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Thread: Stopped up bathroom drain under concrete

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Moonvalley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Sonoma, CA

    Default Stopped up bathroom drain under concrete

    Plumber suggests vacuuming out this drain with several feet of plastic and paper clogging it up. He says pushing it thru could clog main line for my house and attached unit behind. Pipes are 1960s cast iron under concrete slab foundation. Any better suggestions than trying to pull it up out of the drain with a vacuum? Is that even doable?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    I'm not a pro, so the fact that I have never heard of vacuuming a drain shouldn't be taken as the last word. I would however, seek a second opinion. Make sure you are dealing with a true plumber, not a franchise rooter company. The advice the pro plumber here usually give is to clear the entire drain clear to the street.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Vacuuming the stoppage is just plain smart. I give your guy an A for thinking of something different. I work at a university and people don't give a tinkers damn what they sweep or kick into a floor drain. It is nothing to suck rocks and other items out. ASU outsourced the custodial staff. They vacuum up paper clips rubber bands candy wrappers and whatever else and then dump the vacuum into the custodial closet sink drain. It is mostly strands of mop hairs that do the plugging but all the other junk does not help. I don't think it is in their contract to physically pick anything up. My plan b for this might just be a gallon of pool acid. I personally cut the ends off of cables 1/2" and smaller. People absolutely freak out over this. I have had heads come off in drains. So if there is no head there is no loss. Paper will catch and twirl around that cable but it might very well be a big fight to pull the cable out with that ball on it. He might need to go in more than once to get it all. Good luck. I see you are from Yakima. Do you happen to know Mel Waters? He is a guy who talked to Art Bell several years ago about dropping four hundred thousand feet of fishing line into a hole on his property and never hit bottom. You could never here anything hit the bottom either. The government came and took over his property. Mel sold the land to the government and moved to Australia but he might be back in the states. If you searched for Mel's Hole and Art Bell you might still be able to read the interview transcript online.

    Last edited by Hairyhosebib; 09-15-2013 at 09:21 PM.

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