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PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
AGE of PLUMBING MATERIALS & FIXTURES
AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEWER LINE
BLOCKED DRAIN REPAIR METHODS
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHECK VALVES, WATER SUPPLY
CHLORINE IN SEPTIC WASTEWATER
CLEANOUTS, PLUMBING DRAIN
CLOGGED DRAIN DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, DIAGNOSIS
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, REPAIR
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, HOT WATER
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CROSS CONNECTIONS, PLUMBING
DEBRIS in WATER SUPPLY, Water Heater
DEPTH of DRAIN & SEWER PIPES
DEPTH of SEPTIC TANK
DRAIN & SEWER PIPING
DRAIN LINE DEPTH
DRAIN a WATER HEATER TANK
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLOODED SEPTIC SYSTEMS, REPAIR
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FLOOR DRAIN / TRAP ODORS
FLUSHOMETER VALVES for TOILETS URINALS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GALVANIZED STEEL PIPING
HARD WATER - SOFTENERS
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENTS
NOISE CONTROL for PLUMBING
NOISE, PLUMBING DRAIN DIAGNOSIS
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NOISE, PLUMBING CHECKLIST
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS IN WATER
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ODORS SEWER GAS in COLD WEATHER
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OUTHOUSES & LATRINES
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PLUMBING VENT DEFINITIONS & CODES
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PUMPS, WATER REPAIR
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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEWER BACKUP PREVENTION
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SEWAGE CONTAMINANTS in FRUIT / VEGETABLES
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SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
SUMP PUMPS GUIDE
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
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WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
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WELL PUMP PRIMING PROCEDURE
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Clogged building drain repair using a kinetic water ram or pneumatic drain cleaner: this article explains step by step how to use our favorite drain de-clogger: a kinetic water ram pneumatic tool (rent or buy) to un-block a clogged drain. This is a section of CLOGGED DRAIN DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR, our complete article that explains explains how to investigate slow or blocked drains and septic system backups to distinguish between a probable septic system failure versus a probable blocked building drain. When a building drain is clogged or slow, or when there is a septic system backup, it's important to determine where the problem lies, since the repair steps can be quite different and costs can vary widely.
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How to use a kinetic water ram to clear a blocked drain: a kinetic water ram can be effective in clearing blocked drains and can be rented from your local "rent-all" store.
A "Kinetic Water Ram™" [link to buy at Amazon.com] pump uses compressed air to clear clogged building drains is also available. After renting a kinetic water ram drain cleaning tool to clear clogged drains several times we bought one and used it for many years. [You can buy a Kinetic Water Ram but you can also rent one at many tool rental centers.]
We were impressed with the quality and strength of our kinetic water ram drain cleaner. A simple mechanical pump compresses air in a cylinder. A rubber fitting is attached to an outlet end of the cylinder and held in place over a clogged drain. When the pump's trigger is pulled the ram releases its air in a bang that tries to blow loose obstructions in drain pipes.
The kinetic water ram drain clearing device can unblock some types of clogged drains even when the clog is distant provided you can assure that the drainpipe is full of water when the equipment is used.
We rented and eventually purchased this sine-qua-non of mechanical drain openers, the Kinetic Water Ram™ [available to buy on Amazon.com] - a pump device that will usually blow-out clogs, even remote clogs, in building drains. The Kinetic Water Ram includes a stainless steel air pump and rubber fittings that match the business end of the ram to a building sink, tub, toilet, or other drain.
At BLOCKED DRAIN REPAIR METHODS we discuss traditional blocked or slow plumbing drain methods: taking apart the plumbing trap, using a drain cleaner chemical, using a toilet plunger (old faithful works pretty well), and using a plumbing snake (sometimes).
Also see CLOGGED DRAIN DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR where we include blocked drain diagnosis, and see SEWER GAS ODORS and Sewer Line Replacement diagnosing a clogged drain leads to drain line replacement - step by step photo-illustrated guide to drain replacement, and our main septic systems diagnosis & repair page: The Septic Information Website
Our kinetic water ram kit came in a steel orange box that included a collection of rubber fittings to let us use the tool with almost any drain opening size or shape. A few of these fittings are shown in our photos above. We have jammed our pony pump and washing machine hoses into this same carrier case but those have nothing to do with using a kinetic water ram to clear a drain. They just spend time together.
Steps in Using the Kinetic Water Ram to Clear a Blocked Drain
You can rent a Kinetic Water Ram at many consumer rental centers. To use the Kinetic Water Ram effectively you may need to
Inspect to be sure that the plumbing trap for the fixture is secure and not corroded so you won't blow it off of the fixture.
When deciding how much air pressure to pump-to we recommend starting gently, and never use higher air pressure than is needed to clear the drain. Below you'll read why this we give this advice.
Special Tips for Using a Kinetic Water Ram on a Bath Tub with an Overflow Drain
Don't Use Higher Pressure than Needed with a Kinetic Water Ram
Watch out: be careful not to pump your kinetic water ram drain opener to a pressure higher than necessary. You can get quite a splash in the face when you fire off the ram if you're not careful.
Worse, in our dentist's office where a chronic clogged drain was later traced to mineral and rust-blocked galvanized drain piping, not only was the kinetic water ram drain clearer useless, in our enthusiasm we blew the trap right off of her bathroom sink. An elated moment of "we fixed the blockage" was followed by an "Oh S***" as the sink full of nasty water flowed out of the vanity base and across the floor of the dental office bathroom.
Keep in mind that the Kinetic Water Ram, nor any other product, plumbing snake, etc. is going to be effective if the cause of your slow or blocked drain is mineral or other hard build-up has lined the drain pipe interior.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about about unblocking clogged drains using a kinetic water ram tool
Question: How do I Use a Kinetic Water Ram in a Double Sink?
Very helpful and detailed information regarding clogged drains. I plan to rent the Kinetic Water Ram (if Home Depot carries it)you tried out successfully but one issue that was not mentioned in your report. I have the double sink in the kitchen and live alone. I have not been able to successfully plug the 2nd sink drain so I can get full pressure when plunging. Using a plunger, the water keeps coming up the 2nd drain no matter how much weight I put on the plug. The water pressure keeps forcing it to unplug.
Any suggestions? Thank you in advance for your suggestions and quality information. - Lori
Reply: tips for plugging the second sink drain opening in a double sink when de-clogging a drain
You can rent a Kinetic Water Ram at typical tool rental centers and perhaps at some Home Depot stores.
Use an adjustable rubber sink drain opening plug: If the water ram tool set is complete, it includes a set of adjustable rubber plugs that can be used to plug nearby drain openings. These plugs work by using a pair of metal washers on the plug top and bottom and a wing nut. Insert the rubber plug into the drain opening of the higher of the two double sinks and tighten the wing nut to snug the plug in the opening.
If your kinetic water ram does not include a rubber plug that will fit and seal the second sink drain in your double sink, such plugs can be purchased at a plumbing supply store.
Then you can run water into the lower sink and fire the kinetic water ram to unblock the drain clog. You might want an assistant to help out by continually pressing down on this second drain plug when you fire the kinetic water ram declogger.
Try a wet rag as a drain plug: But before buying the rubber drain plug try having an assistant simply ball up a wet cloth and using their fist, lean down on the cloth in the second sink drain opening while you place water in the clogged sink and fire the kinetic water ram.
Watch out to hold the wet rag plug tightly, and don't try this operation while wearing dress clothes.
Watch out: for getting splashed (or splashing your assistant) when you fire the water ram. If you are not holding the water ramp and its end-fitting snugly into the drain opening, or if your accomplice is not holding the wet rag snugly in the second drain opening of the double sink, you both may be wet by splash-back. That's what happened to me the first time I tried using this tool.
Watch out: A splash-back from a clogged drain can be more than messy. If someone has previously tried pouring a drain de-clogging chemical down the drain, being splashed, especially in the face and eyes, with a chemical could be very dangerous.
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