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It’s an old concrete laundry sink with a glued PVC p trap (I’m assuming) and it’s currently clogged. Snake isn’t hitting anything and isn’t making it through the p trap. It looks like there is a no hub coupling connecting trap to sink drain and then a flexible couple connecting the trap to another run of pvc.

Some photos for context: Pic 1 The sink. Pic 2 the sink close up (currently there is a 1/4” of water that is hard to see). Pic 3 the plumbing underneath.

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Couldn’t I just remove the trap by removing both couplings giving me lots of access to the potential clog? Then just reinstall with the same couplings?

FYI Total plumbing novice here just trying to avoid calling the plumber. Also…Age of all elements is unknown but definitely over 8 years old. Honestly could be 15-20 years. Worried about old couplings providing a seal when reinstalling due to being old and worn out.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions? Or be should I be prepared to replace some or all (or just call a plumber)?

Update: I’ve accepted the answer because I successfully removed everything with no problems. Haven’t reassembled but I don’t foresee any problems.

Here is how it looks: enter image description here

I snaked the pipe and pulled out what I think was a dryer sheet which hopefully was the probably.

There was no signs of lint built up at couplings. I couldn’t get the full length of the snake into the pipe but most likely that’s because it’s hitting the end of the line. Just in case I’m going to use a longer snake that has a bigger head(?) and if it doesn’t do any better I’ll put things back together and see if it drains.

I’m probably going to start another question but in case someone sees this and knows the answer they can comment.

The drain pipe going into the wall doesn’t look like it had much of a slope. Enough to drain obviously but should I go ahead ahead and increase it a bit? You can see in this photo of the interior of the p trap from the stains that water probably stands in there.

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  • Yes you can. Go for it Jul 29, 2023 at 8:18
  • That sink is way more than 20 yrs old. The metal sleeves on those coupling can be removed completely after backing off the clamp screws as far as they will go - that would make removal a little easier. The rubber tends to "stick" onto the pipe, but can be loosened by sliding a thin, blunt tool such as a butterknife between the two.
    – kreemoweet
    Jul 29, 2023 at 9:49
  • The drain plumbing is a lot newer than the sink. The couplings are virtually certain to be newer than the drain plumbing by approximately however long it took to clog up the first time after the drain was re-done in glued PVC.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 29, 2023 at 13:15
  • Oh the sink is original to the house. So it’s been around since the late 1930’s early 1940’s. It’s almost an antique. I was speaking of the pvc piping used for the drain line. It’s age could be 10-25 years or so. Maybe a few years newer.
    – Jethro
    Jul 29, 2023 at 16:38
  • A little success!! Last night I tried to snake the drain again. I am using a hand crank drain auger (I've just called them snakes). Probably 1/4" to 3/8 cable on it and 10 -15' long. Anyways I was successful in getting past the p trap and got the entire length of cable down it. I just realized I didn't mention that this hasn't been a total clog. if you wait long enough the water will eventually drain but it can take hours for just a small amount of water. Last night I filled it with a little water which was gone this morning. This morning it is draining just a bit quicker than last night.
    – Jethro
    Jul 29, 2023 at 19:24

1 Answer 1

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Loosen the couplings and yank. Looks like it was glued in, then it clogged, and was cut out and coupled back in place.

You can either replace with new couplings if you're terribly worried about them sealing, or you can wait and see if they fail to seal and replace them if and only if they don't seal, as you prefer. Either way is cheaper than a plumber.

Don't forget to cover (e.g. plastic bag and a rubber band) the exposed drain pipe except when you are snaking it to reduce sewer gas entry into the home with the trap off.

One possible source of clogging here, is if the previous person did not smooth the cut ends well (that are inside the couplings.)

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  • The clog is just a few days old. The sink is exclusively used for catching water from the washing machine and it has been doing that with no problems for the last 20 -30 years. Most likely the clog is from dryer lint. The dry vent ductwork was improperly installed a long time ago and was leaking lint all over the back wall and up in the ceiling joists. I have been cleaning the lint which probably only added more lint to what has built up over the years. So I don't think there is anything wrong with the install which occurred a long time ago.
    – Jethro
    Jul 29, 2023 at 17:21
  • Washer drain water also has lint in it. If the edges of the cut pipes were not well-smoothed, they may have been gradually collecting lint for the past 20-30 years, until the clog was completed a few days ago. It's a simple thing to check while you have it apart, before you put it together again.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 29, 2023 at 17:31
  • Absolutely washer drain water also has lint and it has detergent which can leave residue on the pipes. I think your right about a roughly cut pipe catching lint for years with the lint I added is what led to this. I have added some comments on here and right now the sink drains at an incredibly slow rate. I think maybe not one mass creating a clog but a number of clumps leaving only a sliver of space for water to drain. However, the snake has not cleared these clumps. So the problem could be further down the pipe where my short cable snake can't reach. I guess I'm removing the trap now to see.
    – Jethro
    Jul 29, 2023 at 19:52

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