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Thread: Concrete in toilet drain pipe

  1. #1

    Question Concrete in toilet drain pipe

    I am finishing a bathroom in my basement and was just getting ready to attach the toilet flange when I discovered, after removing the cap on the rough-in, that there was concrete in the drain pipe. The pipe drops vertically about 1' and then does a 90. I can see concrete approximately 1/2" thick in the 90 and running in the direction of the horizontal portion of the pipe downstream from the 90. I assume this concrete is from the initial pour of the basement floor when the house was built. There is evidence of the concrete running down the 1' vertical section and into the 90. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can remove this concrete? I don't want to break the pipe because I just finished tiling the floor!

    Thanks!
    Dave

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    What kind of pipe is it?

    This ain't good!

  3. #3

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    I'm assuming the home was built some time ago.

    If not, look into any warranty from the builder to have him fix it, as some states require builders to warranty a new home for certain periods of time.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default concrete

    If it is that thin, levering it with a crowbar should separate it from the pipe and then you should be able to remove the entire length of it. It is probably not stuck to the pipe.

  5. #5
    Plumbing Contractor srdenny's Avatar
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    If the drain is not completely clogged with concrete, shove a thick rag attached to a long wire passed the concrete and then pour enough coca-cola down the drain to cover the concrete. Let it set 48 hours. Then pull up the rag. The concrete should either come up with the rag in one piece or it may crumble and require a shop vac to remove it.

    I haven't heard this one. You gotta try this one first. Sounds like a life saver'
    Would Cherry Coke be okay?
    Terry
    Last edited by Terry; 06-07-2008 at 07:56 AM.

  6. #6

    Question

    Thanks for all of the replies. First, I should have mentioned that this is PVC. I agree with hj that it's not permanently stuck to the pipe but it's difficult to get an effective tool down there to try to pry it up. I'm afraid of somehow breaking the PVC or shoving the broken pieces farther down into the drain only to a create a real clog.

    The coca cola idea is interesting although if it really works I'm not drinking coke anymore if this is what it can do! I would like to determine how far down the drain this concrete goes. Might lower a small webcam down the pipe.

    By the way, house not under warranty anymore and builder no longer exists. Go figure.

    Thanks
    Dave

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The acid disolves the calcium in the cement. You could use vinegar, buying a gallon (especially if you have access to a COSTCO or SAMSCLUB) would work as well. Different acids, but the vinegar would likely be cheaper. The hassle is keeping it in contact with the cement without draining down the line.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I'd just give it a rap and it should separate from the plastic pipe. Use a light and inspection mirror to verify its all out.

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