We cut this pipe out of one of our customer’s homes Monday. This is a drain from a bathroom sink that is completely full of years of build-up. The house we were in was about 90 years old (built in the 1920’s) and this line is galvanized pipe threaded into a short radius cast iron 90. This is how the plumbing was installed back then. These lines will fill up with grease, dead skin, hair, toothpaste, food particles, etc. This build up will choke the pipe down and restrict the flow until your line backs-up. A cable can clear the line, but it is kind of like sticking your finger in a jar of jelly….your finger will make a hole, but once you pull it out gravity will ooze the jelly back over the hole you just made….same thing happens when you run a sewer cable through a line like this.
So…what is the solution to this problem? Well, there are a few. You can maintain your older lines through the use of drain maintenance products like Clean & Clear which breaks down the build-up in a pipe like this. BEST Plumbing also has small diameter water jetters that can blast this debris out of the line (be careful though…remember this pipe is over 90 years old), or you can chose to ignore it and wait until the line is beyond repair….cut the walls, floors, and ceilings open and replace the old lines like we did with this one. Not a pleasant solution but a needed one. BEST Plumbing also has small diameter sewer cameras that we can feed down smaller lines like this so we can see how bad of shape a line is in and give you the recommendations you need to make the BEST choice when it comes to your plumbing.