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Best chemical drain cleaner ?

Just found some Dambuster at my local Wolseley , £32.00 a liter , think its just sulphuric acid , still much cheaper than a rodding co if it works , what do you do , just chuck the lot down the pan ?
More or less, yes. Then you leave it (ideally overnight) so make sure everyone has done what they need to do and the washing up is up to date.

Top tip for all: Buy a BFO gallon/5 litre jug of white vinegar and bung a cup full down every plug hole and toilet about every 3 to 4 weeks at bedtime. The vinegar is a natural acid and will eat through most mild crap that builds up helping prevent future problems. The vinegar also acts as a de-scaler so if you have a limescale build up you can use it on that too. I soak a folded piece of paper kitchen towel with the stuff and then wrap the towel around the scaled object, pour a bit more on for good measure, leave for a good while and then either wipe off, or use someone elses an old toothbrush to scrub it away.
 
Be aware of what's going down the toilet. ........that the current mrs_mush had been putting kitchen towels down the loo when she had been cleaning in there.
I pointed out that toilet tissue is designed to break up and fragment upon contact with water, whereas kitchen roll is designed not to.
We have a cess pit. Yes, a cess pit - not a septic tank, but a hole in the ground full of rocks (I think!). Anyway, SWMBO has been well trained that NOTHING goes down the toilet that hasn't been eaten or drunk - toilet paper excluded. No cleaners, no acid, nada. When we do need to de-calc, I use just enough acid to get it clean. Washing machine water goes directly into the garden. Touch wood, system (and all my little biological bugs) are working fine.

If it's yellow, let it mellow.
If it's brown, flush it down!
 
We have a cess pit. Yes, a cess pit - not a septic tank, but a hole in the ground full of rocks (I think!). Anyway, SWMBO has been well trained that NOTHING goes down the toilet that hasn't been eaten or drunk - toilet paper excluded. No cleaners, no acid, nada. When we do need to de-calc, I use just enough acid to get it clean. Washing machine water goes directly into the garden. Touch wood, system (and all my little biological bugs) are working fine.

If it's yellow, let it mellow.
If it's brown, flush it down!

We have a few drain cleaners designed for just such bio-type systems over here. I think they are made from super concentrated citrus juice, one of natures own acids.
 
As per title , recently moved house and the bog/sink drains play up occasionally , bog came close to overflowing last night , short of having Dynajet out are there any good chemical solutions I can get off the shelf ? nothing that melts plastic! .
If it's an indoor blockage then caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is probably your best bet. It essentially converts fats into soap and will also have a good go at paper. Doesn't do much to limescale so if caustic soda doesn't work then an acid cleaner probably will. You can usually pick it up from places like Wilkinsons for a couple of quid. Perfectly safe to use on plastic and stainless steel but will eat aluminium in minutes.

Soda crystals aren't the same thing, they are either sodium hydrogen carbonate or sodium carbonate (depending on the shop and brand) and are sodium hydroxide's effeminate ginger cousin.

Some safety notes if you do go down this route:
Caustic soda comes as a white powder and won't burn your skin instantly as it needs moisture to do unpleasant things to people. This means you can get small amounts on your hands when opening the bottle without realising. Wash your hands with plenty of cold water, even if they look clean.

Don't under any circumstances let the stuff get in your eyes. If you do ignore point 1 above then the worst you'll get is an itchy rash and maybe a blister. Your eyes are moist and sodium hydroxide will convert them into soap. Using a plunger with this stuff about is also a bad idea.

It gets hot when added to water. Really hot and can potentially boil. Add the powder to a bucket of cold water slowly, stirring as you go. Then tip down drain, noting points about getting in eyes and on skin above. Leave for a couple of hours / overnight, then flush with LOTS of cold water.

If you are going to use an acid cleaner as well do not do so at the same time! Use one, flush with lots of cold water, then some more cold water to be sure, then the second cleaner. And for the love of god don't put bleach anywhere near an acid or you'll gas yourself with chlorine.
 
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Soda crystals are cheap as chips and available from supermarkets. They're also excellent for removing tea stains from cups.

A lot of soda crystals mixed with a little water in a bucket tipped into the drains/loo and left overnight repeated for a few nights would be my first choice. There may be a build up of fat and sludge in the pipes along with any foreign objects that have gone down there over the years.

Women, in my experience like to flush odd things down the drains. If you have any in the house instruct them that it's loo roll only.

Do not put women down the drains - that's how they got Fred & Rose.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
Be aware of what's going down the toilet. We used to have a blocked sewer pipe about 3-4 times a year; there's a crack in the pipe about 20m along that snags 'stuff' but it's under a lot of block paving so I can't be arsed sorting out just yet. I noticed that the current mrs_mush had been putting kitchen towels down the loo when she had been cleaning in there.

I pointed out that toilet tissue is designed to break up and fragment upon contact with water, whereas kitchen roll is designed not to.

Since then we've not had a blockage (finger's crossed)


at the last house our neighbour had a blockage. we opened up our drain cover, he opened his and we waited to see what he shifted.
nothing happening.

we used the 'screw' add on from our end and our end of the blockage was about three meters away from his end of the blockage

it took a while but we gradually manged to shift poo and baby wipes

words were had with his daughter about their recent visit with the baby...
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
at the last house our neighbour had a blockage. we opened up our drain cover, he opened his and we waited to see what he shifted.
nothing happening.

we used the 'screw' add on from our end and our end of the blockage was about three meters away from his end of the blockage

it took a while but we gradually manged to shift poo and baby wipes

words were had with his daughter about their recent visit with the baby...
We have a neighbour who is somewhat full of herself, and our social better,
her toilets were backing up so she TOLD me to sort the drain as the manhole is on my property, I calmly explained that the houses being substantial and well built all have a seperate drainage system, using rainwater to keep it clean and feeding into the Main Sewer
she would not have it

I tried very calmly to explain that I have cleaned mine out thoroughly, and i have the title deeds to the property and a set of drawings of all the services, plus the building surveyors reports and drawings from when we purchased it
its all about money with her, I should pay as the problem could not be on her side, for once I STFU , and told her to get a drain company in

she did
the pikeys that covered her drive with paviours had knocked the cover of the drain, taken a course of bricks out and put a slab across
and the massive truck that backed onto her drive that year ( 15Tonnes) will have cracked the pipework
they were bloody weeks putting that right
 
And for the love of god don't put bleach anywhere near an acid or you'll gas yourself with chlorine.
Yep, can vouch for that. When I learnt in 1st year secondary school about bleach/vinegar reactions, went out with a few mates that weekend and trapped a couple of water rats down at the local cut.

Yup, place rats in a dustbin, add bleach and vinegar. It makes them very sleepy. Terminally so.
 

MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
There is the Indian alternative.

1614102665478.png
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
You know how you think it is cheaper not to get a professional in who has all the knowledge, experience and equipment? Well it is never cheaper in the long run.
 

happyuk

War Hero
Caustic soda (or lye) is cheap and effective, but nasty so be careful with it use eye protection etc and read up on how to use it appropriately - dissolve it first, pour it in last thing as night etc. It attacks organic material only, while not affecting plastics, metals, ceramics etc to the best of my knowledge.

I also invested in a set of drain rods a few years back, which have come in handy on some thankfully few occasions. Just remember to turn them clockwise only once they're down underneath the drain so as not to unscrew them! The more expensive ones have a mechanism to prevent this nightmare scenario.
 
If it's an indoor blockage then caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is probably your best bet. It essentially converts fats into soap and will also have a good go at paper. Doesn't do much to limescale so if caustic soda doesn't work then an acid cleaner probably will. You can usually pick it up from places like Wilkinsons for a couple of quid. Perfectly safe to use on plastic and stainless steel but will eat aluminium in minutes.

Soda crystals aren't the same thing, they are either sodium hydrogen carbonate or sodium carbonate (depending on the shop and brand) and are sodium hydroxide's effeminate ginger cousin.

Some safety notes if you do go down this route:
Caustic soda comes as a white powder and won't burn your skin instantly as it needs moisture to do unpleasant things to people. This means you can get small amounts on your hands when opening the bottle without realising. Wash your hands with plenty of cold water, even if they look clean.

Don't under any circumstances let the stuff get in your eyes. If you do ignore point 1 above then the worst you'll get is an itchy rash and maybe a blister. Your eyes are moist and sodium hydroxide will convert them into soap. Using It plunger with this stuff about is also a bad idea.

It gets hot when added to water. Really hot and can potentially boil. Add the powder to a bucket of cold water slowly, stirring as you go. Then tip down drain, noting points about getting in eyes and on skin above. Leave for a couple of hours / overnight, then flush with LOTS of cold water.

If you are going to use an acid cleaner as well do not do so at the same time! Use one, flush with lots of cold water, then some more cold water to be sure, then the second cleaner. And for the love of god don't put bleach anywhere near an acid or you'll gas yourself with chlorine.
That's really good Basic information.

Completely agree with everything Orthology eyes, especially the safety instructions.
I used to think strong acid was the bee's knees, but I remember a demo we had when I worked in a laboratory, where the boss left a large pork joint in a bucket with high molarity NaOH overnight, and only a grey sludge was left the next day.
 
Get one of these too, and a plastic bucket to stand it in out in the garage/sh*d. They are standard equipment in many US houses as the way bogs are designed they don't deal with logs (if you know what I mean) too well.

If plumbing/drainage shows a propensity to block one of them should be standard equipment.

iu


The best way to operate one is to put it in the offending bog, push it down, then let it back up keeping it under water so that it fills up with water. Once full of water a sharp, rapid compressive action to shootthe water out as a slug will clear most blockages.
 
Yep, can vouch for that. When I learnt in 1st year secondary school about bleach/vinegar reactions, went out with a few mates that weekend and trapped a couple of water rats down at the local cut.

Yup, place rats in a dustbin, add bleach and vinegar. It makes them very sleepy. Terminally so.
I got them out from under my deck doing that. They exited stage left after about 15 minutes.. Got a few with the air rifle but the rest toddled off. A few got splattered on the road. I let everything vent to fresh air for a few hours afterwards.
 
Get one of these too, and a plastic bucket to stand it in out in the garage/sh*d. They are standard equipment in many US houses as the way bogs are designed they don't deal with logs (if you know what I mean) too well.

If plumbing/drainage shows a propensity to block one of them should be standard equipment.

iu


The best way to operate one is to put it in the offending bog, push it down, then let it back up keeping it under water so that it fills up with water. Once full of water a sharp, rapid compressive action to shootthe water out as a slug will clear most blockages.
Similarly...

Fine if the blockage is inside the house.

Need to remember that chemical cleaners only work on the bottom of the pipe so are best as routine maintenance for keeping the drain flowing to prevent blockages. Once you have a blockage, jetting might be the only long-term solution.
 
Forget the chemicals.

First thing to do is lift the manhole covers, to check if it's a serious blockage, by either finding a full manhole, or where the toilet is feeding into the system.

Flush the toilet, if you get a good flush, it's further downstream, if it's weak, there's a blockage in the branch feeding into the manhole.

The branch is angled in the direction of the flow, so if you can find another manhole, and it isn't blocked, that's where the problem is.

Stick a brick in the clear pipe, then rod towards it....... get the wife a pair of marigolds to fish out the wet wipes etc that caused the blockage.
 
I've got a drain unblocker auger like this.

drain unblocker.png


Used it the other day on a daughter's blocked kitchen waste pipe. It goes round right angled bends quite easily and isn't very expensive.
 
Just remember to cut the bodies into smaller lumps before disposal.
 

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