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I have a clogged outbound sewage pipe below my kitchen sink. Or rather - some distance away from below my kitchen sink. I have a kind of a plumbing auger, but - its head is a bit wide (maybe 1.5-2cm diameter), and it has no mechanism for spiraling, like a crank or a drill attachment etc.; and the sewage pipe takes one 90-degree angle and then hits a T-junction outside the building wall. I manage to "snake in" my auger about as far as the T-junction (I think), but no further - try as I might.

I tried unclogging using a chemical agent, but that has had almost no effect.

How would you deal with this situation?

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  • Do you have access to another auger? The rotational motion of the crank (drill-mounted) style will tend to help work it past obstacles like that.
    – gnicko
    Nov 25, 2022 at 15:22
  • @gnicko: Trying to, but I might end up having to call a professional for it. BTW, What do you think about this kind of a contraption? I can't get it right now, but, in principle - could that be good enough?
    – einpoklum
    Nov 25, 2022 at 15:24
  • I have used that type of "contraption" a few times. It works very well.
    – RMDman
    Nov 25, 2022 at 15:29
  • Yeah. Those work pretty good. See if you can find one with a shaft on the back to attach to a drill. The hard part about using one of those is the balancing act you have to do to make it work.
    – gnicko
    Nov 25, 2022 at 15:30
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    Do you have the drain plumbing mapped out? Is there not some other more convenient location you could run the auger from (possibly through the other branch of the T-junction you're having trouble with)?
    – brhans
    Nov 25, 2022 at 16:33

3 Answers 3

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This "answer" addresses my original problem, rather than my specific question about getting past the T-junction.

I got in touch with a professional plumber, to ask for a house call. I told him what I had tried, and he said: "Well, first, try using a plunger:

enter image description here

and call me only if that doesn't work."

Well, it worked like a charm. The inverse pressure somehow dislodged whatever it was that was clogging the pipe, far inside where I couldn't reach. There wasn't even any sewage spewing from my sink drain or anything. It was rather magical: After a few rounds of pushing and pulling the plunger, the water simply drained quickly out of the sink, and has been draining properly since.

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  • For what it's worth, I keep s small plunger around specifically for use on sinks, so I don't have to worry about when it was last disinfected. Though I've used the toilet plungers when I had to and just cleaned carefully afterwards.
    – keshlam
    Nov 28, 2022 at 23:11
  • Keep that plumber's number. He is honest and helpful. He could have come and charged you $200 just to use his plunger.
    – sqqqrly
    Mar 5 at 12:45
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it has no mechanism for spiraling, like a crank or a drill attachment etc.

That's the problem. The turning does, based on my observation, two things:

  • Bites into/breaks through the clog when it gets to it and helps scrape stuff off the inside of the pipe. The bigger machines have multiple tips available to deal better with different types of clogs (hair, grease, roots, etc.).
  • Helps move the snake along to get through the pipe, particularly traps and tees.

I am no expert on snaking, but I have managed to make it work most of the time (manual crank similar to (though probably a little larger) this one from a comment, drill attachment crank and once with a big rented machine). I've generally done very well with a manual crank or drill attachment (often one device can be used both ways, such as this Ridgid from Home Depot:

Ridgid snake

for sink and bathtub drains. Main drains generally require a bigger machine.

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I've never seen an auger that didn't come with some mechanism to turn it, even a small offset pipe with a thumb screw to clamp on to the auger. Get a new one at your home store. they have some pretty neat ones that are self contained and you just feed it into the drain turning the auger as you go.

Just saw your link... that kind of contraption works great. Many different brands out there.

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