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Thread: Kitchen sink clog / broke galv. cleanout off :(

  1. #1
    DIY Member Fumisan's Avatar
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    Default Kitchen sink clog / broke galv. cleanout off :(

    I had a backup in my kitchen sink. I tried flushing with baking soda & vinegar and hot water. That didn't work.

    I took the p-trap off and tried snaking with a little handheld snake...It went in a few feet (3 or 4?) and seemed to hit a bend in the pipe and would not go further...

    So, I went outside to what looked like a cleanout, took a pair of channel locks and twisted on the cap.

    About a 4" section of the galv. pipe came off at the threads. I'm thinking it snapped off. It's a bit hard to tell exactly what's going on because of all the gunk and rust build up. I'm thinking it snapped, because it never actually turned (like it was unscrewing).

    The house was built in '59. So, now I have an open cleanout about 4 inches inside a block wall....

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    I chipped a bunch of the buildup off with a chisel to try and see what's happening.

    At this point, I'm thinking of routering/smoothing out the inside of the galv. pipe (any suggestions on tools/methods) and using a compression cap to close the cleanout. But don't like the fact that it will be 3"-4" back inside the wall.

    Is there a way to extend the cleanout flush to the outside wall and still use a compression fitting?

    Or, is there a better way to go about this?

    I guess I'll still have to deal with the clog once I get the cleanout issue sorted out. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    YOu MAY be able to chase the threads with a tap so a new pipe will screw in, but it is always "iffy" with an old cast iron fitting, and impossible if it is a drainage fitting. Otherwise, you may have to open the wall and replace the fitting because there may not be anything, even a compression plug, which will fit into to it without leaking.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    Looking at the third photo, it's hard to see the condition of the thread. I've had situations like this, and I carefully cleaned the thread deep enough to allow a new nipple in, with no leaks. Give it a shot, that would be the cheapest solution.

    If that doesn't work, replace the T.

  4. #4
    DIY Member Fumisan's Avatar
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    I'm going to try to clean the threads with a wire brush attached to a drill. Also, an employee at a big box store suggested cutting the broken off threads with a hacksaw in two places and popping them out with a screwdriver. He couldn't guarantee it, but said it has worked for him...

    I bought a test plug to seal it up if that doesn't work. I know I should open up the wall and replace the T, but just can't afford to do that right at the moment. Hopefully, cleaning the threads will work. Have a new galv. pipe and cap on standby. Fingers crossed!!! Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    Looking at the third photo, it's hard to see the condition of the thread. I've had situations like this, and I carefully cleaned the thread deep enough to allow a new nipple in, with no leaks. Give it a shot, that would be the cheapest solution.

    If that doesn't work, replace the T.

  5. #5
    DIY Member Fumisan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, hj. I really don't want to open up the block wall, so I am going to try everything else first...

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    IF there are any threads left in the tee, which is not likely, then you may get lucky. But usually what has happened is that the threads inside the tee were destroyed by the rusting pipe, which is why your nipple "fell off". There was nothing left inside the fitting, except rust, otherwise it would have unscrewed.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Member Fumisan's Avatar
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    I think you are right, hj. I don't think there are any threads left. I just cleaned it up a bit and put a test cap on it for now. It seems to be holding.

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    Now, I've got to go back to the original problem: a clogged kitchen sink.

    I originally snaked a few feet with a handheld snake, but that didn't get rid of the clog. I removed the p-trap and there was a lot of gunk built up right past the p-trap. I think part of the problem is that there's a galv. fitting that's screwed onto the galv. threaded pipe. Then, the pvc p-trap assembly slides into the galvanized "nut" fitting. So, there is a "ridge" where the galv. threaded pipe screws onto the other galv. nut (pictures attached to illustrate).

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    I cleaned the gunk out with a wire hanger as best I could. I then put a drain bladder (by Cobra) into the galv. pipe and turned it on. It went for a few minutes and then I heard some water gurgling up the washing machine drain pipe. So, I shut the water off and put the bladder in the washing machine drain pipe. I ran it for several minutes and black water started coming up into the kitchen sink.

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    I shut the water off. The water has only drained a couple of inches from the kitchen sink in an hour or so. I'm thinking that the clog may be between the kitchen sink and the main drain line. I attached a picture of drains, bathrooms and sinks for reference.

    I am thinking of putting a test plug into the kitchen drain pipe and trying to blow out the clog by inserting the drain bladder into the laundry room drain.

    Does that sound like it would work?

    Is there something I'm missing?

    (I am also thinking about using Bio-Clean as recommended by Terry in the near future...)



    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    IF there are any threads left in the tee, which is not likely, then you may get lucky. But usually what has happened is that the threads inside the tee were destroyed by the rusting pipe, which is why your nipple "fell off". There was nothing left inside the fitting, except rust, otherwise it would have unscrewed.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    DIY Member Fumisan's Avatar
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    Picture of house plumbing set up:

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    Last edited by Fumisan; 10-20-2013 at 12:39 PM. Reason: better resolution - bigger size picture

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    If this bladder doesn't clear the clog, you need a pro power snake. I suggest you call a drain serviceman. Around here they start at $39 and worth every penny.

  10. #10
    DIY Member Fumisan's Avatar
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    Default A quick update: Drain cleared using bladder.

    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    If this bladder doesn't clear the clog, you need a pro power snake. I suggest you call a drain serviceman. Around here they start at $39 and worth every penny.
    Thank you for all of the advice. The drain did clear using a bladder. Sorry it took me so long to update. The clog really put me behind the 8-ball on some other issues.

    The test plug held as well, so I will wait to open up the block wall to replace the tee until a later date.

    Thanks again for all of the advice. This forum and its participants are great. I don't feel like I am all alone against problems when I come on here. Many thanks!

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