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Old 08-12-2015, 12:07 AM   #1
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Glug glug!

23 years of fulltiming and now, for the first time ever, there seems to be a clog in the kitchen sink lines in the MH. They drain but much more slowly than they should. There's no problem at all in the commode, the bathroom sink or the tub. Both of the kitchen sinks, however, have become problematic. Is it safe to use a small plunger in RV plumbing? I hate to resort to chemicals. On the other hand, I have visions of blowing out the pipes if I put that kind of pressure on them. Help, please.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:24 AM   #2
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Most of the rigs use plastic for the drain lines so they might take some pressure. Chemicals should work and not harm anything as, again, the drains are plastic. But in the 50+ years I've been RV'ing I've never had a drain backup either so I have no actual experience.
Did someone pour the fat from cooking down the drain?
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:34 AM   #3
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BevRedmond,.... What you probably have is years of slowly accumulated grease and crud finally slowing the flow. Chemicals or a plunger might provide a bit of a solution, but the only real way to clean the pipes is to disassemble and really clean them. Yucky, but this is one of those things where you do it right, or you do it again.

It's really pretty easy. The immediate plumbing under your kitchen sink is likely all plastic with threaded collar joints. Just unscrew the collar and the joints will come apart easily. You may have to use a large pliers, but many collars come off easily by hand.

(clear all the stuff out from under your sink, and put a plastic dish tub there to catch most of the water that will escape.)

Note that the drain from one side will run over and join the other, then that resulting single drain will go through a trap and exit the cabinet. When you reassemble the pipes, be sure you have a very slight downhill pitch in that drain from the side sink to where it joins the other (1/4" is enough). Otherwise that short section will not drain fully, and fat and scum will build up quickly.


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Old 08-12-2015, 01:45 AM   #4
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Helping Hands 10000 Zip It Drain Clog Tool - Walmart.com

I've seen them cheaper but this should help you out.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Most of the rigs use plastic for the drain lines so they might take some pressure. Chemicals should work and not harm anything as, again, the drains are plastic. But in the 50+ years I've been RV'ing I've never had a drain backup either so I have no actual experience.
Did someone pour the fat from cooking down the drain?
I'm careful not to pour anything down the drains that shouldn't be there, and the only other occupant of the rig is Husband, so I'd have to believe that no fat has been poured down it on our watch. We did buy the rig used, however (it's 15 years old), so I don't know about what was put down there by the previous owner.
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFXG View Post
BevRedmond,.... What you probably have is years of slowly accumulated grease and crud finally slowing the flow. Chemicals or a plunger might provide a bit of a solution, but the only real way to clean the pipes is to disassemble and really clean them. Yucky, but this is one of those things where you do it right, or you do it again.

It's really pretty easy. The immediate plumbing under your kitchen sink is likely all plastic with threaded collar joints. Just unscrew the collar and the joints will come apart easily. You may have to use a large pliers, but many collars come off easily by hand.

(clear all the stuff out from under your sink, and put a plastic dish tub there to catch most of the water that will escape.)

Note that the drain from one side will run over and join the other, then that resulting single drain will go through a trap and exit the cabinet. When you reassemble the pipes, be sure you have a very slight downhill pitch in that drain from the side sink to where it joins the other (1/4" is enough). Otherwise that short section will not drain fully, and fat and scum will build up quickly.


John & Diane, fulltiming since '12
'02 DS 40, FL, 3126, '04 Element
As I explained to Mr D above, we've been careful about what goes down the sink since we bought the (15 year old) rig less than a year ago, but I have no way of knowing about the previous owner's habits.

I'll show your suggestion to Husband and let him decide if he wants to tackle the job you've outlined. He's my in-house handyman, so I usually defer to him in these matters. If I don't feel comfortable tackling it myself, I just toss the question out to folks who know and then turn the answers over to him. I'm not nearly as self-confident about things like this as I used to be. I'm old. And blonde. An old blonde. Dangerous!
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:10 AM   #7
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Helping Hands 10000 Zip It Drain Clog Tool - Walmart.com

I've seen them cheaper but this should help you out.
Looks like this might be a good answer to the problem. I like that it doesn't put pressure on the plumbing! Thank you.
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:22 AM   #8
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One thought not mentioned so far, on my coach the kitchen is located on a slide. That means the sink drain lines are flexible plastic lines. Could there be a large pot under the sink squashing the drain line, or maybe the line is getting pinched when the room goes in or out?
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:10 AM   #9
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First try hot water, boiling, maybe two to five gallons all at one time. If it's grease that should do the trick. If not then the trap is next, not a bad job and then a snake.

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Old 08-12-2015, 11:49 AM   #10
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Something to check that I have not seen suggested so far is to see if you have an Air Admittance Valve under the kitchen sink. These valves are known to fail either closed so no air can get in and sink drains slow or open then you get smells in the RV. Shop Keeney Mfg. Co. 1-1/2-in Plastic Mechanical Plumbing Air Admittance Vent at Lowes.com
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:57 AM   #11
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All good ideas, but maybe the simplest is to take the trap off. In my experience, that is where a majority of clogs occur. Very simple to remove. Maybe a bit messy. This way you will know if the clog is there or downstream. If it is downstream, then a snake may be called for. Still not hard. The title was glug, glug - if you get gurgling, then it is likely a vent issue. Good luck and please let us know the eventual remedy.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:20 AM   #12
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Best advice is to start by removing trap.Sometimes small things get caught in trap catching other small things and blocking the drain.Pouring boiling water will melt fat if that is the problem.But then the fat will recongeal in the tank causing other problems.
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