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Old 11-28-12, 08:50 AM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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What Was in My Pipes?

So, the bathtub drain finally clogged. I ran a heavy-duty snake down the drain and only got about 12" before it wouldn't go anywhere. I took the pipe apart below the tub, and the pipe was completely clogged with a dark red, hard sludge. It was so hard that I had to actually chip away at it with a screwdriver to clear the pipe out. It had no odor. It had been there a loooong time. But it stopped before it got to where the sink drain joined the line, so it was very specific as to where it was in the line.

What could it be?

Additionally, I couldn't get ALL traces of it out (though the pipe itself is pretty much clear). Anything I can do to get rid of it, other than just running purely hot water down the drain for 15 minutes?

I thought maybe it was something the kids put down there like clay, Play-Dough, or even poop, but it had been there for a long time given how hard it was--longer than we had been living there.

I tried Googling but didn't find anything.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-28-12, 08:51 AM   #2
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Rust and lime scale?
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Old 11-28-12, 08:53 AM   #3
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Decomposed hair, skin, excrement, soap products, calcium, other minerals from your water supply. All the normal stuff. Life is messy.
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Old 11-28-12, 08:57 AM   #4
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Rust and lime scale?
Yup.

Does the house have a water softener?
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Old 11-28-12, 09:02 AM   #5
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Decomposed hair, skin, excrement, soap products, calcium, other minerals from your water supply. All the normal stuff. Life is messy.
Ya, that is what I figured. I was hoping it was more exciting than that. Also, it stopped at the drain from the sink, probably because the water from the sink washes it back a little bit.

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Does the house have a water softener?
Yep.

Anyway, my wife wants me to put a real ceiling in the basement, but every time I do these repairs requiring access into the basement ceiling, I remind her how much money we save by not having to rip out the ceiling several times a year. The drop-ceiling is just perfect for houses almost 100 years old.
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Old 11-28-12, 09:13 AM   #6
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Get a nicer ACT ceiling. Something like: http://www.armstrong.com/resclgam/na...itemId=44552.0 in a color to work in the surroundings.

Then you still have access and it doesn't look like cheap ACT.
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Old 11-28-12, 11:01 AM   #7
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Didn't you have water softener issues too?
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Old 11-28-12, 12:41 PM   #8
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Didn't you have garbage disposal issues too?
I believe so.
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Old 11-28-12, 12:46 PM   #9
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Lemmiwinks?
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Old 11-28-12, 01:07 PM   #10
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Anyway, my wife wants me to put a real ceiling in the basement, but every time I do these repairs requiring access into the basement ceiling, I remind her how much money we save by not having to rip out the ceiling several times a year. The drop-ceiling is just perfect for houses almost 100 years old.
Our basement ceiling has clearly been torn out and patch very poorly by the previous owner numerous times. I've thought about a drop ceiling, but all the ones I've seen would reduce the clearance to less than 7', which isn't to code.
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Old 11-28-12, 01:20 PM   #11
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Rust and lime scale?
This, and does your water have heavy amounts of iron?
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Old 11-28-12, 02:32 PM   #12
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I had something similar, though not to such an extreme, in my last place. I think it was rust/hair/mineral buildup combined with a sort of mold. We would always get a red tinge around the drain when the bath hadn't been scrubbed down really well for more than a few weeks. And I wasn't even killing people back then.
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Old 11-28-12, 03:06 PM   #13
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Use a better acid on the bodies
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Old 11-28-12, 03:33 PM   #14
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I believe so.
Ya, garbage disposal. Those pipes are on the other side of the house, though, and don't intersect with these pipes until they each join the bigger six-incher and then under the cement basement floor.

House is old + previous owner never maintained anything for 14 years + previous owner didn't use anything most of the time so stuff just sat for 14 years + my wife does all the crazy things I tell her not to do = plumbing threads.
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Old 11-28-12, 03:35 PM   #15
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Our basement ceiling has clearly been torn out and patch very poorly by the previous owner numerous times. I've thought about a drop ceiling, but all the ones I've seen would reduce the clearance to less than 7', which isn't to code.
I used to sell "drop ceilings" that would go up against the ceiling, or only need three inches of space. But you end up boxing in practically everything in your basement if it's an older house and is low to begin with.
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Old 11-28-12, 03:37 PM   #16
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Go see one of the mushrooms in the orange apron at Home Dopey plumbing dept.(I prefer Lowes)and purchase the snake you can hook to your drill.Not very expensive,simple to use.
With those musician muscles you barely can flush the toilet with 2 hands much less use a manual snake.
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Old 11-28-12, 03:38 PM   #17
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I used to sell "drop ceilings" that would go up against the ceiling, or only need three inches of space. But you end up boxing in practically everything in your basement if it's an older house and is low to begin with.
Owens Corning basement system?
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Old 11-28-12, 04:42 PM   #18
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Sounds like hard water and normal use. Pour baking soda down the drain then white vinegar and let it do it's magic every month or so. This will keep the pipes flowing nicely and not hurt your septic system (if you're on one)
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Old 11-28-12, 06:22 PM   #19
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What could it be?
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Old 11-29-12, 12:38 PM   #20
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Sounds like you need to pee more in the shower.
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Old 11-29-12, 12:41 PM   #21
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Name something you don't want to hear at a gynecologists office:


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What Was in my Pipes?
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Old 11-29-12, 12:45 PM   #22
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Clay pipes with a crack?
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Old 11-29-12, 01:35 PM   #23
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Sounds like hard water and normal use. Pour baking soda down the drain then white vinegar and let it do it's magic every month or so. This will keep the pipes flowing nicely and not hurt your septic system (if you're on one)
Does this really work?
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Old 11-29-12, 01:39 PM   #24
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Does this really work?
sometimes baker's yeast will work.
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Old 11-29-12, 04:59 PM   #25
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sometimes baker's yeast will work.
That type of treatment could give Sonata a yeast infection.
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