Tool Tips: Drain line flushing
Tool Tips — September 2019
Drain line flushing
A lot of times a snake cable will just stir up the sludge and I have seen cables in clean-outs or manholes downstream where the pipe is still clogged. A jetter can help in some of those situations, but I almost always follow a snaking by flushing the line with hot water using the set-up in the photo.
After removing the trap for a 1-1/2-inch inlet or a clean-out plug in a 2-inch line, I thread in the assembly, disconnect the faucet’s supply hose at the angle stop and connect the 1/2-inch IPS x 3/8-inch compression hose from the stop to the assembly. With the 3/4-inch ball valve on the assembly turned off, I open the stop, check for leaks, then open the ball valve and let the water run for a short spell. This usually blows out the sludge and can remove fats, oils and grease if hot enough.
To check to see if it has indeed flushed the line, I shut the ball valve first, then the stop, disconnect the hose and then slowly open the ball valve. If it is still clogged and water has gone up the vent, the pan below will catch it. If no water is discharged, signaling a clear line, I reconnect the hose and let it run for a longer spell for a more thorough job.
I have several types of hoses for different size stops and no-hub connectors in various sizes for other ways to connect the assembly if needed.
Mike Schultz Plumbing
Corte Madera, California
My sons and I have done a number of remodels over the years where we needed to cut a galvanized or cast iron vent pipe that extends through the roof. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if the vent will not be supported and come crashing down while or after it is cut. My sons came up with this idea of going onto the roof and strapping the pipe with Unistrut and supporting the weight with a couple of pipes on either side supporting the Unistrut. I’m a proud dad!
Rogue River, Oregon
Send Us Your Tool Tips
If you have an idea that has saved you time and money, Plumbing & Mechanical would like to share your tip with our readers. The first-place winner each month will receive a Kinetic Water Ram from General Pipe Cleaners with a retail value of $325. Read here for more details