Grout in shower drain (ABS)

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by feather, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. feather

    feather New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Does anyone know of a safe solution/way to remove grout from ABS pipe?

    The tiler washed grout down a shower drain and now we have a major blockage. So far the only solution appears to be to cut out the affected section of pipe. Not my first choice as it means breaking up the tile floor, part way up the walls and having to retile the whole thing!

    Thanks
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,808
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I don't know of anything that removes tile grout that doesn't hurt the pipes too. I have no idea why tile setters dump bits of tile, grout and mortar down plumbing drains. That is totally unacceptable building practice, and the tile setter will need to fix this. You had a perfectly working plumbing system, until the tile setter got lazy and decided to cement the drain shut.
    All he had to do, was walk outside, and clean his tools there.
    I had one job where the tile setter had dumped broken tiles down the toilet drain. I wondered if that was sabotage to the homeowner or just old fashioned ignorance.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,309
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You use grout on tile because it is basically unaffected by water, so once it sets, water isn't going to remove it. Go after the tile setter, make him pay for the job. As Terry says, this is unacceptable building practice and a professional tile setter knows better. Or if he doesn't know better now, he will after he or his company pays the plumbing bill!
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Tile Guy dumped grout down drain.

    Like the boys said. Not Good.

    It takes little effort to plug the drain and keep the grout out of your homes system. Dumping grout down the drain and leaving it is horrible and shows no respect for a clients home.

    If a small amount where to drop in and the grout was still wet a long washout with cold or hot water would convert the grout to sand and wash away the portland cement. Removing sand from a PTrap is hard to do and replacing the PTrap is the best approach.

    As sad as it seems this is a common practice and one that can be avoided if the test plug is kept in until the tile job is finished.


    JW
  5. feather

    feather New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Thanks guys. There was a plug - but apparently it was easily removed. I guess we're demo-ing the shower!
  6. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States

    I just ran a electric snake with a 3/8" cable it breaks it out just fine!
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,309
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I used muriatic acid to open a drain like that. You have to "suck it out" and put in fresh acid as it gets "exhausted". I had one 3" sewer line through a house that was completely filled with grout for about 20'. That had to be cut out and replaced.
  8. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Arizona
    I actually agree with Yoda. LOL TILE GUYS DON"T GIVE A CRAP UNTIL IT HAPPENS IN THEIR HOUSE!!It would be great if a short masonry bit attachment could be put on the end of a sewer machine cable and it would just drill a hole through it.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,309
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If it would drill through grout, it would have absolutely no problem drilling through ABS or PVC plastic.
  10. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Arizona
    You certainly do have a point there. I'm used to working with cast iron.
  11. ResPlumber

    ResPlumber Plumber

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have had success only one time getting grout of a shower drain. I was able to chip it out using a long screwdriver, shop vac with the little hose and a snake. I would chip down as far as I could with the screwdriver then suck out the pieces with the shop vac to get where I could not with the screwdriver I used the snake to bang and loosen up the grout then suck it out it took a while but I was lucky and it ended up working.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2011
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,309
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Usually it flows around the bottom of the trap and fills the entire "U" bend, then you cannot get to the section between the bottom of the "U" and the outlet.
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