Unblocking a drain

If I can describe this. Mother's house (again!). Outside drain has
two "inlets". The outside drain is now inside a small extension and
covered with a very heavy inspection cover. I managed to lever up, but
not completely free, the inspection cover. I saw one of the old drains
was over-flowing. This explains why her sink took a long time to drain
as the outlet from the sink pipe is below the level of the water in
drain 1. Drain 1 overflows into drain2 which explains why she didn't
get a flood. I tried pressure hosing drain 1 but this has had no
impact. I'm going to get the cover lifted and pump out the water and
rod it. Can I hire a suitable pump to get the excess water from drain
1 into drain 2? What's the likelyhood of mysuccessful unblocking or
should I just call in a pro with the right equipment? (ooh, err
Reply to
In article , Clive says...
Try some caustic soda first. It is darn good at unblocking drains, depending on what is causing the blockage. If that fails, then get in an expert. A tub of caustic soda will cost a lot less than a pro.
Reply to
David in Normandy
If you know the layout of the pipes you might well be able to rod it without removing the water first. Just aim for where you know the pipe is.
Reply to
You don't want the water out of it to rod it. In fact it's essential you have water in there for it to work. Buy set of drain rods from any DIY place. Attach the standard 4 inch diameter rubber disc. Feed that down the drain, adding rods as required until you reach the blockage. Add another rod or two for good measure - you'll see why in a minute.
Pull back the tackle as sharply and as far as you can in one arm movement and then abruptly release letting the rods slide through your hands as the water carries the tackle back towards the blockage. What you are doing here is using the large mass of water you've displaced all the way back up the pipe as a piston which will smash the blockage out of the way as it hits into it. You don't of course want to let go of the tackle or have the whole lot slide out of your hands and into the drain or you'll have an even bigger mess to fix. Hence the couple of spare rods on the back end to grab onto.
Only if this fails to work after a few attempts will you need to resort to anything more drastic. You can try firkling about with the corkscrew type tool but if the piston method didn't shift it then neither will this. Cheapest way is to phone the local water company or council who will have a fixed price (50 quid or so) to stick a high pressure hose down there. NEVER EVER EVER call one of those dynorod type outfits who will screw you for hundreds of pounds. If the house was built before about 1930 the water company should do it for free.
Reply to
Dave Baker
If you can only access 'downstream' of the blockage, the rubber disc can still work. Feed the rods as far as you can towards the blockage, then pull fast & hard. This creates a sort of suction that can sometimes shift things.
Always amazes me how efficient drain rods can be.
Agreed - they should wear berets, masks, stripy jumpers & carry bags marked 'swag'.
Reply to
The Medway Handyman
I have had success from downstream with nothing more than a hose with a decent nozzle on the end of it.
This nibbles away at the toilet paper and sanitary towels..and washes them away as it does so...Just push it up the pipe flat out running, till something starts t happen.
In the absence of any other tool, its a definite possibility.
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
Quite agree. It worked for me on one occasion where DynoRod (or their equivalent) had given up. Took a while but, when I saw the first piece of eggshell, I knew the nest had to disintegrate eventually.
Reply to
Stuart Noble
Thanks for the ideas. You know I never thought of calling the water company. Nor thought of sticking a hose from the other end - that's a possible from the cover out front.
I like the idea of fixing it myself but I can't get the cover in the extension off completely. It's all "gunked up" around the edges. I managed to lever up the cover, enough to squeeze the domestic power hose inside and have a lock-see with the aid of a torch. I have tried "freeing" the cover by getting old lengths of pine, pushing it along the "free edges" then wacking the edge of the pine with a mighty big mallet. The pine goes in but it just gets crushed and splintered by the immovable cover. The stupid cover has 4 screws and no obvious way to get some keys in to lift it. I'm thinking some special "jack" mechanism that will span the cover and lift it by pressing on the surrounding floor will be needed to gain access to the drain.
Reply to
Certainly call them if you're on a shared drain in a pre 1930 building. They'll fix it for nothing, usually within a couple of hours
Reply to
Stuart Noble
On Oct 7, 5:27 pm, Stuart Noble wrote:
Problem resolved.
The guy was round within 90 minutes. I helped him to lift the inspection cover. He didn't have the right hooks with him. We levered up one edge of the cover, he used the shaft of a big screwdriver as a wedge, I stood on the "free" edge of the inspection cover and up popped the stuck edge of the cover from the grip of the gunk.
He was able to clear the blockage in the "gully" by plunging it for, ooh, one minute. Cost? =A365
Do I feel done? No. I didn't know how to clear it and now I'll get the hooks to lift the cover, flush it the drain a couple of times per year with caustic soda and never neglect the humble plunger as a potential fix for drain problems.
Reply to
Aldi, right now. For 3 or 4 quid they sell an excellent "snake" cleaner that's thin enough to go round my stupid right-angle bends, yet stiff enough to do some good on blockages. A really useful gadget at a good price.
They also sell a water-jet hosepipe unblocker that screws onto a tap and use water pressure to do the work (about 7 quid). Looks wonderful until you get it home and discover that none of the three beautifully machined brass adapters have any hope of fitting a standard UK tap thread. Useless! Probably great in Germany though.
Reply to
Andy Dingley

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