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Help me solve this plumbing problem...

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As a single, broke person I need to fix this myself. The bathroom sink is clogged so bad it doesn't drain for about an hour.




I took apart the drain pipe, trap and elbow under the sink and cleared them out but it didn't solve the problem. I tried to use a snake to clean out the pipe in the wall but I couldn't get it in. Should I keep trying that? Should I use a chemical? Should I pour something else down the drain, like boiling water? Should I go in the basement and take something apart?

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I don't know if this will help. Dh's sink in the bathroom was plugged up. Not as bad as yours but it was not draining quickly. I tried a plunger on it. It didn't seem to help at first but I kept at it. Not all at once actually, but over a few days. (I have a separate plunger just for sinks.) It seemed to loosen the build-up in the pipe. One day a big chunk of gunk came up and suddenly the drain ran clear.


I don't know if plunging in your situation would help or make things worse but it worked here. I was reluctant to use a drain cleaner because we're on septic and I like to limit the chemicals that go down but I was nearly to the point of looking. Fortunately this worked.

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Definitely not an expert here, but two ideas came to mind:


- I've had some luck plunging the sink (just like you would plunge the toilet). Sometimes that can dislodge something that's stuck.

- Are you on city plumbing or your own septic system? We're on septic, and a year ago our sinks started backing up when our septic tank was close to full. We were past due for getting it pumped out (gross, I know). So, nothing helped until we called someone out to empty out the tank.

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Forgive me as this is obvious and you probably have done it, but have you checked the plug? I mean pull out the stopper and cleaned it? Often times it is just the stopper.


If is further than that, my DH suggested to my friend that she hook up her shop vac and try to vacum it out. I don't know that a regular vac has encough suction. You might not have a shop vac, but maybe you could borrow one.

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Boiling water could help. Baking soda, followed by vinegar, let it bubble, then flush with boiling water may help, too.



Pour some baking soda, boil water, pour down a bit of vinegar, pour down the boiling water very slowly, raising the container as you go to get maximum velocity. Let sit. Repeat. Plunge. Repeat. Plunge. Do again tomorrow. Make sure you are plunging up instead of down since you will be loosening grime and such BEFORE the clog, giving it room to move up and break up.


Eventually it should work ;)


Snaking may not get to the problem since you don't have a gigantic snake and sometimes pipes bend crazy and you don't want to break things. Chemicals may or may not work, especially if it's hair :(

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If you try plunging be sure to cover the little overflow opening thing. That opening also goes to the drain and the plunging is more effective if it is covered.


I have never had luck with chemicals and then it is dangerous to try other things if noe chemicals are part of the backup.


What has worked for me is a contraption that shoots air down the drain. For me it has worked every time, ymmv. I bought it at home depot. I'll try to find the name and eta.


Eta: Kleer Drain Instant Drain Opener. It's on the home depot site.



Edited by happi duck
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