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Plumbing in the Home/clogged drain in slop sink


QUESTION: The drain in my laundry room slop sink is clogged. Again. The washer drains into the sink. I have a lint filter on it but it happens almost every year. The plumbers had to drill a hole for access to snake the pipe in the past. Last year the plumber suggested cutting the pipe and installing as removable section for easier access for the snake. I may need to do that. IS there a name for the removable section that would then be installed? I assume it would have clamps on either end to secure it to the open ends of the drain pipe?

ANSWER: I would replace the section removed with a "cleanout tee" that has a threaded plug to be removed when access is necessary. No-hub couplings would be used to reconnect the cut out section and make it water tight. This would be the preferred solution in the situation as you described it.

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QUESTION: I will first try to access the pipe via a hole a plumber had drilled into it in the past but if that is not large enough to get the tip of the snake into the pipe I will have to cut it. I do not have a saws all. Would A cut wheel on a drill be able to cut a 2" drain pipe? It is iron not pvc.

Normally the pipe will be either cast-iron or galvanized steel if it is not plastic. The steel pipe is more easily cut and you could even use a hack-saw on it if you have sufficient access. The cast-iron pipe is not easily cut with a hack saw but it can be done. I donít know how you could use a drill to cut the pipe unless you had complete access around the pipeÖ

First, there should be a trap that you could remove from beneath the sink to get access to the sanitary tee that is in the wall (normally) behind the sink and usually you can run the snake from there. Also if it is a single story house there should be a vent on the roof that would allow access to run the snake if desired although sometimes this is not a practical solution.

Normally the pipe above the sanitary tee will be galvanized and the pipe below the sanitary tee would be cast-iron if this house is on a concrete slab. If a raised floor house the pipe below the sanitary tee could be galvanized also. You said it was iron so I assume you can tell the difference. If your plan is to install a clean-out ---you first should have the fitting you are going to install and understand how you are going to insert it in the pipe and reconnect it. This is a craftsman situation and you must employ your knowledge to achieve this end. By that I mean you have to know how much pipe to remove and how you are going to reconnect the fitting you will insert there as well of course how you are going to cut the pipe and remove the section.

Absent some good reason it seems to me the plumber you previously employed should have installed a clean-out rather than just drill a hole in the pipe. Maybe there is a reason he/she did not do that but it would have been the logical solution to the problem if no other access is practical. Again access via the removal of the p-trap is one option and access via the vent opening on the roof is another; yet another is to go back in the same hole that was used before.

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Cortez (cort) Cate


PLEASE read this entire introduction. I have been doing this for a long time and I have come to the conclusion that if you are not willing to take the time to write a detailed question then don't expect a detailed solution! I am getting far to many questions that do not give enough detail to warrant a good solution. I realize it is a little difficult to formulate a good question but if you want a good answer you have to give me good this entire introduction please....remember this website is world wide I have no clue where you live if you don't tell give more detail on the fixture you are having problems with...a one piece eljer 3.5 gallon flush will be totally different than a one-gallon flush toto.....details are important. I can answer most questions related to residential and commercial plumbing for many buildings. I have sufficient knowledge of the UPC and UMC. I will speculate for you if necessary. In those cases I will try to give you some guidance and you should use that to refine the question further and we, together, can seek the answer via a follow up. Plumbing codes and practices vary around the world--If you don't tell me where you live the answer I give may not fit your locality. I am giving my time to you as a way of fulfilling my perceived obligation to share. I am here to try to help you find a solution to your problem. REMEMBER, If you want a good answer you need to ask a detailed question and include where you live, type of pipes, type of building, water pressure if it is a water problem, type of heater, age of appliance & building all these and many more are variables that have an effect on various situations. Detailed information will help produce a better answer.


Since 1972 a California licensed B-1 General Building Contractor, C-36 Plumbing and C-16 Fire Sprinkler Contractor; also installing and servicing Heating, Air Conditioning and Sheet Metal operating as C and C Building and Plumbing, California State License 279516. In 1995 I downsized the company to become semi-retired. Still I remain active in the construction industry. As head of a company I placed personnel and job safety as the number one objective followed closely by training and continuing education. Always seeking to stay informed of leading edge technology in the industry. Also I have spent several years as an Apprenticeship Instructor in the Pipe Trades Unions. Additionally I am a certified OSHA instructor.

United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Instruction Training, Ann Arbor, MI Bakersfield College, Bakersfield CA Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA Foothill College, Los Altos, CA California Licensed Contractor from 1971

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