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  1. #1
    befuddled
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    Plumbing Question

    Imagine if you will a bathroom/toilet. The shower drain feeds to the outlet pipe before the sink. Now, with the shower running the water very soon builds up over the drain and then gurgling noises are heard from the sink plughole ('air' bubbles are seen if there is water in the sink). This is sometimes followed by a bad-egg smell from the sink. The water does eventually drain away but the flow to the outside drain seems very slow.

    Any ideas as to the likely cause? Blockage? Not enough drop on the run? I'm obviously keen to dig up the concrete and have the pipes relayed, but was hoping that there may be a simpler solution. Hopefully involving football on ESPN and bowl of peanuts.
    Back off Margaret, you're on a sugar rush!

  2. #2
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    Chuck some real strong acid down there

  3. #3
    befuddled
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    Good point DD. I bought some in the UK once. Unbelievable stuff. Use with extreme caution. And cover your nose because it really stinks when it gets to work. That said, I fear that this problem has been there since day-1; worth a go first though.

  4. #4
    Somewhere Travelling
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    A base (like sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as lye) would be better since bases react with organic materials to turn them into soap (that way, danbo might get a big smelly soap blob to float out and he could save money by not having to buy some soap next week, thus, having free money for ESPN and pretzels).

  5. #5
    diaw
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    Over here, ask for 'hyter' - bleach. It's not as concentrated as lye, but if you use enough - or a cupful once a day for say 3 days, it should get you going...

  6. #6
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    Powerful chemicals can cause real probs if you have ( I hesitate to be vulgar) a septic tank. I just cured a smelly drain with an eco-friendly product called 'Bactocel' which clears pipes bunged up with human unspeakables.

    Got it from HomePro but most hardware stores will sell it.

    Don't drink it 'cos you'll have the squitters for a year.

  7. #7
    diaw
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    CF, could you tell us what the active ingredients are & what % v/v?

  8. #8
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    Dougal's Avatar
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    Danbo, has the sink got a 'U' bend trap on it? If it hasn't that might account for the air bubbles in the sink - but not the slow drainage from the shower.

  9. #9
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    You can buy little sachets of powder here that will do the job.
    Drain Clear or something it was called.
    Wear gloves if poss .

    I could never get bleach to clear a pipe.

  10. #10
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    Bleach is OK for light clogs mostly comprised of hair since bleach is a weak solution of sodium hypochlorite (which is a weak oxidizer) but if he's been whacking off in the shower chances are that drain's full

  11. #11
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim
    You can buy little sachets of powder here that will do the job. Drain Clear or something it was called.
    Any hardware/builders store has it here in LOS.
    Ask for Soda Fai , usually sold in 0.5 kg plastic bag for 30-40 baht.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by diaw View Post
    CF, could you tell us what the active ingredients are & what % v/v?
    I think it contained some sort of bacterial enhancer that digested grease and whtever lives down pipes. I've chucked the bottle now but it was mainly in Thai anyhow. The procedure was 100ml neat, down the drain every three days.

    I'm treating four drains so will be buying another bottle tomorrow, maybe more info then.

  13. #13
    diaw
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    Thanks CF. The bacterial digestion route would be better for the septic tanks some folks have.

  14. #14
    befuddled
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Danbo, has the sink got a 'U' bend trap on it? If it hasn't that might account for the air bubbles in the sink - but not the slow drainage from the shower.
    From memory I think that the sink has one of those flexible pipes feeding into the outlet pipe. The other night the noise went on for hours - it was like sleeping in a room next to the World-Gurgling-Championships.

    Anyways, thanks for the tips everyone I'll try the those for removing the blockage first and if that doesn't work I'll drink some beer.

  15. #15
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    It occured to me that the drains from the shower go the same way as the drains from the sink, into a fat trap and then into the khlong. Surely only the toilet goes into the septic tank?

    Got another bottle of Bactocel. It doesn't say what's in it.

    *Liquify organic solid wastes.
    *Devour fats, grease, soap and detergents.
    *Remove years of old biult upto (sic) to make your pipes flow like new.


    Works for me.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Well Done DD.

    They do a version in a blue bottle that is supposed to cure noxious vapours emanating from the toilet as well.

  18. #18
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    TeakDoor just goes that one step further to help people

  19. #19
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    the various gurgling noises are probably due to the connections all going through one main trap. Quite often, instead of each basin, shower etc having a personal trap, they share a bigger one, usually situated in the floor. There may be a small inspection cap, which can be undone. Often the blockage is there, and is easily solved.

    If you cant find it, use the stuff as mentioned above
    I have reported your post

  20. #20
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    Use the Caustic Soda (Soda Fye).

    Here's some safety tips.

    Don't use caustic soda until you have first cleaned out piples and u-bends with a plumber's plunger and or by stripping them out.
    The last thing you want is a pipe that is blocked full of caustic. For that reason make ever effort to ensure the line is as clear as possible before using the caustic.

    WEAR GOGGLES

    WEAR RUBBER GLOVES

    HAVE A BUCKET OF COLD CLEAN WATER READY NEAR YOU FOR EMERGENCY WASHING OF FACE/EYES/HANDS

    OPEN WINDOWS AND DOORS TO ALLOW FOR BEST VENTILATION

    How to use Caustic Soda Safely.

    Just like mixing hot oil and water - you should add the caustic to the water, not the other way around. If you add water to the costic, it will react vilonetly and may spray caustic into the air/your face - Hence goggles.

    Whenever I use this stuff to unblock drains I three quater fill a bucket with boiling water and then place it in the bath tub (incase of spillage). I then slowly add around 300gms of Caustic Soda (Wearing goggles and gloves).

    Using a wooden stirer I gently mix the solution and then slowly pour it down the drain.

    CAUTION.

    When the solution comes into contact with grease and dirt it will froth, and may spray back out of the drain pipe.

    CAUSTIC ON YOUR SKIN

    If you get the caustic or solution on your skin wash it of thoroughly in clean cold water. If you feeling a burning sensation keep rinsing for at least ten minutes and then get yourself to the hospital (take a bucket of clean cold water with you in the car to keep washing as you travel to the hospital).

    Most likely you'll get some small spillage on your skin, this feel soapy, slippery - It is exactly that, soap. The caustic is attacking fats within your skin and turning them to soap. Again, thoroughly rinse in cold water.

    CAUSTIC IN YOUR EYES.

    This is the real risk, hence the googles and hence the bucket of cold water.

    Rinse thoroughly and continuesly until you can get to the hospital. Do not rub your eyes, just keep splashing water onto them.

    Don't be tempted to call off the hospital visit if the stinging stops. The caustic may still be attacking your eyes and eyesight.

    AFTER USING CAUSTIC

    Let the caustic sit in the pipes for at least an hour, over night is better. Then thoroughly rinse out with cold water. Wear goggles when rinsing off.

    I leave the tap running for at least ten minutes and wash all basins/areas that have become wet, with buckets of cold water.

    I don't keep caustic in the house, so what I haven't used gets poured down the drains and the container gets thrown in the bin.


    Always thoroughly wash your hands after using Caustic. I take a long shower to make sure non of it is on me.

  21. #21
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    I would try Hydrogen peroxide, it will also be good for the septic tank - if it ever gets there.
    As above Caustic is nasty stuff to be around, not too good for the hardware either!

  22. #22
    Somewhere Travelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itchy View Post
    Use the Caustic Soda (Soda Fye).

    Here's some safety tips.

    Don't use caustic soda until you have first cleaned out piples and u-bends with a plumber's plunger and or by stripping them out.
    The last thing you want is a pipe that is blocked full of caustic. For that reason make ever effort to ensure the line is as clear as possible before using the caustic.

    WEAR GOGGLES

    WEAR RUBBER GLOVES

    HAVE A BUCKET OF COLD CLEAN WATER READY NEAR YOU FOR EMERGENCY WASHING OF FACE/EYES/HANDS

    OPEN WINDOWS AND DOORS TO ALLOW FOR BEST VENTILATION

    How to use Caustic Soda Safely.

    Just like mixing hot oil and water - you should add the caustic to the water, not the other way around. If you add water to the costic, it will react vilonetly and may spray caustic into the air/your face - Hence goggles.

    Whenever I use this stuff to unblock drains I three quater fill a bucket with boiling water and then place it in the bath tub (incase of spillage). I then slowly add around 300gms of Caustic Soda (Wearing goggles and gloves).

    Using a wooden stirer I gently mix the solution and then slowly pour it down the drain.

    CAUTION.

    When the solution comes into contact with grease and dirt it will froth, and may spray back out of the drain pipe.

    CAUSTIC ON YOUR SKIN

    If you get the caustic or solution on your skin wash it of thoroughly in clean cold water. If you feeling a burning sensation keep rinsing for at least ten minutes and then get yourself to the hospital (take a bucket of clean cold water with you in the car to keep washing as you travel to the hospital).

    Most likely you'll get some small spillage on your skin, this feel soapy, slippery - It is exactly that, soap. The caustic is attacking fats within your skin and turning them to soap. Again, thoroughly rinse in cold water.

    CAUSTIC IN YOUR EYES.

    This is the real risk, hence the googles and hence the bucket of cold water.

    Rinse thoroughly and continuesly until you can get to the hospital. Do not rub your eyes, just keep splashing water onto them.

    Don't be tempted to call off the hospital visit if the stinging stops. The caustic may still be attacking your eyes and eyesight.

    AFTER USING CAUSTIC

    Let the caustic sit in the pipes for at least an hour, over night is better. Then thoroughly rinse out with cold water. Wear goggles when rinsing off.

    I leave the tap running for at least ten minutes and wash all basins/areas that have become wet, with buckets of cold water.

    I don't keep caustic in the house, so what I haven't used gets poured down the drains and the container gets thrown in the bin.


    Always thoroughly wash your hands after using Caustic. I take a long shower to make sure non of it is on me.
    What's really amazing is if you take some and boil with leftover fat you make some really nice soap. Leftover olive oil makes the best soap you've ever used (I keep most of my leftover cooking oil for this purpose - after filtering it of course).

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