snaking the drain without the baloney

I need to snake the drain in my shower as it has been clogged for quite a while (a few months, really). My maintenance lady tells me since the pipe isn’t accesible from the exterior of the building it is impossible to do so. I think this sounds like a load of baloney so I am wondering if anyone knows a good drain-snaking expert I can call? I called Roto Rooter but they won’t give me a ballpark figure for such a job without sending someone to my house, which also sounds like a load of baloney. Any advice is welcome.

7 Comments so far

  1. Chris Martel (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

    Have you tried dumping a vast amount of caustic chemicals down your drain yet? another thing you might try is using a garden hose to blow the clog out, sometimes the water pressure is enough to do it.

    the landlady could be right though, a lot of these old houses just have the pipes going right into the main sewer pipe without any “clean-outs” a.k.a. the cap you unscrew incase there’s a clog. and that’s assuming you could even get under the house… snaking could be a major pain in the ass. I would exhaust every alternative first.

  2. Craig (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

    Experience has taught me that it’s usually cheaper to call a regular plumber than a roto service to clear a clogged drain. They tend to hae more experience and to offer more options. We’ve been using Al Bourgeois (who bills us later and we don’t have to front the money).

    …but this is assuming you wind up actually calling someone. I’d agree with Chris that there are options like chemicals or simply getting your own snake. My advice would be to go to a Harry’s or some other local hardware place and ‘splain the problem.

  3. Jack Ware (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

    If the shower drain can be removed you could get one of those quarter inch hand augers at any hardware store for about $10. May not reach the clog though. Chris is right about the chemical approach though. Just be careful. I would suggest this stuff called “fire water”. It comes in a big red bottle. I usually see it at Freret Hardware or Harry’s down on magazine. Whatever it is, it is the shiz-nat!!

    Be careful with it though cause it will violently blow back up the drain when it hits water.

  4. heather (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

    I have tried a lot of chemicals and I have a little hair-trap that I have used since I moved in. Of course, the drain was clogged when I moved in so even if I am not contributing to the problem, it was pre-existant. I will try the fire water and picking the brain of the person who sells it to me. Thanks for the help!

  5. jason (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

    You might even want to go the simple route and try a plunger. This actaully worked better for me than snaking my tub in the past. The only catch is, you have to remember to plug the secondary drain at the top of the tub, otherwise you’re just pulling air through there.

  6. Jack Ware (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

    I’m actually renting a big-ass auger this weekend to clean out the main city stack to the curb because it’s clogged. I was talking to a contractor friend of mine who said they’ve had to auger out every house they’ve worked on because of flood sludge in the stack. Two of the three other people I work with had main stack drain problems after the storm that ran into the thousands of dollars.

    That’s how I found out there’s usually a second city clean out somewhere in the ground if you can trace the stack out to the curb. Looks like a water meter cover in most cases.

    My point isn’t to blame a clogged drain on a hurricane…lol. But if it seems a little too persistent there may be a bigger issue so don’t keep banging your head into that wall. Get a pro in there. I know you didn’t have flooding where you are but someone else may find the info useful.

  7. jenn cal (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

    Opt for the plunger before anything. I tried caustic chemical after caustic chemical on my sink, until in fit of frustration looked at the plunger and thought,”it works on the toilet” Sure enough, problem solved!

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