Friday, February 3, 2012

Travis' Least Favorite Trade

Monday night I was rinsing off the dishes from dinner and the sink backed up.  I was worried I had put too much in the disposal.  Sadly, there was no clog in the pea-trap under the sink.  Travis closed it back up and we gave Draino a try.  The water drained away, but when we started running water again it filled back up.  Travis tried Draino a second time, just for good measure.  Same results. 

He called our neighbor-friend and asked to borrow his 6-foot plumbing snake.  He was able to get most of the reel out without finding a clog.  He hit a barrier, but it turned out to be a 90-degree turn in the pipe.  While Travis was down there taking a look at what the plumbing does, he noticed a large puddle centered under the house.  He asked me to run the kitchen sink while he sat near the puddle.  Sure enough, water started spewing out of a pipe that was not capped off. 

Travis said it is always really wet in that spot whenever he goes down there.  He's rewired 90% of the house thus far, which requires crawling under the house.  Suddenly we were wondering if that pipe has been open and spitting out grey water for the entire length of time we've owned the house.  The pipe looks like it used to drain something from the bathroom.  Since everything functions nicely in the rest of the house, Travis determined that it was a pipe that should have been removed whenever the previous owners replumbed the house.  Instead, they left it open-ended, letting water drain out when the pipe backs up.  Since there is not a plethera of chopped up food from the disposal rotting under the house, we know that some of the water IS making it out the main pipe.

The next day, Travis stopped and bought a clean-out valve and a diamond-tipped saw blade.  When he got home, he cut that extra pipe off where it meets the main drain.  He then proceeded to put the snake in from there.  He was unable to find a clog there either.  But at one point, he yelled for me to bring him a wire.  He saw something red and solid floating in the pipe and needed something smaller to fish out the round chunk.  By the time I was able to find the wire and bring it down to him, the chunk had already drained away and disappeared.  Travis had me run every single sink and tub in the house and everything ran smoothly, including the kitchen sink.

We thought the fiasco was over, but we were wrong.  Last night, the kitchen sink clogged again.  Travis tried Draino again.  Five minutes later, the water all drained from the sink.  We tried running the water and it didn't clog again.  We're thinking that chunk is getting stuck in the line periodically.  I don't know what the best thing to do would be aside from getting a plumber.  But plumbers cost money and we don't have that. 

Last night Travis tried a new drain opener (potassium hydroxide).  Problem is the clog comes and goes so there's no way to know if it worked unless the clog come back.  No clog yet, so we'll see!


Sara's Satire said...

YOu should call Jason (JR's brother), he is a plumber and he just started his own business. I am sure he could do something for you guys price wise...of course this is only if the clog comes back. If it does keep happening, tell Travis to give JR a call and JR can call Jason and see if they can work something out.

Nikki said...

I didn't know Jason was a plumber! Huh. Do you really think he'd be willing to drive all the way down to my house?