DIY Doctor

Unblocking sink with acid

Postby sinkproblems » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:48 pm

I need your expert advice. I tried plunging and pouring a bottle of Mr Muscle down my blocked bathroom sink in my new house. Neither worked.
I removed the trap and found it was clear, so I went and bought a bottle of acid from my local plumbing store. I poured just over half the bottle down, and rather than clear the blockage it ate through the seals on my plastic pipe work and dripped out the trap onto the floor. Now I still have a blocked sink and a trap full of acid!
So I will be buying some serious hand protection and removing the trap, replacing it then tackling the problem again.
What I need to know is - what shoudl I try next? I'm through with pouring chemicals down there. What options do I have left?
Your advice is much appreciated.
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Simply Build It

Postby SweetB plumber » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:22 pm

Is it only the sink that is blocked? If so, rather than running the risk of burning yourself with acid, try using a mechanical worm (available from screwfix, etc) that you feed into the waste pipe and turn. this will loosen up blockage. Also, follow the pipe along to the end and feed the worm up if possible. If you can get to the other end of the wast pipe, you could try putting a garden hose up it and SLOWLY! open the tap to brak the blockage up. Hope that helps!
SweetB plumber
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Postby richieplum » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:27 pm

Regarding the blocked basin in your bathroom. Can you see where the pipe goes to ? If it exits a wall and discharges into a hopper-head (snow box), and the job is within your abilities, replace the lot. Less than £10 for the lot and you know it's right.
If the pipe enters a soil pipe outside the building is it a glued fitting or a push-fit ? either way the advice is the same. replace the lot. The only difference is the method. For glued fitting, cut the pipe at a suitable point with a hacksaw and fit a 32mm glued socket and then go from there. If push-fit pull the pipe out the fitting and then continue with the replacement. Just remember that if the pipe you have at the moment is push-fit it cannot be glued. Glueable pipe is ABS and push-fit is PVC
If your pipe (waste) from the basin disappears under the bath via the bath panel remove the panel and investigate where the 32mm pipe enters the soil pipe. Same thing applies. Is it push-fit ? Is it glued in ? Determine which and proceed accordingly. Allow plenty of time, proceed methodically and you should do OK. And when you are laid on your back with one arm trying to reach the point where the pipe enters the stack, and to push two fittings together using just the tips of your fingers remember, if it was easy everyone would be doing it.
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Postby sinkproblems » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:12 am

Excellent replies, thank you.
I have bought a new trap and a 25 foot spring from my local plumbing supplier - and some industrial rubber gloves to protect my hands from the acid in the existing trap!
So that's my activities taken care of for this Saturday, I'll let you know how I get on.
I can't believe people sell that acid so readily over the counter, lethal stuff. I know it has warnings etc on the label but flippant people like me will continue to chuck it down the sink and expecting all problems to be fixed without having to get their hands dirty.
Differnet attitude and approach to these problems from now on!
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