Roots and sulfuric acid?

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jeffpas

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The main sewer line is blocked.

I have rented a 75 ft electric pipe snake but could not get to the main line (the buildng is concrete slab, and the only access is through the shower drain. It would not bend through the trap).
However, I WAS able to reach the plug wih a 50 ft handheld drill snake, another rental.
Its roots, and way down the line.
I pulled some of them out, but its going to be an ordeal, and hard on the back thats for sure.

The line will drain, but slowly. What I was looking for was something that would not only kill roots, but dissolve them, what a godsend that would be.
I was directed to sulfuric acid. But, its a gamble- once I pour the acid down there, then manual work is going to be hazardous. And plus it just sounds dangerous.
How dangerous?

Can anyone advise on the wisdom of this, and/or if there is anything else that could be done?
Because I can get flow through, I keep thinking a chemical is the way to go.

Thanks much for advice!
 
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Matt30

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The sulfuric acid drain cleaners aren't really potent enough to kill roots.

I can recall one time a guy I used to work for used muratic acid I do believe.i have no idea where he got it, it certainly didn't come from a plumbing supply store.

Long story short, it killed the roots in the drain and located the pipe at the same time because all the grass above the pipe turned black.

But hey.....they could flush toilets after that!
 

havasu

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I just ask that when this fails, and you finally are forced to call a plumber, you let them know what chemicals you used before he got there.
 

jeffpas

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Well you're going to get the standard answer from just about every help forum to call a professional, but then what good is it to have the forum at all if everyone just does that from the get-go?
I'm fully willing to support the city's plumbers and do, but I really can't afford to call them every time someone flushes a paper towel. That would bankrupt me, and kill off their source of income completely, lol.

The line was working fine up until the sudden blockage, there was no gradual choke-off as I would assume roots would cause.
They don't grow overnight.
So there must be roots, but not enough to actually block the flow, once whatever else it is is cleared. Once the flow is returned, I would assume you can use ZEP or some other gradual root killer which typically takes 3-4 weeks, at least according to the bottle.

So nobody has used sulfuric acid to clean a blocked main line?
I would be surprised, as it seems to be sold in every hardware store I've been to.
I have heard you should add acid to water, but never water to acid... so that sounds as if you should always pour it into a toilet bowl, and then flush.
To go the other route, through the shower drain, would involve pouring it into the trap (which has some water) but then would require pouring more water on top of it, albeit down the pipe a foot and a half or so, to flush it through the trap and on to the main line.
Which is safer?

Any thoughts, anyone?...
 
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