up? And how/where do you unclog a clogged air > ven> t?
> I don't mind calling a service person but if I can't do it myself, I > still > need to know if I should call a plumber to drain it (I already did > that), o> r a septic tank hauler to clean it out, or a roofer to fix the air vent.
> I would appreciate any help - I am pretty desperate at this point.
> Thanks!
> Fil the probable solution to your problem was posted : the line is plugged with greasy gunk, and a small auger wont remove the stuff.when you pull the auger out the greasy stuff just flows back into the tunnel you bored through the gunk. .... I worked with a professional plumber, and on one job the drain was so full of stuff that it took a dozen passes to get it flowing...and really hot water helped a lot. a serious suggestion for all those with septic systems ... get it pumped , put in an air pump system with porous stones in the tank , then it should NEVER have any further problems! the codes of your locale may require it to be pumped every few years, but the odor will be totally gone and the system will get even cleaner with time.check it out on the web!! best of luck .... dddon
--

dddon
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/mysterious-kitchen-sink-slow-drain-709768-.htm dddon wrote:
Filibogado wrote:

greasy gunk, and a small auger wont remove the stuff.when you pull the auger out the greasy stuff just flows back into the tunnel you bored through the gunk. .... I worked with a professional plumber, and on one job the drain was so full of stuff that it took a dozen passes to get it flowing...and really hot water helped a lot. a serious suggestion for all those with septic systems ... get it pumped , put in an air pump system with porous stones in the tank , then it should NEVER have any further problems! the codes of your locale may require it to be pumped every few years, but the odor will be totally gone and the system will get even cleaner with time.check it out on the web!! best of luck .... dddon
--

dddon
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