My washing m/c, which is connected for drainage at the kitchen sink has
just *almost* flooded the kitchen by means of overfilling the sink when
draining. Now I'm no expert, but that tells me there's a blockage
between the sink and the main drain.
I've tried a traditional plunger on the kitchen sink, and a syringe
type plunger but both merely blow crap out of the overflow (straight
down my shirt, lovely). I can't think of a way to block the overflow
to increase the pressure so I'm looking for alternatives.
I've come across the Mr Muscle range of two products, details here:
.. is this kind of product any good? Are there alternative approaches
I could use? TIA.
Thanks. Does it provide for more than one application, or is the idea
that you bung it all down there at once?
I'm not sure whether the active foamer or the sink + plughole unblocker
is the best option. Mr Muscle says that you only use the s+p unblocker
when there is a total blockage but in my case the sink takes 10 mins to
drain from full. I'm not sure if that qualifies as merely slow
draining or a total block. The former I suppose.
Chemicals sometimes work, but it's often a lot quicker to dismantle the
traps and wastepipes (unless they're solvent welded) and clean them out
properly. It's a messy job, but should last a while once done.
These 'Mr Muscle' products are probably all based on sodium carbonate and
sodium hydroxide, which are available at a tenth of the price which they
charge. Are you sure the slow draining isn't caused by a blockage in the
outside drains? Is you toilet water level low- this is often a clue. Have
a look in the manholes outside. On three occasions, I've had similar
problems and the problem was in the outside drains - a blockage in next
door's manhole, which was communal to 7 properties, and probably due to
disposable nappies - the smell was horrendous. The solution was achieved by
using drain rods and later a pressure washer with a back-flush attachment.
If this is your problem, Mr Muscle is a waste of time. The local council
used to do this job free of charge but sadly no longer.
No, they aren't. The "active" Mr Muscle is something quite obscure.
Recreating it was goign to cost considerably more than buying it
retail - as it was obscure, the only sources were either lab grade or
buying it by the tonne.
Although sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide certainly shouldn't be
BTW - the pH of Mr Muscle spray is a little frightening too.
Mr Muscle spray appears to be simply caustic soda in some sort of foam.
Having switched the aga off as its no longer cold enough to justify it,
I cleaned it all with mr muscle yesterday. Same smell as caustic, same
effect as caustic, especially on my hands and arms.
Its a highly alkaline reducing agent, bleach and saponification mixture.
To me, only caustic comes close in meeting those criteria.
It's caused by washing machines these days going all green and using
lower water temperatures and less water. The result is a build up on
the drain pipes of a grey sticky goo made up of discarded skin and,
if you have children, you don't want to know what else.
It's quite easily shifted by Caustic Soda or any of the proprietary
cleaners and they are far easier to use than dismantling the whole
thing. It will recur about every 6 to 18 months if you don't
remember to pour about a pint of caustic soda solution down the
Washing machine drain pipe every now and again.
Yes dismantling and cleaning is the 100% effectice route and the
cheapest .Other routes are netcurtain wire type devices problem with
these is that hard to clear the whole diameter of the pipe. for
blocking up the overflow when plunging try gaffa/duct tape then hold a
folded up cloth over the overflow again the problem is clearing the
whole bore of the pipe
If you dismantle check the ends of the pipes for swarf from when they
were cut as these can be the start of a build up ,its easy when the
pipes are dismantled to run a sharp knife round to remove the swarf.
Also remember up you are going to dismantle to empty the sink as much
as you can before removing the trap also have a bucket/washing up bowl
under the trap be prepared for a stink tho :-)
If you have a bottle trap consider replacing with a p trap, bottle
traps are just a plain pain in the butt for blockages
Often all thats neeed is some caustic soda. I put a cupful in the
sink, over the plug hole, and poured some boiling water on it. Its
very effective, but !beware! It spits alkali, and the spit drops can
do your eyes a serious and nasty injury. I did it facing the other
way, and did _not_ turn to look. Never do this, ever. It didnt occur
to me till later that one moment of forgetful turn around...
On 6 Jun 2004 14:30:34 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (N. Thornton) wrote:
With respect that is a really silly idea - when caustic soda
dissolves the reaction is strongly exothermic - it generates a lot of
heat. Pouring near boiling water on it is not sensible as you get an
immediate boiling mass of concentrated caustic soda.
Indeed - but it is equally effective if made up following the
destructions on the container and a damn sight safer.
There is no can about it - boiling concentrated caustic soda will
blind you very quickly. Alkali burns from caustic soda are _always_
worse than they look and should always be treated as emergencies and
the victim taken to hospital after rapid first aid of complete
irrigation of the eye with copious amounts of water.
Eyes yes, but skin burns are nothing. I have had dozens of minor caustic
spalshes and never once went to hospital.
For eyes, its a question of massive and immediate dilution. Time is of
the essence. Don't rush to A & E, get the eye washed with clean cold
water again and again and THEN get to A & E. But they won't do anything
much more than wash it again. If its damaged, its damaged, and the only
treatment is something to stop it hurting ad keep infection at bay, and
hope it heals itself.
My comment referred to eye injuries, I did not make that clear.
I agree, you should wash the eye (as in let the water from a running
tap pour over the eyeball not just dribble a bit of water in) for at
least 20 minutes and ideally continue to provide some irrigation for
the journey to hospital. At A&E any alkali eye burns should be
referred to an ophthalmologist either immediately or, for mild burns,
within 24 hours. Acid burns look much worse than alkali burns
initially but are (with the notable exception of hydrofluoric acid)
generally far less damaging than alkali burns.
Caustic Soda dissociates into a hydroxyl ion and a cation in the eye
surface. The hydroxyl ion saponifies cell membrane fatty acids, while
the cation interacts with stromal collagen and glycosaminoglycans.
This interaction helps the caustic soda penetrate deeper into and
through the cornea and into the anterior segment of the eye.
This results in corneal clouding. Collagen hydration causes fibril
distortion and shortening, leading to increased intraocular pressure.
Additionally, the inflammatory agents released during this process
stimulate the release of prostaglandins, which can further increase
in intraocular pressure.
The combination of scarring, tissue damage and raised pressure in the
eyeball make opthalmic follow-up essential. As an aside the most
dangerous alkali as far as eye damage is concerned is Ammonia.
Liquified Ammonia gas (anhydrous ammonia) is used in the USA as a
fertiliser, it is directly injected into the soil, and a number of
agricultural workers are blinded every year in accidents with it.
Not so. Apart from irrigation, treatment of opthalmic alkali burns
Control of inflammation to reduce the secondary effects of the
damage. Topical steroids are useful during the early recovery phase.
Cycloplegics also reduce inflammation by stabilising the
Prevention of infection: The corneal epithelium serves as a barrier
to infection. When this layer is absent, the eye is susceptible to
Reduce intraocular pressure: Aqueous suppressants are used to reduce
IOP secondary to chemical injuries, both as an initial therapy and
during the later recovery phase.
Promotion of epithelial healing: Chemically injured eyes have a
tendency to poorly produce adequate tears; therefore, artificial tear
supplements play an important role in healing.
Control pain: Severe chemical burns can be extremely painful.
Ophthalmic referral for even seemingly minor burns is quite usual as
they can be far worse than they look.
As we both agree - keeping it out of the eye in the first place is a
really good idea. The danger of putting caustic soda in crystalline
form down a sink and then adding water is that in the process of
dissolving the caustic soda generates a lot of heat. In a sink drain
this can easily be enough to cause the concentrated solution to boil
and there is nowhere for the steam pressure to go which results in it
exploding the caustic liquid violently upwards out of the drain and
forwards out of the overflow.
Mixing the caustic soda properly and pouring the resultant liquor
down the drain is equally effective as far as clearing the drain is
concerned and far less risky. I agree its also a lot less exciting -
but with some things being boring is quite sufficient thank you :-)..
| My washing m/c, which is connected for drainage at the kitchen
| sink has just *almost* flooded the kitchen by means of
| overfilling the sink when draining. Now I'm no expert, but
| that tells me there's a blockage between the sink and the
| main drain.
| I've tried a traditional plunger on the kitchen sink, and a
| syringe type plunger but both merely blow crap out of the
| overflow (straight down my shirt, lovely). I can't think
| of a way to block the overflow to increase the pressure
Someone else holding a wet rag firmly over the overflow hole whilst you
attend to the plug hole.
| so I'm looking for alternatives.
| I've come across the Mr Muscle range of two products, details here:
| .. is this kind of product any good? Are there alternative approaches
| I could use? TIA.
They are effective if the blockage is in the sink trap. They are not as much
use if the blockage is further down.
Or for a loner like me perhaps a wet rag held over the overflow with
one foot whilst the other stands on the floor and I plunger the sink
for all it's worth. I'll either discover muscles I never knew I had,
or get acquainted with A&E at the local hospital.
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