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Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith, Engineer
Category: UK Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3586
Experience:  Domestic Gas, Commercial Gas, LPG, Unvented Hot Water, Part P Electrical, Commercial Catering
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I am back again as have tried various things to shift the caust

Customer Question

Hello, I am back again as have tried various things to shift the caustic soda: hot water, a gel for unblocking drains, and white vinegar. None of it is moving. I also poked about with a wire coathanger and it did not make the water or the white vinegar go down. Trouble is I cannot get into the u bend underneath as the previous occupier built a fancy set of tiles around that.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Plumbing
Expert:  Andrew Smith replied 1 year ago.
Hi my name is ***** ***** lets see if we can get you sorted in the shortest possible time.
Are you able to use a plunger?
Does the water level drop at all?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The plunger dropped the water level a little after about 30 mins. I balied out the white vinegar I put down and tried again, no further result. I have now put spirit of salts down. Carefully. But it did makefor massive fumes, as i was warned, and I got out of the way quickly. Ive covered sink with towel and opened all windows and doors. At the last look it had not gone down much more. I now see on internet that the caustic soda down there plus spirit of salts produces chlorine gas. I put it down 1 hour ago should I still be smelling fumes through the door?
Expert:  Andrew Smith replied 1 year ago.
Yes, always a problem when mixing chemicals, a lot of them produce chlorine gas.
Unless the windows are open and the towel is removed then it will not clear.
If this mixture does not clear it then try your local plumbers merchant for 98% sulphuric acid drain cleaner, this will eat through whatever is there given time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will that be safe to use on top of caustic soda plus spirit of salts? what precautions should I take? Is spirit of salts not sulphuric acid anyway?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the spirit of salts is still in basin
Expert:  Andrew Smith replied 1 year ago.
You may find it is simply sat on top of water that is sat on top of the blockage.
Plunging may be the only way to force it to the blockage.
The coat hanger will only go to the trap and the blockage may be further down the line usually on horizontal pipework.
If you cannot strip down after the basin and work backwards you may have to take the cupboard out
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well I called a plumber who is here now. Cant really give a good rating for speed or response of your service/

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