Drain Cleaning Through a Roof Vent

Drain cleaning service in Wrentham, Franklin & Bellingham, MA

Drain cleaning services in Wrentham,
Franklin & Bellingham, MA

Occasionally, the easiest and least invasive means to clear a drain line is through the roof vent. In this case, the cleanout for this kitchen drain line was in a finished basement. The line was totally impacted with black sludge. Sine the carpet was white, there was just too much to chance in attempting to clear the drain through the clean out. The piping under the sink was solvent welded, joint to joint with no room to cut it and repair it after the work was finished. So, we determined, a nice summer day and only a 9 ft climb from the deck to the roof would be ideal for jetting (hydro-scrubbing) through the roof vent. With the home owner keeping watch in the kitchen, so we would not over flow the kitchen sink, the technician was on a ladder, jetting the kitchen sink drain through the roof, as planned. However, imagine how confused you may be when you see water and debris overflowing the vent! Yelling into the home owner, we asked,

"Is there any water in the kitchen sink?"

"Negative", he replied.

“O.k. Well, we have water overflowing the vent on the roof. We need to decide if we are going to continue this approach. If the blockage in the sink drain lets loose, we may quickly have water overflowing the kitchen sink.”

"Let's get a shop vac in case, and continue with the cleaning" was the home owner's reply.

Apparently, the drain arm, to the tee directing to the vent and the drain to the sewer was so obstructed and impacted, the blockage was able to hold a 9-foot column of water as we hydro-scrubbed the line. Years of build up overflowed in black streams of water. However, when the water began flowing clear, there was something else; Egg shells! Notice, in the picture, on the side of the pipe. You will see a small fragment of egg shell sticking to the side of the vent pipe.

People often grind egg shells in their garbage disposals, believing it will clean the disposal. The result is, the fragments of shell lodge in a section of pipe. Grease inadvertently introduced into the drain line, just by washing dishes adds to the blockage. Cables (drain cleaning snakes) usually will not clear this type of blockage. It must be broken up and flushed out of the drain in the back wash from the hydro-scrubbing.