It doesn't take all that much for the drain to get backed up. We do OK by letting virtually no food particles down the sink, but invariably it backs up now and again, particularly when we're hosting. The only way to unclog it seems to be to use an outdoor clean-out in conjunction with a ~50 foot snake.

The house was built in 1995 near Dallas, TX; the kitchen is on the first floor and there's no basement.

Are there any good options here? Could an endoscope reveal anything useful? If it is the wrong kind of junction and I wanted to attempt a repair, how would I even find where this particular junction is? (Presumably, I would need to bust up part of the foundation to repair it, which makes finding it trickier) Would it be easier to invest in some kind of super garbage disposal, e.g. one that shreds food particles more than just forcing them down the drain?

  • 1
    First, any drain with a garbage disposal is more likely to get plugged. Fats in completely ground foods will eventually block the line. Second, you describe a situation with insufficient slope, allowing wastes to settle. Perhaps a domestic waste water pump could help, but more likely, a new drain system would make a better permanent solution. Dec 31, 2018 at 1:09
  • I voted to close this out because any answers are just guesses as there isn't enough info about what is the "conjunction"... It could literally be anything from a bad plumbing job, to something going uphill, to wrong fittings, to putting too many potato skins down the drain.
    – DMoore
    Oct 21, 2021 at 17:05

3 Answers 3


If you want to find out whether there is anything special about the point where the clogs seem to happen, hire a plumber with the capability to run a special viewing camera through the drain. If a repair was judged to be necessary it is possible that it could be done by tunneling under the slab rather than breaking a hole in the slab.

But the easiest thing to do would be to dispense with the disposer. We did away with our disposer more than 25 years ago. We collect food scraps in a bag in a can (10 in diameter x 10 inch deep) on the counter top and put them in the garbage. Many people do this nowadays. The waste water treatment authorities discourage the use of disposers.


First try the old-fashioned (no cost) way. Boil up several large pots of water. Pour in the boiing water quickly, but pause and let drain fully between potfuls. It won't damage the pipes, and it's a good thing to do regularly with just 1 potful.

  • This works better if you cook pasta. Then after you pour boiling water, you get a snack.
    – DMoore
    Oct 21, 2021 at 17:06

you could just have a built up grease problem. pour a gallon of bleach down the kitchen sink, and follow it up with straight hot water for 5 minutes. I've never had a kitchen clog beat the bleach.

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