plumbing puzzle??

I have a guest bathroom with the sink not draining (the tub/shower are on the horizontal/lateral run of drain pipe as the sink, and the sink is downstream of the tub (as you can tell by my terminology, I am not a plumber).
Anyway, the tub drains fine, but the sink won't (I have removed the trap and hand snaked the drain, but it stops dead about where the 2" vertical drain pipe meets the lateral. Now I know the lateral pipe is clear as the tub drains through it fine.
I went to the roof and tried hand snaking the vent pipe (which is the vertical line for the sink) and it too stops dead about where it joins the lateral. I ran a hose in the roof vent, and the water backed up in the sink, so it would appear the blockage has to be below the sink inlet into the vertical pipe, but above the lateral line.
Now here is my puzzle -- the sink has a strainer on it which would prevent any large object from going down the drain.
It is a 70 year-old house with iron and galvanized drain pipe in this section of the house.
Is it possible that it just rusted closed, or is it possible for a squirrel to have dropped a nut or something down the vent pipe and it lodged in the pipe (I do have squirrels on the roof as they jump to and from my avocado tree?
The tool rental store is closed today, but my thinking is to rent a 2" snake with a cutter head and feed it down from the roof, but I have a clay tile roof, and I hate to drag any equipment up there and break the tiles. It is a tight fit to try and snake from the sink as it is a pedestal sink grouted to the tile floor, and I hate to disturb all that.
There is no good way to snake up from the lateral drain pipe, but I suppose I could try drilling the junction directly below where the vertical pipe joins it, and snake from below (pretty heavy iron "T" junction there to drill through, though)
Well, I would appreciate any advice you may have (maybe I just should call a plumber, but I normally am a handy guy and do my own plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc.).
best,
doug
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old dirtbeard wrote:

You may be right about somethign that was dropped down the vent.
Rather than drilling the TEE, I would Sawzall the pipe (2 places) and remove a short piece. Later, you can put a hunk of PVC in with 2 No-Hub couplings. Whatever you do, you want to inspect joints carefully for signs of weakness and leakage in a house that old...
Jim
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old dirtbeard wrote:

home depot and bought a $19.95 1/4 inch 25 ft. long snake in a plastic container( i used to buy theese all the time for about $12.00, but this one has a metal piece on it that you attach the electric drill on.. i put it on my cordless drill/driver and feed the snake in and it keeps feeding, i leave the lock screw on on the cable loose and it still feeds.. it went in all the way of 23 feet and i stopped it and reversed the drill and fed the cable back in... best drain cleaner i have ever bought.... no problem feeding it into the 2 inch pipe and when it hits an angle the continous turning of the drill forces it in....
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snipped-for-privacy@noname.com sagely stated:

Jim,
Thank you, thank you!
I went down to Home Depot and found a Brass Craft version of what you described ($17, made in the US), went to the roof, extended the snake until it stopped, attached the cordless drill, pop, it jumped another foot. Repeated this several times, and all was well.
Thank you, thank!
The downside is that the plastic collar that contains the snake broke on it's maiden mission. Well worth the $17 for a one time usage, but I will be looking for a more substantial product to have in the garage for that next problem.
Had I known this before the problem started, it literally would have saved me a couple half days of screwing around, water on the floor, several trips on my belly into the crawl space, a trip to Home Depot to replace the trap I screwed up taking it off and on a dozen times, cursing and swearing about how much I hate plumbing, etc. ;)
Thanks Jim!
doug
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On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 00:16:12 GMT, old dirtbeard

Glad to hear it, Doug. Typing would be so much easier for me if I had a faster server! lol

That's common with those snakes, Doug. The collar really isn't necessary. All it does is keeps the plastic sleeve from making contact with the drill chuck. Just cut about an inch or so off the plastic sleeve.
The first thing I do when I buy one (I've bought several over the years) is take a bolt cutter and snip off the clutch. You probably have one on that snake. That'll give you 100% torque when you get to a blockage or try to get around a bend. DON'T do that until you need to...and not until you get really good at using it. If you hang up the snake in the pipe, you'll hafta leave it there...or take a whole lot of piping apart to get it out.
Again...glad you got the problem solved.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Cat...the OTHER white meat!
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On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 17:19:25 GMT, old dirtbeard

Get a snake that attaches to a variable-speed reversing drill. They usually come in 25' and 35' sizes. Use that to do the snake. Be careful that it doesn't twist up on you...which it will do if it comes to a blockage and you continue to turn it. So be a little careful.
When you get to the blockage, pull it out and see if you've just hit the back of the tee...or if you've actually hit the blockage. A bunch of hair on the end of it will be a clue.
If you've simply come to the tee, try pushing with a little bit of pressure in order to make the bend. Sometimes, you can run the snake in reverse...and that'll make it climb and make that bend.
Depending on your house construction, make sure its not coming out of the stack on the roof.

Now THAT could be the blockage. Try running the power snake from there.

Yes...below the horizontal sink line.

The blockage is probably an accumulation of hair.

The rust and mineral buildup has probably been catching the hair.

Unlikely in both cases. A hand snake simply will not do the proper job.

I would strongly suggest you don't do this...especially if you don't know what bends are on that line. But using a point might be a solution. It'll flop around enough to clean things out sufficiently.
I wouldn't do this, however. I'd use the low-tech snake...available at any of the borgs.

That's probably the best solution. Just be careful.

Consider doing what Speedy Jim said, Doug...to the vertical piece (in the basement maybe?) Its good advice.
The only thing I would add to it...
If you cut out a section and put the stub in, put a wye on it...with a cleanout cap...for future problems. Just remember that that wye on a vertical run is gonna COLLECT things...when you finally take the cap off! lol
Good luck.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
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