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

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by shinchan, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. shinchan

    shinchan New Member

    Messages:
    6
    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?? :confused:

    shinchan
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    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: Dec 24, 2005
  5. 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: Dec 24, 2005
  6. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    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. all ya gotta do.....

    all ya gotta do is call a plumber and
    spend about $90 to get it reemed out and

    you save yourself a lot fo pain and suffering...
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2005
  8. shinchan

    shinchan New Member

    Messages:
    6
    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)...
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    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?
  10. 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....
  11. shinchan

    shinchan New Member

    Messages:
    6
    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...
  12. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    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.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,022
    Location:
    New England
    I'll add a fourth item to Cass's list: no preslope in the pan. This is a common problem. The waterproof shower liner should be installed on TOP of a presloped surface (not flat on the floor), then covered with more drypack cement followed by the tile. If this is not done, what water slowly accumulates beneath the tile on top of the liner will not drain out as it should. No amount of grout sealing or caulking will prevent the slow accumulation of water. Needless to say, stagnent water usually does start to smell pretty raunchy after awhile. The only solution to this is to only use the shower occassionally so things have a chance to dry out inbetween and not accumulate (this can take a LONG time), or tear it out and do it right.
  14. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    drain

    Might want to clean the shower drain.

    A build up of hair down inside the drain can displace some of the water seal and also siphon some of the water seal.
  15. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,011
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Bio-Clean
    If drains are being blocked by grease and organic materials, it may be helped by usingBio-Clean.

    SAFE
    Bio-Clean is non-poisonous. It creates no heat, no fumes, no boiling. It does not attack live tissue nor inorganic materials, only organic wastes like grease, hair, food particles, paper, cotton & sewage. This makes BIO-CLEAN safe for people, plumbing and the environment. BIO-CLEAN changes the waste particles into water, carbon dioxide and mineral ash which run harmlessly out of your waste system. These elements are then available for plant life.

    EFFECTIVE
    Within an hour after pouring the bacteria into the drain, the bacteria begin to eat their way into the waste that has accumulated on the sides and top of the drain pipe. This is their natural food. They digest the waste and spread throughout your system, cleaning it completely.

    MULTIPURPOSE
    Residential and commercial applications
    All drain and sewer pipes, including:
    Kitchen Sinks Lavatories Bath tubs Showers Floor drains Laundry drains Septic tanks and drain fields Garbage disposal odors Grease traps Sewage ejector sumps Outdoor outhouses and cesspools R.V. & boat holding tanks Lift Stations Cat Litter Boxes
    Bio-Clean

    [​IMG]

    Bio-Clean is what I'm using.
    The stuff is so safe, you can eat out of the container, and yet it gets rid of the grease in the pipes.
    It won't be eating the bottom of your pipes

    If the lines are plugged up, you still may need to snake the lines, or if you have hair in them.
    It takes time for the product to work.
    Cathy was using this in her home for a few days, and when I went to snake her downstairs lav drain, the snake came back totally clean.
    The city of Bellevue requires something like this for restaurants with grease, especially the KFC on Main Street.
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
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