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plumbing06.htm Plumbing

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LOCATING AND CLEARING STOPPAGES IN WASTE LINES

A lot of your time as a plumber will be spent in clearing stoppages in waste lines. When trouble arises, you must perform the proper maintenance required to correct the trouble without damaging the system.

Locating a stoppage in a branch and main waste line

FIGURE 15.  BRANCH AND MAIN WASTE LINES
FIGURE 15. BRANCH AND MAIN WASTE LINES

  • If the lavatory has a stoppage and the water closet drains properly, the stoppage is in the lavatory's branch line.
  • If the water closet has a stoppage and the lavatory drains properly, the stoppage is in the water closet's branch line.
  • If the lower water closet has a stoppage and the lavatory and upper water closet drain properly, the stoppage is i the lower water closet in the branch line.
  • If all the fixtures have a stoppage, the stoppage is in the main line or possibly in the sewer line.

FIGURE 16.  BRANCH AND MAIN WASTE LINES
FIGURE 16. BRANCH AND MAIN WASTE LINES

 

Clearing a branch line stoppage in a lavatory/sink

FIGURE 17.  CLEARING A LAVATORY/SINK
FIGURE 17. CLEARING A LAVATORY/SINK

  1. Turn off the water supply at the shutoff valve.
  2. Remove the P-trap from the tall piece to the drain outlet at the wall.
  3. Push a drain snake into the drain outlet until resistance is met. Turn the drain snake in a clockwise direction pushing and pulling at the same time to clear the stoppage.
  4. Remove the snake and replace the P-trap.
  5. Turn on the water supply at the shutoff valves.
  6. Run water into the lavatory/sink to assure that the stoppage has been cleared.

 

Clearing a branch line stoppage in a water closet

FIGURE 18.  CLEARING A WATER CLOSET
FIGURE 18. CLEARING A WATER CLOSET

  1. Turn off the water supply at the shutoff valve.
  2. Push a drain snake into the water closet as far as it will go.
  3. Turn the drain snake in a clockwise direction pushing at the same time to clear the stoppage.
  4. Turn on the water supply at the shutoff valves.
  5. Flush the water closet to be sure that the stoppage has been cleared.

 

Clearing a main waste line stoppage

FIGURE 19.  CLEARING A MAIN WASTE LINE
FIGURE 19. CLEARING A MAIN WASTE LINE

  1. Locate the cleanout at the base of the soil stack.
  2. Remove the cleanout plug with a wrench.
  3. Push a heavy duty snake into the cleanout opening until resistance is met.
  4. Turn the snake in a clockwise direction pushing at the same time to clear the stoppage.
  5. Remove the snake and replace the cleanout plug.
  6. Run water into the main line to assure the stoppage has been cleared.

NOTE: For a sewer line stoppage, locate its cleanout and follow the same method as for a main waste line.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015