Thursday, 12 April 2012

Clogged arteries

Last week, out of the middle of nowhere, our kitchen sink stopped draining. Two sinkfulls of rather unpleasant water backflowed from the dishwasher into the sink and sat there for quite a while. And of course, these things happen at 10:00 at night, leaving few options regarding what to do about it.

By the morning, the water had drained. We ran some tests, pouring boiling water into the pipes and feeling them. The water wasn't going very far at all. So we poured something like 3.5 l of drain cleaner into the pipes and let them sit. No improvement, and in fact, it's possible that it made it worse. Now we had 2 sinkfulls of water (relatively clean this time) and they weren't draining at all. So at 5:30 PM we called a plumber to come augur the drain. Being after hours, he didn't want to come out, but we insisted (and agreed to pay a 50% premium for his time).

After almost 2 hours of auguring, he had isolated the plug to a spot deep in the bowels of the basement. It was a spot where the previous owner had left a sag in the pipe by not supporting it properly. I had strapped it up so the pipe was level. He couldn't get the auger through the former sag.

Left with no other choice, we cut the pipe, and this was what we found:
In close up:
After auguring
Note, that pipe is actually upside down. He was able to drill a hole through the gunk eventually, but the hole was only as big as my finger. The hope was that we could make do until the reno we are planning, because all of that clogged piping will be replaced and a new pipe run will be put in.

Well, the temporary fix didn't even last a week. Sunday night the dishwasher filled the sink again, and last night, the process repeated (it's possible it did it Monday and Tuesday, too, but we weren't watching). Took 30 minutes to drain the sink last night.

Ah, well. The plumber is on his way back to replace the pipe run today. 

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