Older sewer drains are made of clay. Modern sewer lines that are made of PVC also discharge waste into older city waste systems made of clay.
Products that can dissolve clay and dirt in drain pipes can also attack clay pipes. As such, clearing clay and dirt clogs can be best done by clearing the blockage that blocked them from being drained.
How Solid Matter Gets Into Drainage Pipes
Solid materials should never be flushed down the drains. Solid matter can easily block a sewer line. Sewer lines are only meant for draining appropriate waste matter.
Clay and soil are solids. Solid matter can get into the drainage system through underground mortar joints or from wastewater after washing dirty items like gardening equipment, gardening cloths, flower pots, and any other soiled items.
The litter used as bedding material for cats comprises of clay as one of the main compounds used in its manufacture. The litter doesn’t break down. Thus, it gets flushed as grains upon hitting water, thereby forming clogs within the drain.
Main Causes of Clogs
Tree roots always grow towards water. Thus, they tend to grow towards drain pipes. The roots force their way through tiny cracks on the drain pipes in search of water.
Once they penetrate the pipes, they can clog them since they work as a net that traps solid mater being flushed down the drain.
Eventually, the sinks and toilets may back up due to clogged drain lines. In worse situations, the roots may grow to the extent of fracturing the pipes.
Unclogging the Drain with Sulfuric Acid
One of the most preferred products for unclogging a drain line is using sulfuric acid. Drain openers made of sulfuric acid contain over 90 percent acid and a small amount of corrosion inhibiting compounds that prevent metal drainpipes from getting damaged. However, these products are not sold on retails to limit their usage to experts.
Sulfuric acid works by disintegrating organic matter such as tree roots, rags, soap scum, hair, sanitary napkins, paper, grease, fats, and food residue. Once the organic matter disintegrates, it can be easily flushed by water.
Consequently, the clay and soil that had been trapped get cleared. However, sulfuric acid shouldn’t be used to unclog sewer systems made of stainless steel, chrome, aluminum, and galvanized steel.
Unclogging the Drain with Hydrochloric Acid
Drainage openers made of hydrochloric acid are ideal for use in sewer lines made of plastic. They can also be used to unclog sewer lines that have metallic components apart from galvanized steel and aluminium.
The solution comprises of around 30 percent acid. The solution also comprises of compounds that inhibit corrosion and suppress foaming.
Hydrochloric acid works by disintegrating solid fats and mineral deposits that usually accumulate from urine, hard water, scale, and rust. The acid also dissolves plaster, ground, and concrete deposits that accumulate in the drains.
Products for Destroying Roots
You can find acid-free products that are specially manufactured for unclogging sewer systems that shouldn’t be unclogged with acid-based products. Although they’re effective, they’re less potent than acid-based products. As such, they’re used together with drain snaking solutions.
Some products are specially made for destroying tree roots in drainage pipes. Roots can be dealt with by using herbicides that target roots in combination with foaming surfactants.
The combination of these products disintegrates the roots and discourages their regrowth. Some of these products don’t have copper sulfate, making them ideal for application in areas that forbidden discharge of copper compounds into sewer systems.