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A Handyman Helping Hand

Re: plumbing

Posted By: Matt
Saturday, 26 August 2000, at 8:37 p.m.

In Response To: plumbing (Mike)

Mike,

My house is a similar age and I too have had slow drain problems. I have solved most problems by using a drain snake. You can either rent one at a rental shop or some hardware stores rent them. You can also buy relatively inexpensive snakes that come in self contained hand held self contained units. You either turn these by hand or hook them up to a standard drill. Snakes are traditionally used for clogged drains. However they work well in cleaning the gunk out of old pipes. I have one inch and one 1 inch. Using the inch snake start at the highest drain in the house and work your way down. Rather than go through a sink drain (in the sink) I usually take the trap off and go in from there. (warning: in an old house you may end up having to replace trap parts such as the trap or seals so be ready to do some extra work.) I like to turn the water on in another sink or shower that is on the same drain stack. This helps to flush anything when it gets into the main stack. Work your way to the basement and use the 1 inch snake on your larger clean outs. After doing this you should notice a difference. Then I try and use some type of Maintenance cleaner. The type you put in at night for 7 days and let sit for 6 hours. If the snaking does not work or you get hung up in a basement clean out you may have tree roots in your outside drain line. There are products to remove tree roots or you may have to call a plumber to come out with an electric snake with a root cutter.

Other options are calling a plumber to do the snaking. having your pipes cleaned using high pressure water (this is a common method for commercial buildings) or just using any of the common slow drain products. Hope that helps some. If you need more info let us know.

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