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74 votes
Accepted

Good way to remove something from a bathroom sink overflow drain?

I'd be going at it with a strongest vacuum you can come up with. Maybe put a nylon stocking over the end of the hose so the earring doesn't get damaged flying down the pipe.
isherwood's user avatar
  • 140k
52 votes

How can I refill the toilet after the water has evaporated from disuse?

Given that evaporated toilet bowl (pan) water leads to sewer gas in the house, just dump a bucket or two of water in there as your first step. There's no wrong way to do that, nothing to damage by ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
40 votes

Is it safe to flush newspaper down the toilet?

No, that would not be safe. If you want to use something other than regular tissue (like paper towels), you would need to dispose of it in the wastebasket. Toilet paper is made to fall apart ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
  • 28k
36 votes

How can I refill the toilet after the water has evaporated from disuse?

Somewhat related: it's close to impossible that a whole, covered, tank of water (10 liters or so?) evaporated within a period measured in weeks. Even if you live in the desert and the toilet is in ...
Borgh's user avatar
  • 526
33 votes

Attempt to locate buried sewer line with melted snow?

I doubt that you could get enough heat into the sewer line to melt the snow on the surface. Even if it did, that would only give you a vague idea where the pipe run is, though it would be more ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.4k
32 votes

What can cause a never-frozen indoor copper drain pipe to crack?

I would inspect the entire property for more such pipe and replace any that was found. That's almost certainly a manufacturing defect and likely to be pending failure wherever that batch of pipe was ...
Brock Adams's user avatar
  • 2,872
31 votes

Is it safe to have a drain in the floor out to the septic tank with no trap?

There may be a trap but if no water was put in it won't stop the smells. Contractors sometimes forget to add water to floor drains. The water will also eventually evaporate from the trap if there is ...
George's user avatar
  • 411
30 votes

Can I temporarily cap off a PVC drain line without solvent (during a reno)?

A baggy and a rubber band should work.
Steve Wellens's user avatar
29 votes

Is it safe to flush newspaper down the toilet?

Newspaper is actually one of the worst types of paper materials to use for flushing. One of the things not mentioned is the gummyness of newspaper. When newspaper gets wet it sticks to more ...
DMoore's user avatar
  • 49.2k
27 votes
Accepted

Why would a P-Trap be required before an air gap for a refrigerator drain?

It's preventing air movement through the drain pipe. Without it, cold air from the refrigerated space will constantly flow out the pipe, and warm air from outside will constantly leak in - wasting ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
26 votes
Accepted

How can I temporarily repair a lengthwise crack in an ABS drain pipe?

Tape it. You are not proposing this kludge as a permanent fix. That's good. The wrap-tape products are good for an emergency bodge, and that's what you are proposing, on a temporary basis. The problem ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
25 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to have a drain in the floor out to the septic tank with no trap?

NO NO NO. It's not safe. Your plumber was completely incompetent or negligent to do that. It definitely needs a trap. I would make him fix it.
George Anderson's user avatar
25 votes

Can I temporarily cap off a PVC drain line without solvent (during a reno)?

Oatey makes a number of "Gripper" plugs for many sizes of pipe and fittings. I have seen them available in big-box stores. There is a gasket and a screw you turn to tighten the plug into the ...
SpikedCola's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Where to drain pool water

The pipe won't wear out from 20,000 gallons of water, or 2,000,000 gallons, if that's what you're asking. It may take as much as 3 weeks to pump out, though, since you can't exceed the gravity flow ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
23 votes

How do I open this sink trap?

That bottom piece should unscrew by turning it counter clockwise. They usually come with a tool to unscrew it. You can use a steel washer and a pair of pliers or a large screwdriver. You don't want to ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 82.1k
23 votes

Is it safe to have a drain in the floor out to the septic tank with no trap?

A water heater drain should never drain to a septic tank. One purpose of the drain is to reduce or eliminate water damage to your home in case the tank leaks. However, if the tank develops a fast ...
Jeff Wheeler's user avatar
  • 3,382
22 votes

Can anyone tell me what kind of drain this is?

That is a bone stock "bell-trap" floor drain. They are illegal for interior use under the IPC (at least) since the trap weir depth is perhaps 1/2 an inch or so; well below the minimum 2"...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
22 votes

How do I open this sink trap?

Apparently it is called a bottle trap. To clean it in-place Use a large coin to unscrew this part: Here is a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_sUB9PlTw8 To remove it: Unscrew this part to ...
guess's user avatar
  • 221
22 votes
Accepted

French Drain: Why do I need 3" of rock bedding beneath the pipe?

If you put the pipe right on the fabric, you'll end up filtering the inflow through the 1/2" circles of fabric pressed up against the holes in the pipe, as opposed to filtering through all the ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
21 votes

How do I handle a piece of wax from a toilet ring falling into the drain?

Assuming anything like a normal, to code, plumbing install: Unlikely to be a problem. Per (IBC) code: Toilets are installed on a 3" pipe, minimum. Drain pipe sizes stay the same or get larger in ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
21 votes
Accepted

Is my fast-draining, gurgling sink the cause of sewer smells?

It's folded back as drawn, but that's an S trap, not a P trap. A P trap would enter the wall at about the same level (1/4" per foot lower - 2% slope) as the top of the trap. When you bend the ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
21 votes
Accepted

Can I temporarily cap off a PVC drain line without solvent (during a reno)?

Yes. DWV pipe caps fit quite snugly, without glue, and will not pass any detectable amount of vent gases. You had better be sure that those drain lines will never be subject to filling with waste ...
kreemoweet's user avatar
  • 3,620
20 votes
Accepted

Strange suction in toilet and sink, like a vacuum in the sewer pulling the water out

Even if someone was "working on the sewer lines with a vacuum" properly sized and functional vents would keep the traps from siphoning. So, you have vents which are not functioning as they ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
20 votes
Accepted

Can't re-attach bathroom sink drain pipe

Time to cut your losses... As little as a new P-trap assembly costs, it might just be worth going to pick one up and replacing everything here. As noted elsewhere, the metal nuts will chew up the ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.4k
18 votes

What is this mysterious pipe in my back yard?

This could be part of a larger yard drainage system. It could let water from the screened end of the pipe drain out into some buried drain field. It could also drain onto a deep buried french drain ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65.1k
18 votes

What can cause a never-frozen indoor copper drain pipe to crack?

Copper does erode over time through mechanical wear and chemical corrosion. My guess is that it simply got thin enough that thermal stresses popped the weld (or the extrusion resulted in a thin side, ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 140k
18 votes
Accepted

Under sink has cylindrical fixture instead of J-pipe, what is it and how to clear it out?

That is a drum trap. [Evidently also called a bottle trap in some parts of the world, per comments] They are rather old school, and out of favor in code now. I'm more used to finding them embedded in ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
18 votes

Can't re-attach bathroom sink drain pipe

First off, it's a bad idea to use metal slip-joint nuts on plastic drain parts which most certainly didn't come with metal nuts. Slip-joint nuts are not all the same, and are not necessarily ...
kreemoweet's user avatar
  • 3,620
18 votes

How do I fix my bathtub drain plug that's not working?

As a renter, I'd strongly suggest that a basic generic rubber bath plug (the kind you have to put in place and remove manually) is your best bet. It will work. It will cost much less than a Grohe ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
17 votes

French Drain: Why do I need 3" of rock bedding beneath the pipe?

The water will still flow through the rocks with the pipe assuming your ditch slopes as well. If any sediment makes its way through or around the fabric, the extra 3" will help prevent the ...
rtaft's user avatar
  • 813

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