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Drain cleaner that will dissolve cotton terrycloth (& twigs)?

Posted by fixizin (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 30, 08 at 1:44

... but not harm PVC pipe?

I'm sure if the terrycloth is broken down, the soft twig will not be an issue.

Will good ol' muriatic acid (as used in swimming pools) do the job?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Drain cleaner that will dissolve cotton terrycloth (& twigs)?

I am fairly certain that a concentration of acid sufficient to dissolve/burn cloth will damage the pipes, at the very least making them brittle and prone to failure...I think you'd be better off snaking it or some such. I don't suppose you'd care to share with us how the pipe ended up this way? :)


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RE: Drain cleaner that will dissolve cotton terrycloth (& twigs)?

Sulfuric acid drain cleaner will do the job, but it can also generate enough heat to soften PVC pipe.

The acid will not attack the pipe itself.

I would try a power snake, and if it still would not clear think about opening the pipes up (hope they are accessible).


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RE: Drain cleaner that will dissolve cotton terrycloth (& twigs)?

It's actually electrical conduit, 3/4", Sch40, so limited room for snaking, and other mechanical remedies. (Flexible drill bit???) I just ass-u-me-d it's chemically similar to plumbing PVC.

Yes, I was pulling wires without a helper at the feed end, yes, some debris got dragged in, yes, I'm a foo.bar, yes, I'm trying anything to avoid the extreme hassle of digging it up, cutting out the ell, and welding the same or different ell back into place.

(OTOH, I wired up a 3-gang switch box, and it's a friggin' work of art!)

Live, blush, and learn, lol...

Keep those ideas coming.


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RE: Drain cleaner that will dissolve cotton terrycloth (& twigs)?

I would try flushing it out. Hook a hose up to the end of the pipe and blow it out the way that it came in. with 3/4 inch pipe I think that you will end up with a chemical mess and a clogged pipe.


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RE: Drain cleaner that will dissolve cotton terrycloth (& twigs)?

Yeah, thought about the power-flush with a garden hose... but the j-boxes are already welded on, so I'd need a custom-rigged nozzle, w/ a flare/cone to mate with the conduit, and a bend/right-angle to get to it.

I'm not beyond McGuyver-ing such a rig, but it's too much like real work... I say let chemicals do the work for me, then swab it out with a smaller rag on the end of my fish-tape.

Where are those dang RODENTS when you actually need them? LOL... there's a thought, jam a little peanut butter down there, let the mice have at it... ;')


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re: drano maxgel is one way... no harm to pvc.

Yeah baby, YEAH!!! Drano MaxGel did the J-O-B! Took a couple days, but it finally turned the terry cloth to MUSH. Judging from the smell, I'd say that product is basically bleach, with something that thickens it up so it stays in place... napalm for you drain, lol.

Good thing too as I was just about dump some wicked muriatic acid down there.

Yep, you had to know I was running all kind of experiments in a glass jar on my patio, including a short piece of said Sch40 conduit (didn't even take the printing off the PVC). Turns out one of the faster ways to dissolve cotton--OUTDOORS ONLY--is to let it soak in muriatic acid for a while, then dump in some bleach to, uh, accelerate the process!

Anyway, std. pistol type hose nozzle fits fairly well in J-box... power flushed the run from end to end... I dare say there's no mildew in there, lol.

All wired up and ready for the holi-daze... :rolleyes:


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