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Thread: Can I put solid caustic soda into the drain directly??

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    Default Can I put solid caustic soda into the drain directly??

    Would it be ok to put caustic soda with aluminum pieces directly into the bathroom drain? or would the heat and da caustic damage the piping?? and the fumes caused by the caustic and aluminum, are they toxic and hazardous??

    shinchan

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    I wouldn't. I, under certain circumstances use it but you should get a snake and try that first. What kind ofv drain is it. Floor, bathtub, sink ??? Is it a slow drain or totaly pluged?

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default soda

    They are not "powerful" enough to cause any damage, but are probably not strong enough to open the drain either. If the drain does not unplug by using them, then the lye often congeals back into something about the consistency of concrete and then that section of the drain, hopefully just the trap under the sink, has to be replaced.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide, Lye, caustic soda) does not congeal. The hardning comes from the exotherm process. The lye heats up and fuses together when you don't add enough water to dry lye by putting to much dry lye in the trap . It fuses together forming a hard lump that will disolve very slowly if fresh water is introduced. This is hard to do in a trap.

    The best way to use lye is to take a small plastic bucket and lets say you have a 12 oz. can of Lye. You add 18 oz. of water to the bucket and pour the lye into the water, NEVER pour the water into the lye. Stir the solution SLOWLY with a stainless steel spoon carefuly and don't splash, until all is disolved. This will make some fumes, don't breath the fumes. The water can heat up to almost boiling. Allow this to cool. Rinse hands with lots of water. Then pour 1/2 of the solution into the drain and wait 45 min. then pour the rest in and allow to sit overnight if possible. In the AM flush with hot water.

    This will not work on a totaly pluged line. All mixing should be done out doors. Use up all of the solution at 1 time. Do not store any. This is a lot of work and not recomended. I use this solution in laundry drains that can't be snaked as the lye will eat up lint like there is no tomorrow. It will eat anything but grease. It will saponify grease into soap. If you get any lye or lye solution on you flush it with water until the slippery feeling is completly gone. Rinse everything 3-4 X with water

    Use a brand of lye that doesn't have metal shavings in it.
    Last edited by Cass; 12-24-2005 at 10:16 AM.

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking dont do it...

    you are just asking for big big trouble....

    I have tangled with some thing like that a long
    time ago and it was not pleasent......

    I was the poor dumbass that had to come in and
    get the home owner out of trouble.....


    it eats your hands and burns everything....


    you will most likely be staying a a hotel on the night
    you attempt this because the fumes will chase you out


    first try a plunger,
    then call someone and roto rooter it out
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 12-24-2005 at 10:25 AM.

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default caustic

    I had a call where the owner installed a new stainless steel sink and disposal. By the tine he got it all back togather, the drain was very slow. So he trotted off to the hardware store and poured in his drain cleaner. He then tried to plunge and then his sink proceded to turn black. Water leaked at most jam nuts. This stuff ruined his sink, the bottom of his cupboard, the floor in front of his sink, his counter top and his back splash.
    So much for doing it the easy way.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for all your reply, i dont have a blocked drain, but just have occasional problem with sewer smell comming out of the drain from the bathroom. i initially thought that since caustic soda is a strong base and the heat from the reaction with aluminium would sterilise the drain solving the problem, but then i read the label on the container and said that i should not put solid caustic soda directly into the drain... but yet again, i saw product like draino which have similar composition (ie, NaOH and Al) which direct us to directly apply it to drain... :confuse: anyways, i know i'm rambling and probally not stating my problem clear, but does anyone have a solution to my problem? (ie the sewer smell)...

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Is it a shower or tub shower combo? If it is a shower is it a tile floor or plastic? How old is your home?

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking trap siphon

    try putting some bleach or bakeing soda down the
    drain , if for only a smell from the pipes


    it could be the trap siphoning off the water and you are getting
    a sewer smell comming up when it gets dry....

    more data please....

  10. #10

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    Its just a shower, it have cermaic tiles, the house is about 10yrs old, ocassionally theres sewer smell comming from the drain of the bathroom(both the shower and the floor). not too sure if thats enough information...

  11. #11
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    These are the problems I have seen, not in order.

    #1 A venting problem is causing the trap water to siphon off like mark said and sewer gas is entering the house.

    #2 The 2" drain line going from the drain is pitched wrong and the pipe has built up gook and crud, because of that the gook and crud is stinking and bleach, like mark said, will work for a short time but the smell will come back.

    #3 The part of the drain that seals around the bottom of the shower base is slowly leaking and you have water in the tile base stinking, bleach may or may not help, for a short time.

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