soil stack problems

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by mike08054, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. mike08054

    mike08054 New Member

    In the course of a bathroom remodel the plumber cut the soil stack to allow the addition of two new drain lines. In the section that was removed it is easy to see that the accumulated build up on the inside of the stack has reduced the capacity by half or more. Right now there are no blockages but it seems that we're headed in that direction. The house is about 60+ yrs old.

    Should anything be done now to prevent problems in the future. I'm a little worried that agressive action will create a blockage. Is there some way to do regular treatments to slowly eliminate the buildup?
  2. lime build up

    that is a nasty situation all around

    the stack is filling up with lime.....

    it is probably best if to change out the
    entire stack if possible ...while you are in combat already.

    if not you can try to get someone to rheem out
    that line with a large cutter... maybe work??
    or it will break it up jsut enough to stop up the line further..

    you can pour pure vinegar down the line and maybe it
    will eventually break it down.... although that could take forever.

    muratic acid will eat through it too ....very quickly

    but its a very nasty smelley thing to mess with...
    I have gone the Muratic Acid route before.

    just change out as much of the stack as you can
    while you got the chance to do it...
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    If it is a cast iron pipe, then the accumulation is rust and nothing is going to remove it. But it seldom creates problems in a vertical line, unless it causes stress and the pipe cracks.
  4. mike08054

    mike08054 New Member

    It is a black paste substance and it is soft. I'll take a closer look tonight and see if I can also take a picture.
  5. mike08054

    mike08054 New Member

    It's definitely organic (waste) not rust or lime.


    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  6. that is not organic matter........

    what you have in the pipe is really not organic matter anymore

    it has actually broken down further than baisc organic matter

    and the only term that can really descirbe it properly is


    looks like it would be best to either grind through it
    with a large sewer calbe and lots of flushing of water

    or change out that funkey pipe...
  7. mike08054

    mike08054 New Member

    I'm a bit worried that the cleanout might cause a clog since there's so much stuff in the pipes. Should I be concerned? Would it be better to do regular treatments with an enzyme based drain cleaner?
  8. rheem it out first

    Spend the money for a drain clenaing

    the only cure is probably a good rheeming out
    with a good sharp someone who knows how
    to cut through tree roots...that does this all the time

    it is his job to flush the line and remove all the funk for you .....

    was this a verticle or horizontal pipe???

    After he has rheemed out the pipe
    you can try something like a few gallons
    of muratic acid being poured down in the toilet
    full strength over a few hours every year or two to
    sort of break up any new growth.....

    ask a local drain cleaning guy his advice.

    its not a fun job either way you shake it.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  9. mike08054

    mike08054 New Member

    It was a vertical pipe.
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Wow! I'd hate to imagine what the horizontal pipes look like!
  11. gear junkie

    gear junkie Plumber

    Virginia Beach, IPC country
    I would either jet or use a 4 bladed cutter to clean the line. This is the before and after pic of a urinal line. That's what 50 years of old man piss looks like.

    Attached Files:

  12. gear junkie

    gear junkie Plumber

    Virginia Beach, IPC country
    Also, no muratic acid, it'll eat through your pipe walls. Your pipes have lasted for 60 years. clean them and it'll last another 60.
  13. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Central Florida
    Looks like that inside of the old man, too...
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