Question about American Standard Plumbing

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Clogged sinks and toilets

Every so often my toilets do not flush down the water and my bathroom sink water goes down very slowly. Roto-Rooter wanted $700 to unclog the sinks but said that the toilets were not worth snaking . Can I use Draino without damaging my pipes?

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  • ladycs Apr 26, 2009

    thank you so much for your input.

    Carole

  • Sam Gibson
    Sam Gibson Jan 21, 2016

    Great question about whether or not you should use Draino & if that could damage your pipes. Have you had the chance to get a second or third bid on how to fix this? I would imagine that most plumbing repair professionals could fix this issue. My parents had a sink that drained real slowly, I think they ended up needing to have the p-trap cleaned out.

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Never use Draino on a toilet. All pipe cleaning liquids are not really a solution, just a temporary fix.

Since you said that the slow draining is associated with both the toilets and the sinks then I am almost certain that you have a venting issue.

Imagine a drinking straw.....now if you hold your thumb on the end of the straw and bring it up abouve the water level water remains in the straw. This is because air can't get in to replace the water. When your finger is removed then the water flows freely.

As with the straw, your plumbing must also breath. I would bet that one or more vents that are on your roof have become clogged with debrise. Squirrels love to throw nuts and stuff down there to build their nests upon.

Climb up there (safety is a priority) and try running a snake (~$10 at lowes) and see if you hit any obstruction. If so, use the snake to dislodge it.

If you would like, pour water down the vents either by hose or bucket and see if the water backs up. If it does then you have a clog. You can also use the water to try to clear the clog.

Thanks.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009

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An inoperable toilet can be caused by a number of different things. Roots or other foreign objects in your main line, a full septic tank if you have one, calcium build up in the opening of the toilet, or even the matchbox car that your son wanted to see float.

Try the below tipwhich will help you to get rid of such situatrion as i tried it when i experianced such horrible situation at my residence.

1.) Get out the ol' plunger and make sure that there isn't anything right there that may be blocking the flow. If nothing pops out and the bowl water is clean, and I know this sounds gross, but stick your hand into the opening in the bottom of the bowel and see if you can feel anything blocking there. You shouldn't feel anything, but if you do then pull it out. While your have your hand there, you will notice if the interior of the opening feels gritty. Too much of that gritty, sandpapery type feel is calcium biuld up and can cause the very inner, and unreachable part, of the opening to acutally close and will case a slow or no flush. In that case grab 2 bottles of CLR. I reccomend doing this at night before bed so that the gasses will have time to work thier magic. Take the forst bottle and pour it dorectly into the bowl and flush. Turn off the water to the toilet. Then take the second bottle and pour it directly into the bowl. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and lower the seat and lid so that the gasses are contained. In the morning, remove the saran wrap, turn the water back on, and flush again. Beware the chemical smell will be strong. If that doesn't fix the problem, keep going.

2.) Ok. So you've followed #1 and nothing. Now I suggest that you go to Walmart, or your local hardware store, and purchase a toilet snake. Every home should have one of these, and Walmart usually sells them for about 5 bucks for a 5 foot snake. Follow the simple directions on the package and see if there is anything blocking further in out of your reach. If you can't get the snake to go all the way through, and it is not pulling anything out when you retract the snake, then you may need to remove the toilet from the floor and look from the other end. Make sure that you turn the water off before you do that though.

3.) Once you remove the toilet you will be able to see if there is anything blocking the inside of the toilet. If there is nothing visable, then stick your hand up the opening to be sure. Now that you have done that, look at the pipe in the floor. You should NOT be looking at standing water. If that is the case, try running the snake directly into the hose and see if you are able to remove anything.

4.) Ok. Still nothing. Next you will want to get some Main Line Cleaner for your toilet. You can get this at Home Depot for about 12 bucks. Now just think... If you have a plumber come out you are looking at least at $150, and that may not be the problem. Right now your cost is at about $20 if you had to buy the plunger. Follow the instructions on the bottle, but make sure to keep the bottle out of reach of little hands as this stuff is really toxic. If you have a large tree near your sewer line you may opt for root driller before the main line cleaner. It runs about the same price and can also be purchased at Home Depot.

You can also rent an electric snake (100 ft.) at Home Depot for about $50 for 4 hours if you want to try getting further down the main line.

5.) Still nothing? If you have a septic tank (like I do) you may want to go out into the yard with that trusty shovel of yours and remove the lid to your septic tank. Once you remove the lid, your sewage should be no more than 2 feet from the top of the tank. If you think it's a close call, it's time to call the septic tank people and have them pump your tank.

Despite what everyone says, how often your tank needs to be pumped depends on the size of the tank, when it was last pumped and the number of people using the toilets on a regular basis. The more it is used, the more often it should be pumped. According to the septic companies that I have talked to, and employed, you should really pump your tank about every 3 years as a preventative maintenance.

6)After trying all the above tips if still the problem exist then you have the only option left to call a plumbing company for sewer cleaning service to resolve the issue.
Water Sewer Line Repair

Posted on Apr 30, 2016

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