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  • Sulphuric Acid

    Well what an eventful evening I had tonight.

    I live in a brand new Condo (rent) (3 stories high) that also houses 23 others, until after we get married, so we can buy a home.

    I live on the first floor, and guess what happened tonight? The main drain started backing up, and I noticed a foul smell coming from the bathroom. I walked in to see the tub have some of the most foul smelling debris I've ever seen in my life.

    So I called the emergency number for our condo, and within 5 minutes someone was at our front door. He came in and saw what the deal was, and he was like "I only have a 10' snake". He told me he wasn't going to call Roto Rooter (thank god) cause he said they wouldn't be here until 3am in the morning. He called another maintenance guy who had a longer snake, and said he would be here within the hour.

    In the mean time after he left, I went back into the bathroom to see the water disappeared in the tub but the debris was still there. So I took my hand held and washed out the tub, and started filling it right away along with the sink. I let both go a few times and flushed the toilet, and everything seemed ok.

    I went downstairs to our parking garage (drywall ceiling) and located our stack with cleanout, and went back upstairs to tell my fiance to start filling the tub and sink again. I told her to give me a minute or so..so I could get back downstairs to the stack to see if I could hear the water go through.

    Within seconds I heard the water rushing passed, which told me we had some type of soft blockage somewhere in the line. Did it a few more times, and everything was running great.

    Went back upstairs to wait for the maintenance guy to come back..and he and 2 others came back about a 30 minutes later. I told them what the deal was, and they wanted me to show them which stack was mine, and we did. I go downstairs to find the guy had a K-400 ready to go, as he parked his truck in our garage. I told him he should have the K-60 (you can thank me anytime Rick), even though I don't have one, but would be good for him to have for this property, considering there is 7 other condo buildings here.

    So anyways..I told them what the deal was..and the one guy was like..I'm going for "the Buster" just to be on the safe side. To myself I was like.."wtf is the buster?"

    He comes back in with a bottle called "Buster" which he showed me, and I saw sulphuric acid on the bottle. He starts to pour it down my tub drain and is like.."yea..look how fast it's opening up your drain".

    5 minutes ago I just told him the drain was fine..but I guess he got caught up in the moment of "the buster".

    So before the left they told me this was the first drain problem of any kind on the property..which is just my luck.

    I have my own opinions about Sulphuric Acid..how does everyone else feel about using this? Personally I would never use it, and after he left I ran water right away so the acid wasn't sitting in my tub trap.
    Last edited by Flux; 08-19-2010, 12:48 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Sulphuric Acid

    Chemicals are my Last resort, and never in standing water, only in a slow drain and not for long. I rarely use the stuff.
    The Other Rick

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    • #3
      Re: Sulphuric Acid

      flux, i did thank you

      was it just a common tub stoppage or was the toilet also affected with the stoppage?

      was it just your unit and stack or other first floor units?

      not sure if the buster is actually going to solve your problem

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Sulphuric Acid

        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
        flux, i did thank you

        was it just a common tub stoppage or was the toilet also affected with the stoppage?

        was it just your unit and stack or other first floor units?

        not sure if the buster is actually going to solve your problem

        rick.
        It couldn't of been our tub, because we don't use that bathroom at all. It's only for guests and once in awhile I'll use the toilet in there.

        If you can picture it in your mind...the tub would of backed up first before the toilet, because of our layout and how the main drain is ran.

        There is probably 12 other main drains dropping down in our parking garage with so many condo's on each one. This particular line only takes care of me and 2 other bathrooms and kitchens above me. So basically..it's 3 full baths and 3 kitchens on this particular line.

        Each condo has 2 full bathrooms. My master Bathroom is on another line all together with 2 other master bathrooms tied into it above.

        When I went in earlier to feed the cat..I thought I heard something but blew it off. I know where the stack is in the wall (behind the toilet) but that's not where the noise came from. I heard it in the tub, but didn't think anything of it because I had the tv on kind of loud.

        So it boils down to...

        out of the many main lines dropping down into the parking garage..the one feeding me and the 2 above me..backed up.

        Me being on the first floor..I saw it because my tub would be first on the line.

        I think the weight of the water finally pushed the soft blockage through.
        Last edited by Flux; 08-19-2010, 01:58 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Sulphuric Acid

          do you think it was just a common tub stoppage on a 2'' common line or a 3''-4'' line that also affected your toilet too?

          did you get a chance to test your toilet before it cleared on it's own?

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            Re: Sulphuric Acid

            It's a 4" line, in where my tub would be the first fixture coming up from the parking garage. But with that said..I can't see the piping in the ceiling in the parking garage, because it's dry walled. I'm going to assume there is a common 2" line for all 3 tubs.

            To tell you the truth Rick..I have no idea what caused this back-up. I tested the toilet second, after I saw the water disappeared in the tub.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sulphuric Acid

              I do a lot of condo work for a group of property management company's. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your troubles have only began. The unit on the lowest floors are always the ones with the backups, water damage and floods. Stay on top of the management and make sure they have a drain maintenance program for you. The people above you don't care what they flush or run down the drains. We get lots of white mice, condoms, grease, massive amounts of hair, elastic hair bands, diapers, socks, underwear both male and female and even a wash cloth and once even a full size bath towel from a 3" DWV copper drain line (I still haven't figured out how they got the damn thing down the drain but it stopped my Speed Rooter 91 dead in its tracks). Lots of luck.
              WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE,
              ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

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              • #8
                Re: Sulphuric Acid

                Sulfuric acid can stink up the whole neighborhood with the rotten egg smell wafting out of the roof vents!

                As mentioned, you are vulnerable on the bottom floor, and I would make sure you have a lot of personal property insurance, as the condo insurance, or the owners liability insurance, may cover the structure but not your personal property.

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                • #9
                  Re: Sulphuric Acid

                  Originally posted by lovetheUSA View Post
                  Sulfuric acid can stink up the whole neighborhood with the rotten egg smell wafting out of the roof vents!

                  As mentioned, you are vulnerable on the bottom floor, and I would make sure you have a lot of personal property insurance, as the condo insurance, or the owners liability insurance, may cover the structure but not your personal property.
                  We have $50,000 worth of renters insurance, so I'm not worried on that end.

                  I actually take care of an old apartment complex, so I've seen these types of things many times before. It's just odd that this happened with our building only 2 years old, which tells me someone flushed something they shouldn't have or too much of something. Or someone is going to the bathroom hard, and should be taking their stool softener.

                  I'm just ready for my first home...I hate renting.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sulphuric Acid

                    It's in common piping, so it's the hoa's problem, so it's their decision on how and whether to address it. If they want to be proactive, they should have someone in to suss out if it was a tub stack or a larger toilet line and camera to make sure it's clear. If they want to roll the dice, they can let it ride until it shows itself again. When it does, it'll do so in the same way; in your tub. That is good because there is a lot of storage there before anything floods. Just in case, I'd not put the throw rug from Grandma's house or anything else you'll miss on the floor in that bath or near it's doorway.

                    acid is a bad idea in iron piping, you were wise to flush it out
                    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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