Using bleach to disolve what's left in the drain

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Old 08-05-08, 05:40 AM
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Using bleach to disolve what's left in the drain

A 2nd floor kitchen drain clogged for a 2nd time in the almost 30 years I have lived here. The pipes are cast iron.
What was done the first time was to drill a hole in the 2 1/4" OD pipe in the basement (a vertical drop from the sink, except for one double 45 degree elbow) so a snake could work down and up. This was done by a plumber.
That did the trick as it lasted over 15 years untill 2 days ago. I did the same thing with the hole (that was taped up with duct tape) except it didn't work from just the basement. I did the same from the sink end, but it took a 2nd try with the aid of flushing water down at the same time.

I have a decent flushing sink drain (for now), but I want to flush out all the left over residue I fealt with my finger in that hole along the full length of the pipe. It was suggested to use a few gallons of bleach pouring it directly down the drain.

I did a search using "bleach", but got posts regarding only smell issues. Just knowing the pipe is still layered with that nice looking (and smelling) black paste the whole length is what I want to clear out to reduce this from happening sooner.

Two side questions;
'Acid' cleaners are only sold to plumbers, correct?
What is available to Joe Average are 'bases'?
 
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Old 08-05-08, 09:20 AM
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If your clog is mostly kitchen debris like grease I'd try an enzyme based drain cleaner which should eat the built up grease etc all the way to the pipe wall.Use as directed...it does take a sort of step by step process and some time.

If it's rust from the iron pipe that's a different story.I'm not sure any product would really help you very much.

Acid drain openers are regulated differently by locality etc.In my area you can buy it at hardware stores etc.You need to check local code.I doubt it would do much for you until you had another clog.It isn't that great for build ups....and is hazardous etc.

There are stong non acid products around that are pretty good but many are regional etc.Products like Drano etc are generally weaker and could be ok for maintaining a drain but not too great for hard clogs.

Forget the bleach.
 
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Old 08-05-08, 09:23 AM
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With an outside diameter of 2-1/4 inches I strongly suspect that what you have is NOT cast iron but is galvanized steel. No matter because there is nothing that will clean the pipe completely. Your best bet is replacement with plastic piping.
 
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Old 08-05-08, 09:40 AM
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I'd try an enzyme based drain cleaner which should eat the built up grease etc all the way to the pipe wall.
That isn't where the problem is. It is everything beyond and below that. 20' of vertical pipe.
Your best bet is replacement with plastic piping.
The only easy access is 6' in the basement. replacement isn't a option.
No matter because there is nothing that will clean the pipe completely.
I understand that. Anything I can get out is a improvement.
Forget the bleach.
Why? What's better?

Again, it is running ok, I just want to flush out what I didn't 'snake' out.
 
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Old 08-05-08, 11:57 AM
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It is possible that the pipe area you descibe does have a build up of biodegradeable matter and an enzyme product might help you.I do agree with the other poster that you may have steel pipe which means the biggest problem you have is rust build up from the inside.No drain cleaner will help you except acid and that too is just a maybe.what's going on is you're opening a hole in the middle of the rust and eventually it closes back up requiring another opening up.Bleach will have no effect on a situation like that.If you can't replace the pipe I suggest professional rodding out however if the steel is corroded beyond a certain point it will be too weak for that or acid.At some point replacement may be unavoidable.
 
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Old 08-06-08, 04:42 AM
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Ok, on the steel pipe. Being a 90 year old house, I assumed it was cast iron. The wall of the pipe is rather thin for cast iron I guess. Not having a cast iron pipe to compare, I wasn't sure.

When I 'probed' the inside of the pipe with my finger through that hole that was made 15 years ago, the inside of the pipe was coated with that 'gunk' big time.
I can't see how rust could form with that coating in place.

I dont' expect to clear out any possible rust (if there is any), but the "biodegradeable matter" is another matter. That is where the recomendation of the bleach came from instead of using drain cleaner.

Repeating one of my orginal questions/ assumptions:
'Acid' cleaners are only sold to plumbers, correct?
What is available to Joe Average are 'bases'?
 
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Old 08-06-08, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Repeating one of my orginal questions/ assumptions:
'Acid' cleaners are only sold to plumbers, correct?
What is available to Joe Average are 'bases'?
You will need to look into the code/rules in your area as to what is or is not available to nonlicensed users.In my area acid is sold in hardware stores etc to homeowners however it may be different in your area.I'd call up local hardware stores or plumbing supplies that sell to the public and ask them.As for other drain cleaners again it depends.There are brands that are very good products but not sold nationwide.In my area Drainstar is one and is the private branded equivilent to a drain opener once sold by the now defunct Servistar hardware stores and is an excellent product.When you call around ask them what they carry that is the best they have as an acid alternative.And don't let anyone sell you grocery store brands like Drano or Liquid Plumber as these are generally on the weaker side.
 
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Old 08-06-08, 09:07 AM
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The weaker ones (Draino & Liquid Plumber) are bases??
I really didn't want a 'acid'.

How about the 'bleach' suggestion (other than the one negitive here)??
 
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Old 08-07-08, 11:19 AM
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nu flo drain replacement

hello have you heard of NU FLO trenchless drain replacement
they can put a new sewer line under your house, no digging
check out this company. skeen plumbing in jackson mississippi. find out about it. see if available your area
you owe me big time i will take a cold coke
 
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Old 08-08-08, 04:13 AM
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How will that help my vertical drain pipe??

BTW, I have a 4-5" horizontal drain pipe, half the length of the house and running out to the street. I don't think I will ever need something like that. I also don't have a tree in the front yard.
 
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Old 08-08-08, 04:36 AM
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no the horiontal, only. sorry, i thought you had a MAIN line UNDER the house. you wanted replaced. neat system thou.
it would work for someone that wanted to replace, all the way to the crawl space
 
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