How to Clear a Drain Blocked by Cement

When you are building a new property or having an existing property renovated, it is easy for your drainage system to also become blocked by concrete or cement. It may accidentally make its way into your pipes, but can end up there when builders are washing off equipment after use, as well. This can present a problem as the substance dries, because it will stick to the sides of your drains when it makes its way down and eventually lead to blockages.

This is why we believe that getting rid of concrete in your drains is best done as soon as possible. Here at Coastal Drains, we are experts in unblocking drains and we are happy to help make it happen. So, if you are in need of advice on what to do to get cement out of a blocked drain, we can provide it, or even send out one of our trained team members to get the job done for you.

How Does Cement Block Drains?

Sewer pipe

When cement or concrete is washed down your drains, it will cling to the sides of your pipes. If it is allowed to dry, it will reduce the diameter of your drains every time a new layer of cement is added. This is more than likely to have an impact on the flow of water in your pipes, especially in bends and corners where the substance can build up and settle. 

Allowing this to happen will not only cause waste water to move more slowly through your pipes, but can also lead to a quicker build-up of food particles, fats, oils and even soap if the pipe is leading from a bathroom sink. When this blockage becomes too great, waste water and debris will become backed up. This leaves no choice but for the drain to be unblocked, either by yourself or by a professional service.

But there is no need for you to worry. We are highly qualified drainage experts and we are always on hand to help you remove concrete from your pipes, either by providing advice for you or stepping in and getting the job done ourselves.

Clearing Cement and Concrete from Drainage Systems

We would always recommend that you clean concrete and cement out of your drains while it is still wet, wherever possible. We would also advise against actions such as flushing cement down the toilet or washing it off in large quantities in your sinks or showers. 

Below, we have listed some methods that can be used to clean out, push

away or dissolve cement in your drains.

Drain Jetting

Pressure Washer Sewer Jetter AttachmentThe first method we would recommend for thoroughly cleaning out your pipes and drains is a high pressure drain jetting. This involves using a high powered jet of water to wash out your pipes, cleaning into even the deepest reaches of your drains. The stream is powerful enough to travel around turns and corners, and can even dismantle tree roots if required, so it is certain to be enough to clean out wet concrete or cement.

While drain jetting is an extremely effective way of cleaning drains, it must also be noted that you should only undertake this job yourself if you have training and experience in handling the equipment involved. If you have never attempted this procedure before, we would suggest that you call a professional to carry out the work instead.

At Coastal Drains, we are experts at providing drain jetting services for all our customers who need them across the South East. No matter what your drains need this extensive clean for, we will be able to take on the project and see that it is carried out quickly, safely and efficiently.

Acid

It is also possible to dissolve concrete with acid, allowing the substance to soften and allow the backed-up water and debris to start to flow through. Pour hydrochloric acid (sometimes also known as muriatic acid) into the clogged drain and leaving it for between two and three hours. 

After this time, flush the pipe with about four gallons of water and loosen any remaining blockages with a plunger; this should be enough to clear the problem. If any remains, it should easily come away with an ordinary jet wash.

While this is an effective method for dissolving concrete or cement, we do strongly advise our customers to be cautious. Safety gear such as gloves and goggles must be worn when handling acid, and you must be sure that your pipes are made of a suitable material to carry out this job, in order to avoid causing more damage. 

If you would like to learn more about dissolving cement from drainage pipes, contact us today. Our friendly staff will be able to answer your questions.

Auger

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Otherwise known as a “plumbing snake”, this device can be used to push and break up clogs of wet concrete. Simply insert the tool into the affected pipe and gently feel around for the blockage. Once it is found, you can start to break up the blockage and get it moving through your pipes, using your jet washer to clean away the debris that remains.

Your auger must be long enough to reach the blockage in order for this method to be effective. If you do not have the tools necessary to carry out the work, or you have tried to carry it out and have been unsuccessful, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today. We will be sure to have an alternative method for getting your drains clear and free of cement or concrete again.

Replacing Your Pipes

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On occasion, it may be that there is too much built-up cement in your sewer line for the pipe to be cleaned and have it run smoothly again. It may also be that the cement or concrete has set too hard to be removed, in these cases. When this happens, there will be no other choice but to have the pipe dug up and replaced with a new one.

This is a job that should also be carried out by experienced professionals, because this will prevent any further damage being done to your property. It will also be slightly more cost effective, as you will not have to worry about supplying your own new pipe.

We Clean and Replace Pipes and Drains

At Coastal Drains, we take pride in our ability to swiftly and thoroughly clean our customers’ drains, no matter what the cause of their blockages. This is why we know we can help clean out wet cement or concrete from your pipes, if you get in contact with us today. We will see to it that your pipes are cleaned, cleared and free of any cement that might cause you problems in the future, allowing you to get back to your daily routine with your property.

If the cement in your drains has been allowed to dry and your pipe will need replacing, rather than cleaning, we can arrange this as well. Call us now and we will send our team to dig out your old pipe and install a new one, letting your drains flow just as they should again. We love what we do and we want to see our customers happy with their drains, so get in touch and we will do everything we can to make that happen for you.

Author: Greg Child

Greg is an expert in drainage and has been in the business for over 30 years. He's the owner of Coastal Drains Ltd and a very, very friendly chap.

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