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Thread: 50 year old basement floor drain clogged... never used

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Robert30's Avatar
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    Default 50 year old basement floor drain clogged... never used

    Guys, I'm installing a shower in the basement bathroom of my parent's house. It was built in the 1950s, and has cast iron pipes, etc. There is a cast iron pipe sticking out of the concrete bathroom floor / foundation about 8", stuffed with paper plug for future use. It was for a shower, which was never installed. Now that I'm installing a shower, I pulled the paper plug out and poured water into the drain. It filled right up to the top of the pipe, zero flow. So I got a manual snake and worked it in the drain. No luck. Then wrapped garden hose with rag and jammed into the drain pipe. Turned hose on, which partially cleared the clog. I can see standing water down there, so there must be a trap. I can run the garden hose about 25% flow into the drain and it will drain it. Any more flow than that and it will overflow onto the bathroom floor.

    This is where I am now... the 2" cast iron drain in the floor will slowly drain, but not nearly enough to drain a shower on at full blast. It may be draining 1 or 2 gallons per minute.

    Questions... Should a 2" drain pipe drain faster than that? How could it be clogged if it was never used and sat dormant for the few decades my parents have lived here? How do I go about truly unclogging this thing? Should I rent a power snake, or call a professional? Currently not employed, would prefer to do this on the cheap but do not want to crack any old pipes with improper use of a power snake...

    Thanks for your help.

    Robert

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drain

    Without flow the pipe may have corroded and flaked off creating the blockage. Depending on how bad it is, it may not be possible to remove it without breaking the floor and doing a bit of repiping. Yes, the pipe should be able to take the hose's water at full flow.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Robert30's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the help hj. I got it fixed this morning... I bought one of those snakes that you can hook to your drill for about $40 at Home Depot. It went into the drain much easier than the manual snake I was trying before... Definitely worth the $40... These was a lot of black water that came up the first couple seconds that I put it in, then it cleared out. Stuck the garden hose in an it will take full pressure, it goes right down the drain no problems. Will have to keep this forum on hand while I finish this shower project. Thanks again.
    robert

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