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Kitchen drain parts and issues

smitch's picture

Kitchen drain parts and issues (post #207172)

 My kitchen sink drain (with disposer) backed up after I tried grinding a grapefruit half. I plunged vigorously but then found the plastic  trap that I'd installed below and attached to the metal part to a metal floor tube was leaking badly. I went to Home Depot and they gave me a plastic drain kit, that had a plastic floor tube and a rubber like coupling made by Fernco. They told me to cut the pipe going to the floor, pour drain cleaner into it, snake it,  and install the Fernco then the plastic floor  tube. I'm guessing the Fernco coupling is supposed to connect to 1 1/2 chrome tubing. This doesn't look like a good way to go because the existing floor tubing connects to what looks like a chrome coupling with two nuts on it (apparently) and it connects to copper pipe that has outside diameter 1 5/8 inch, not even 1 1/2. The coupling that's on there looks like it may be in bad shape with corrosion but can't really tell if it's just covered with stuff that has dripped onto it. So I figured the right move is to cut below this coupling and connect direct to the copper. This is where I need the help. Also, there's  a floor to the space in the cabinetry so can these rubber couplings be placed below? The floor will be easily removable once I'm done.

I wouldn't think I should use drain cleaner with the snake. I would then be removing the snake with drain cleaner on it (dangerous it would seem) and maybe snaking it would be enough?

One important thing to (post #207172, reply #1 of 4)

One important thing to understand is that pipe is "sized" by it's "nominal" inside diameter.  A 1-1/2" pipe will be 1-5/8 to 1-3/4" in outside diameter.  (And in some cases the inside diameter will be larger than then "nominal" diameter as well.)

It's hard to guess what arrangement you have -- there are dozens of possible configurations -- but if you have threaded fittings you can undo rather than cutting the pipe then by all means use them.  (And it's not at all unusual for the sort of chrome fitting you describe to be covered with corrosion -- it's still very probably sound.)  The Fernco coupling is generally a good way to make the new connection, though, if the size is right.

I'd be leery of using drain cleaner before a snake too.  First, rapidly pour a couple of quarts of water down the drain to see if it's really that badly clogged.  If no signs of a clog I'd suspect the clog is in the trap (that you're presumably replacing).  If there is signs of a clog then SLOWLY pour two large (quart) bottles of hydrogen peroxide down the drain ("slowly" means over a period of 5-10 minutes).  Give it a half hour to work, then flush with water.  Then, if there's still a clog, use the snake.

(A picture of your current setup, posted here, would help.)


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Got your reply. In between I (post #207172, reply #2 of 4)

Got your reply. In between I felt leary of my pending "solution" direction so went back to the home stores and bought back a part this guy gave me earlier. It's an adapter that is 1 1/2  solder connection that goes on the 1 1/2 copper pipe coming up the floor, it has a screw thread at other side and takes the plastic washer and plastic nut that comes with the usual 1 1/2 plastic drain J bend and pipe to the floor. This looks like the "right" solution really. At least that is my feeling right now. I don't know if I've been clear enough or if you're familiar with the part I described. I've already tried the snake earlier and gone the full 25 ft so I'm guessing what I felt like a blockage it passed through. I also gingerly snaked the port out the disposer and the snake went clean to the inside of it. There was nothing that I found stuck in the removed J bend and other parts of the drain. I'll try pouring some water down the drain as you suggested and see what happens. Then peroxide if needed.  Any other comments of course will be welcome. Thanks very much.

If you feel confident to (post #207172, reply #3 of 4)

If you feel confident to solder the adapter onto the existing copper pipe, that's a good fix, If not, a right-size Fernco coupling is also good.

Soldered on the adapter and (post #207172, reply #4 of 4)

Soldered on the adapter and all seems to be secure. No leaks. I had a bad clog in the disposer, it turned out not to be the drain. Once the leak in the drain  was fixed, I guess I got a better plunge - took a bit but the clog loosened. Still no leaks. So I think I ended up with the best fix. I tried Fernco coupling but they seemed very loose and I didn't trust it. One I had was 1 1/2 to 1 1/4 but I really wasn't positive that one was made to connect the larger copper to 1 1/2 plastic. So I just went with the correct copper adapter. Thanks for the replies here.