Soap scum buildup inside waste line

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Old 01-24-21, 06:57 AM
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Soap scum buildup inside waste line

I cut into my waste line yesterday to do some rework in the basement and found the main waste line has a Pretty heavy buildup of what i believe is soap scum. The house is only about 2 years old and is a PVC system. Also i am on a septic system with a leach field.

What is the best way to clean pipes/get rid of the buildup? Ive read Different combinations of baking soda/vinegar/boiling water/ammonia but not sure I agree with a lot of it. Anybody know what really works, and is also safe for plumbing and septic?

 
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Old 01-24-21, 07:24 AM
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I'd be surprised too to see a buildup in a 3" or 4" pvc pipe. Could it be grease? Does anyone in the fam dump grease down the kitchen sink? Is there a 1/4" slope of the pipe where you cut into it?

I know there are some enzyme products that folks here recommend - I'll let them make the recommendation as I've never used them.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 07:35 AM
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Since the pipe is now open, I would ream it out and then put in a flexible or removable coupling (I assume this is an exposed waste line). Then make sure no debris such as oil or greases, or viscous type of material is ever poured down the drain. And yes use an enzyme type of product. There is a new (to me) one called GREEN GOBBLER. Suppose to be very good.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for the responses. Yes pipe is pitched. Actually where i cut into it was the vertical stack part. And no its no longer open, all hard tied back together. We do not dump grease down the drain but maybe the previous owners did, not sure. Keep the suggestions coming. What is enzyme bAsed and why should i use it.

Also i should add, this is a buildup but not a clog. I looked into the Green Gobbler. How does this or something similar work when being poured down the drain. Seems like it would just pass by the scum and not remove anything.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 08:19 AM
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Seems like it would just pass by the scum and not remove anything.
That my friend is the biggest scam about chemical drain openers. And if a clog with standing water is present, if and when drain cleaner gets to the clog it's diluted and won't do anything.
And you are correct it won't help in this case. But enzyme chemicals for septic tanks are good. Rid-X being the most popular. Is it possible to open that section up again and ream it out?
 
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Old 01-24-21, 01:38 PM
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Id rather not open it back up. I do have an upstream cleanout which would be the place to do it but no snake. I found this liquid stuff by Zep called Drain Defense, claims its a buildup remover and is enzyme based. Also found something called Septic Defense, also by Zep, also enzyme based this one is little packets, you drop one in the toilet, let it dissolve and flush it. The liquid drain build up remover says to pour 1 oz down the sink and run the hot water. Was thinking of giving both a try, at the same time. Thoughts?

Also -- If i was to start reaming -- im worried that could actually cause a clog if enough of it broke free and built up in a section of pipe, especially a fitting.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 02:01 PM
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I have a similar situation with one of four bath sinks in my 30 year old house. I have to disassemble the drain pipes about once a year to clean the scum. Its the sink where I shave and I believe the buildup is the foam shaving cream I use.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 03:30 PM
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a Pretty heavy buildup of what i believe is soap scum
Just doesn't sound right. A 2 year old house, with a layer (on a vertical pipe???) of soap scum.

I have opened up my plumbing, horizontal lines, after 10 years, with 4 people and heavy shower use, and never found anything other than some residual crud, nothing resembling blockage!

What does "heavy blockage" mean? I'm going to take a stab at this and say, it's not soap, something else!!
 
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Old 01-24-21, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
a Pretty heavy buildup of what i believe is soap scum
Just doesn't sound right. A 2 year old house, with a layer (on a vertical pipe???) of soap scum.

I have opened up my plumbing, horizontal lines, after 10 years, with 4 people and heavy shower use, and never found anything other than some residual crud, nothing resembling blockage!

What does "heavy blockage" mean? I'm going to take a stab at this and say, it's not soap, something else!!
*buildup* not *blockage* - nothing is blocked. I still have the cut section of pipe since i just did it yesterday. Upon second inspection it isnt as bad as i previously thought. Although i used the phrase "heavy buildup" because i still believe it is heavy buildup for a two year old house. Maybe it is food grease, i'm not really sure. I decided to pull the trigger on the Zep products I mentioned above. One is a buildup remover and one is a tank treatment pack - both are an enzyme based cleaner and seem to be a slow acting maintenance type of product which i like. This is my first house on a septic system so i want to keep up with it. And Ill keep an eye on it. Thanks for all the responses guys

 
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Old 01-24-21, 05:49 PM
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Zep has a pretty good enzyme drain cleaner, just follow instructions. But, I prefer a powdered enzyme product. The one I use is the best I have ever found, it's called Plumb Clean. It isn't the cheapest, but I believe it to be the best.

https://www.plumbclean.ca/
 
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Old 01-25-21, 12:35 AM
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One is a buildup remover and one is a tank treatment pack
Snake oil, if your doing the right things, not putting grease or meats down the drain your septic tank/field doesn't need any kind of additive!

Pee, poop, white toilet paper, you system, pipes will live a long and happy life!
 
 

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