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USOB 11-06-2010 05:02 PM

Cleaning sewer line
My main drain line is starting to back up when draining large amounts of water into it (washer or bathtub). Is there an effective drain cleaner I can pour into my basement floor drain? I'd like to save the cost of a roto-rooter house call.


Redwood 11-06-2010 09:30 PM

Chemicals? NO save your money...

As for saving money on a Roto-Rooter call yes...
Lots of legitimate companies charge way less than they do....

USOB 11-07-2010 10:30 AM

I have some muriatic acid, which I'm told can work. The question is; how much and how do I use it? I recently had family visit, and no drain problems before they came, so a house full of women and half dozen rolls of toilet paper later, I'm thinking a heavy duty drain cleaner could do the job.

Redwood, I meant roto-rooter in general. It'll cost about $100 for a house call from a reputable company.

havasu 11-07-2010 10:54 AM

Muriatic acid might work, but a hand grenade may work as well. Imagine what it would do to your pipes, especially if you have any ABS pipe. The chance of damage IMHO is not worth it. It is also not worth the risk of damage it would cause to your septic/sewer system.

After your pipes are clear, I recommend a little household bleach every month to keep the pipes clean and fresh smelling.

kok328 11-07-2010 12:00 PM

Acid will work but, don't let it sit too long without running water afterwards.
If the real problem is tree roots in the main drain then an auger is the only way to unclog. The problem could be coincidental.

christa-1 04-10-2014 10:18 AM

toleit paper and tampons backing up in basement drains

nealtw 04-10-2014 10:36 AM

You should find someone that can clean the pipe and run a camara down it to see if you have a big problem, Roto-Rooter is one of many that can do this work.

CallMeVilla 04-10-2014 06:21 PM

1 Attachment(s)
True Home Depot encounter ... Was looking for the supply lines for the new sink setup and happened on the "Plumbing Associate" trying to help a lady and her teenage daughter select a new plunger. I decided to wait a few moments and heard this conversation.

"That one doesn't work," the lady said. "It is embarrassing but the toilet is clogged with ... you know ... and the plunger doesn't help."

"What did you do?" asked the P.A.

"I put DRANO in the toilet, waited 10 minutes then poured two containers of hot water, then waited 10 minutes and tried plunging it again," she recited.

"OH MY GOD," my brain shouted.

"LADY, do not do that!" I said out loud. "That solution is caustic and you could get burned or blinded! Do not EVER do that again!"

The three of them looked at me, mouths open. The teenage girl giggled.

"If you don't know how to use a snake, I guarantee the stuff in there will loosen in a few hours." I added. Use this plunger here and use it vigorously."

She sheepishly took the power plunger ...

As I turned away, I added, "Oh, and start eating more vegetables and salads and fiber ... "

I found the supply line on my own and left ...

USOB 04-11-2014 05:59 PM

I've heard that recommendation told to me countless times. But I think is was in the context of clearing the drain line in general, not to unclog a toilet.

To close out my original problem which started this thread, I ended up having an outside 2-way cleanout access installed where the drain met the street. An expensive mis-adventure, to say the least.

First, the drain wasn't in the location the plat map said. Then, as he was installing the cleanout in the new location, standing in a 4' hole, the upstream drain suddenly cleared, spewing effluent all over him! Needless to say, there was a short delay before he continued.

After the work was done (quite satisfactorily, I must say), along with ~6 of new sidewalk, another guy came out to snake the drain up to the house and down to the mainline pipe (~another 80') and to scope it out with a camera. He spent about an hour and wanted to give up. A few phone calls later and another technician finally brought the adventure to its successful closure.

If you have repeated problems with your drain, I highly recommend a camera to scope out exactly what and where the problem(s) lie. You can even get it recorded for posterity (great to show at parties). I live in a 50 year old house, live on a hill, and my drain line from house to the city line is probably close to 200'. While expensive, the outside cleanout access made subsequent rooter cleans cheaper, and less invasive than removing the toilet in my downstairs bathroom. But that's another story. :)

oldognewtrick 04-11-2014 06:05 PM

Thanks for the update, we love happy a ending round here. :clap:

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