Caustic Soda

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mag_14 | 22:26 Sat 31st Dec 2005 | Home & Garden
9 Answers

Can anyone help me?
Before reading the instructions, I poured caustic soda down the sink to clear it as the water was running down very slowely. Now the caustic soda has hardened solid and the blockage is worse, no water at all is getting down. Does anyone know how to soften the soda and flush it out?

mag_14 31/12/2005


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Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is soluble in water so unless you actually blocked the drain with it, it should clear. If the blockage is in the removable bend under the sink then remove and clean it but keep a bowl or bucket under to catch the waste. You must wear rubber gloves and be very careful of splashes on your face and skin as it will burn you. Keep some clean water nearby to wash with.

If the blockage is further down there maybe rodding eyes for access but if inaccessable try to get hot water down there and poke it with a rod or wire. Be careful of adding further chemicals as there could be an unexpected reaction. Take care.

Caustic Soda will react with an acid solution so if you want a quick way to shift it pour some vinegar down the sink but be warned it will react (depending on how much you've put down the sink the reaction might be very violent) and i wouldn't breath to much of the fumes it'll give off.

Unless you are used to dealing with chemical reactions and have protective clothing, masks etc. then for your own safety I strongly recommend you do not add anything further to the caustic soda.
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Question Author

To Stanleyman, Eddie51and Coobeastie,

Thank you for your advice, I will give it a go with water and a wire rod tomorrow and let you know how it goes. Just one more question - what were the three of you doing bringing in the New Year helping me, a stranger,out? Happy New Year to each of you.

Nothing else to do, wasn't allowed out.
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Question Author

Hello Eddie51 and Stanleyman

I ended up taking the whole lot out and replacing it with new pipes and fittings. My first real bit of plumbing work and it's fine - no leaks.

Thank you

mag 14.

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