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Clogged Drain Pipe

rosaliedipietro2 Member Posts: 16
I manage a four family building. Two apartments on the first floor, 2 on the second. Today, the second floor rear tenant called about a backed up kitchen sink that was also backing up into the bathroom sink. The bathroom and kitchen share a wall.

I call a local drain cleaner. He manages to clear the line using a snake and air pressure. As he opened the faucet to test the draining for several minutes, the downstairs tenant calls me frantically that his bathroom sink and tub were overflowing with sewage.

Seems like the clog from the 2nd floor was pushed down to the first floor.

The drain guy snakes the bath tub and the bathroom sink and nothing is moving. We go to the basement. The front trap/cleanout was flowing normally. The back trap showed no signs of backup.

Now it's a mystery....where is this clog and what is this clog? This is not the first drain clog in building as we have had many. However, in the past, the line was cleared easilty and everything flowed normally.

Who do I call now...another drain cleaner? a plumber?

Help!!! The two back tenants cannot use their bathroom sinks/tubs and one cannot use the kitchen sink. And of course, it's Saturday night of a three-day weekend.

BTW this is a 103 year old building in Brooklyn, NY


  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,250
    Sorry for your troubles Pal.  I would try a good 24/7 Sewer and Drain Outfit like Citywide Sewer and drain. They have 100 trucks and good techs and the prowl the 5 boros and Long Island All night long. The are based out of Carle Place Long Island. Look em up and call.  Mad Dog
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,250
    What you have is likely close to 103 years of kitchen sink grease, hair, muck, mop strings and splooge that has built up like a clogged artery over the years and you need angio-plasty!  Dislodged clogs CAN migrate.  A good sewer cleaning pro can use of their many snakes and tricks to get the clog...usually without cutting in ti the pipes.  If that don't work you meant need a real plumber to cut out the bad section and snake it again. If they do try to have them leave a clean out wye or tee for easy future access. Good luck. Mad Dog 🐕 
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,600
    A camera snake is invaluable in a situation like this.
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,186
    edited January 2023
    One solution would be to push a water jet rodder through the vent stack on the roof to clear the clog.

    They should run the camera down through the vent stack on the roof to find the blockage and they can use a high pressure water jet nozzle or the correct size drain blockage cutter with the heavy steel coil sections.

    I have found the drain flusher from peterson products work very well to clear clogs.

    All you need to do is hook it up to a garden hose attached to a hot water faucet and insert the bag as far as it will go and turn the hot water on and wait and it will force and flush the clogs out.


    Go to the local lowes or a plumbing supply place and you should be able to buy a peterson drain flusher with the canvas bag body.

    If you do not have a garden hose adapter for a standard sink faucet you will need one unless you have a hot water faucet in a nearby laundry or slop sink with a boiler drain connection thread.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,480
    I second the need to run a camera down the line, all the way to the street, actually.
    Kitchen drains may need a jetter, as the grease sludge can just get pushed down the line with just a cable
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream