This is a question that’s been asked quite a few times but every sink seems a little different. I just moved into a house and within 2 days of moving in the kitchen sink stopped draining… I’ve plunged it aggressively, I’ve done the warm water, I’ve used baking soda, all nothing. The P trap is clear, the pipe all the way to the wall is clear.
I’ve had a lot of trouble getting the snake around the turn at the back of the cabinet (I know it much be a turn because the back of our house is behind the cabinet).
From timing how long the sink takes to back up, it seems like it’s clogging with a relatively small volume of water that shouldn’t be much beyond the pipe junction at the back of the cabinet. I’m just confused as to what I could’ve done to clog the sink literally within days of moving in.
There’s no garbage disposal so we’ve been actively not putting things down the sink.

What can I do? Keep trying to clear it? See if our roof vents are clear?

This house just has a lot of things that were done kind of shoddy on it, so I’m trying to see if there’s a bigger issue that could’ve caused a clog so quickly. It’s a 1953 house and I know from the inspection that whoever switched out the original galvanized pipes made some basic mistakes- such as with regards to proper grade (we had a sewer scope/inspection done on everything below the crawl space access, and they’re things that shouldn’t be a huge issue but were just dumb).

I’ve pictures but there’s a section of pipe at the back of the sink that’s closed off. I originally thought it was cleanout access based on what I’ve seen online, but it’s definitely been glued shut? So I think potentially a section of the old galvanized pipe that was replaced?

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  • Is the abs plug screwed into galv pipe or female abs thread? I just had my plumber cut out a section of gavl pipe almost identical to this for a blockage as a rust dam had formed which I couldn't snake through. how far does your snake go? maybe get a piece of rebar and try to ram it into the horizontal section of pipe if you aren't getting very far - next time I hit a potential rust dam I am going to try ramming something to clear it. Oct 20, 2023 at 21:19
  • This vaguely sounds like something that could be a venting issue -- where the pipes aren't blocked, but the vent is blocked/wrong/missing, and the water trying to drain is getting hung up on trapped air past it in the pipes. Oct 21, 2023 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


The cap in the picture looks to be ABS plastic. The white stuff is not glue but sealer.

I would try to unscrew the cap and see if you can get the snake through there.

Beware and be prepared for some water to come out. If the cap was sealed, (and it looks as if it was sealed recently) There is a good chance that this issue has been ongoing and the previous owner sealed the cap to prevent water from seeping out.

If you can't snake through the cleanout, perhaps through the vent if there is one through the roof above the sink.

If that all fails, it's time to call a plumber.

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