Sewer riser blockage: reasons, price and remedies

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Sewer riser blockage: reasons, price and remedies
Sewer riser blockage: reasons, price and remedies

Reasons for clogging of sewer risers. Manual, machine and chemical methods for cleaning the vertical pipe. Selection of fixtures and means of debris removal. The price of cleaning the blockage of a sewer riser by a master.

Eliminating the blockage of the sewer riser is a set of measures for cleaning the pipeline from foreign objects and various layers. The work is carried out using special tools according to the instructions of the manufacturers. How to break through a sewer riser with a strong blockage, you can find out in this article.

Reasons for clogging the sewer riser

Sewer riser blockage

In the photo, a blockage of the sewer riser

The riser is a vertically fixed pipe with a diameter of at least 100 mm, into which drains from all plumbing devices in the apartment are drained. But even pipes that are large enough can become clogged with debris. A non-working riser creates big problems in the house: all sinks, sinks, toilets, etc. cease to function. The consequences can be very serious. Often it is necessary not only to carry out cleaning work, but also to repair toilets, change burst pipes or make repairs to an apartment after its flooding. In a humid environment, bacteria that are harmful to the human body multiply rapidly.

It is very easy to understand that the riser is clogged: there is water in all the sinks on the upper floors, and dirty liquid and sewage are poured out of the plumbing fixtures on the first floor. Of course, the owners begin to panic and think about what to do if the sewer riser is clogged.

There can be several reasons for the appearance of trash jams:

  • The highway has been in operation for a long time, so all its elements are dilapidated. Cast iron pipes are especially susceptible to destruction. Under the action of corrosion, cracks and chips appear in them, which retain dirt.
  • Improper operation of the sewerage system. Foreign objects accidentally fall into the riser - rags, towels, household waste, construction debris.
  • The installation of the structure was carried out in violation of the technology of construction work, or its project does not meet the requirements of SNiP. Pipes with too small diameters are often clogged.
  • Using very hard water results in hard build-ups on the inner walls that are very difficult to break. Removing limescale is a complex plumbing work.
  • The main enemy of the riser is fats and some organic elements that react with them. Fats first fill in all the roughness on the surface, then the growths increase in size and fill the entire opening. Cast iron pipes, in which the roughness coefficient exceeds 0.47 mm, are clogged most quickly. For comparison: for plastic products this value is less than 0.02 mm, and for some samples it reaches 0, 00011 mm. Fat build-up is the basis for the accumulation of other debris, so look for the cause of the riser blockage in the kitchen. Human hair and animal fur are a big nuisance. They are very strong and do not dissolve with all chemicals, but in combination with fat they form a strong cork. Significant blockages are caused by the ingress of cement dust, sand or powder into such an environment.

To choose a way to clean the riser, study its device. It consists of the following parts:

  • Bell pipe. The main part of the structure that forms a straight section of the route.
  • Tee. It is necessary for connection to the structure of outlets from the intra-apartment sewage system.
  • Crosspiece. With its help, taps from plumbing fixtures located on either side of it, often from two apartments, are connected to the riser.
  • Revision. A hole in the pipe for monitoring the condition of the track and cleaning it.
  • Fan tap. Connects the sewerage system to the atmosphere.
  • Elements for fastening the line to the walls.

The lower part of the riser passes into the bed, along which the drains move to the disposal site. The upper part is connected to a fan pipe that goes out to the roof.

Construction parts are made of plastic (polypropylene, PVC, sometimes polyethylene) or cast iron. All elements have docking points for sealing joints. In plastic lines, the joints are equipped with rubber seals. The tightness of cast iron products is ensured by a cable - an organic fiber with oil or bitumen impregnation and cement mortar. Sometimes the joints are filled with molten sulfur.

You can get rid of the blockage of the sewer riser mechanically, chemically and thermally:

  • Thermochemical method used to break up very strong grease plugs with hot water, sometimes with the addition of chemical cleaning agents. Even if the plug does not disappear, the dirt softens, making it easier to remove with mechanical devices.
  • Chemical method involves the use of special substances that dissolve and corrode dirt.
  • Mechanical method used if solid inorganic fragments are found in the riser. With special tools, debris is removed or pushed further, into a larger diameter line. The simplest devices include a plumbing cable. Complex blockages are removed with special electrical or gasoline devices - hydrodynamic, pneumo-pulse, ultrasonic, etc.

See more about sewer design.

The choice of tools and means for cleaning the sewer riser

Cleaning the riser is a complex process that cannot be performed without special tools. They are selected depending on various factors: type of pollution, length and diameter of the line, ease of use. Below are the characteristics of the fixtures that are most often used to troubleshoot such problems.

Plumbing cable for cleaning the sewer riser

Plumbing cable for cleaning the sewer riser

The device is a long thin metal rope with a tip and a handle. The tool is used to remove solid objects from the riser and break through the fat plugs.

The product has a number of advantages:

  • When the cable rotates, a large torque is generated that breaks the strongest plugs.
  • The tool is very easy to work with. It is safe to operate.
  • The device is considered universal, because cleans pipes from many types of debris.
  • To increase efficiency, all kinds of attachments can be attached to the cable.

There are very few downsides to the rope: over time, a product made of low-grade steel loses its strength, and with severe blockages, you will have to apply great physical force to turn it.

Ropes have different designs, but they all must be strong, resistant to bending and twisting, and have good elasticity. The best examples are made from stainless steel. Products up to 5 m long and 10-16 mm in diameter are suitable for cleaning the riser (for pipes with a diameter of 100-110 mm). If the cork is strong, it will not be possible to pierce it by hand at a greater distance.

There are such models on sale:

  • Rope - devices made of twisted steel wires. Universal products for all riser blockages.
  • Spring - look like a long spring made of elastic wire. Clean the riser near the revision.
  • Tape - flat tools 1-4 cm wide, with little flexibility. They are good at eliminating dense congestion.
  • Rubberized - for cleaning plastic tracks. The rubber jacket protects the structure from damage.

The cheapest fixtures are usually equipped with one universal tip, but sometimes they are sold even without it. You can increase the efficiency of the rope by fluffing the edge of the rope. However, the wires scratch the walls, so only metal pipes are cleaned this way. More expensive models come with a set of attachments for removing various types of debris.

The table shows some types of handpieces and their purpose:

Name Design Appointment
Straight nozzle Coil spring For primary breaking through blockages. Can be used to analyze the composition of garbage.
Pear-shaped nozzle Pear-shaped spring product Removes textile waste and plastic containers.
Hook nozzle Spring with curved first coil For pulling soft objects.
Conical nozzle Cone spring Cleans large pipes well.
Spade nozzle Flat conical blade For cleaning fossilized deposits from the walls.
Ruff Metal brush Removal of soft layers.
Hook Looks like a classic hook Removal of large debris.

You can make a cable for cleaning the riser yourself from a piece of metal rope. To do this, untwist one end of the workpiece, and make a handle on the other. Cover the rope with an anti-corrosion compound.

In order not to turn the device by hand, use electromechanical machines powered by an electric motor. You can connect a cable or a rod to them, which will allow you to clean the risers of any length and diameter. The product provides the ability to change the direction of rotation. To clean the risers, choose an electromechanical machine designed for a diameter of 100-150 mm. The kit includes an electric motor, a drum with a wound cable, several different attachments and a frame with wheels for easy movement. It is possible to eliminate the blockage of the riser with the help of domestic devices "MEDIUS" and "MAGNUS", "Python-E" and devices of the "Stoke" series.

Instead of a machine, you can use a special block to which a wire or cable is connected. The product is driven by any electric drill. It's not as powerful as an electromechanical machine, but it handles most blockages well.

Sewer riser hydrodynamic cleaning machines

Hydrodynamic riser cleaning machine

These machines include special devices that supply a stream of water to the system under high pressure - up to 3500 bar. There are two types of products - on the car platform and the compact fixtures on the trolley. It is recommended to use the second option for cleaning risers. Small-sized products are designed to work with pipes with a diameter of 100-200 mm.

A typical machine consists of an engine with a pump, a reel with a hose, a set of nozzles and a frame with wheels for moving it. Optionally, a high pressure gun, pressure control devices, filters and a water container can be supplied.

The working tool of the product is the attachments. The tips have holes directed in different directions (in the forward and opposite directions, at an angle of 15-45 degrees with respect to the axis). They are selected depending on the diameter of the product and the nature of the contamination.

To clear the blockages of sewer risers, the following tips are used:

Name Application
Bullet For preventive and emergency work on the riser.
A spear For primary cleaning of heavily clogged pipes.
Grenade Has powerful traction characteristics. Used in emergency situations.
Torpedo Used in pipes filled with water.
Three-mode Breaks through blockages in short, powerful jets at the front of the handpiece.
Anti-fat Strong side jets wash away fat deposits from the walls.
Auger Has a cutter for breaking solid plugs.
Radar Removes solid fatty deposits on the walls when the riser is clogged.
Fraser Equipped with carbide tips to break up the toughest debris plugs.

Cars are produced with gasoline or electric engines.

High-quality equipment is manufactured by General Pipe Cleaners (USA), RIDGID (USA), ROTHENBERGER (Germany). From domestic products, one can single out the Poseidon high-pressure apparatus with a working pressure of 100-1500 bar.

One of the varieties of such machines supplies water with sand to the system. Small particles destroy plugs of any strength. The product is used if it is possible to drain the used industrial water.

Equipment for pneumo-pulse cleaning of a sewer riser

When using such equipment, the plug is destroyed under the action of a short-term water hammer without affecting the walls. All types of layers disappear in highways. The impulse lasts only a second, but during this time a pressure of up to 10 atmospheres is created. The shock wave moves at a speed of up to 1.5 thousand meters per second and sweeps away all obstacles.

The wave exerts weak pressure on the walls of the line, therefore, with the help of the device, it is possible to carry out cleaning even in old sewer systems. For the convenience of working with the device, a pneumatic gun is supplied, with which it is easy to clean risers in private and high-rise buildings. With its help, debris plugs are removed in pipes with a diameter of 150 mm at a distance of up to 50 m from the device.

Other riser cleaning devices

Construction of riser cleaning machine

In the photo, the construction of a machine for cleaning a sewer riser

On sale you can find other modern high-tech devices for removing the blockage of the sewer riser. These are universal machines that are also used in various highways - water, sewer, gas, etc.

Consider their types:

  • Electrohydropulse machines… They create an electrical discharge that causes a shock wave. It does not act on the pipe walls, therefore it is safe for the structure.
  • Mechanical cavitation machines… The product is equipped with brushes and cutting tools that remove growths from the walls while simultaneously supplying water through the hollow rods. The method is used if there is good access to the riser, for example, through a drain pipe.
  • Ultrasonic devices… The device generates ultrasound, which creates high frequency vibrations in the walls of the pipeline. Microcracks form between the growths and the wall, leading to the detachment of dirt. Such machines are most often used for maintenance work on the riser, because cleansing ends only 1-2 months after using the device.
  • Aerodynamic way… Abrasive with a drop of water under the action of compressed air is accelerated to sound speeds. A drop of water hits the cork and softens it, while an abrasive particle destroys the plaque. Further, the breakaway particles are removed from the riser by water.

Chemicals for removing blockage in a sewer riser

Sewer riser cleaner

To dissolve or corrode the blockages in the line, alkali or acid based chemicals are used. Solutions are not universal. A product that corrodes one type of debris may not work for another. Alkali-based preparations are used if fat deposits are the cause of the blockage of the sewer riser. The acid helps to get rid of organic debris - hair, paper, etc.

It is not recommended to pour pure hydrochloric acid into the pipe, because it will mess up the system. Also, you cannot use solutions based on acid and alkali at the same time due to the violent reaction of the mixture.

For each product, manufacturers have developed instructions that indicate the scope of its application, duration of action, concentration for preparing the working composition and other information. Failure to comply may result in damage to the sewer system.

The following drugs are used to clean the sewer riser:

  • Mister Muscle… Used to prevent or eliminate light blockages. The tool copes with food debris, hair and other organic elements. It is produced in the form of foam or gel.
  • Bagi Pothan… Differs in high productivity: the garbage plug disappears in a few minutes. It is used to remove light blockages. A very toxic drug, so you need to work with it with gloves and glasses.

How to remove a blockage in a sewer riser?

In order to choose the right way to eliminate the blockage of the sewer riser, you first need to determine the reasons for its appearance. Distinguish between a sudden congestion and a gradual decrease in the throughput of the highway. In the first case, the reason is usually the ingress of large solid foreign objects into the drain, which immediately block the pipe lumen. The problem is eliminated by mechanical cleaning, in which the debris is removed outside by special devices.

The gradual deterioration of drains is characteristic of old houses in which the sewer system has not been cleaned for a long time. Usually, a large amount of fat deposits accumulates on the walls of the risers, reducing the flow area of ​​the pipe. In such cases, the line is cleaned with chemicals. Other options are dangerous for the old system. Plastic products can be cleaned in any way.

Let's look at some of the most common techniques for removing debris from a vertical line.

Cleaning the sewer riser with improvised means

Handy tools for cleaning a sewer riser

For urgent cleaning of the pipe, you can use objects that are always in a private house - thick wire or a crowbar (metal pin). Scrap is used if there is a drain pipe in the sewer system.

To clean the sewer riser from the blockage, perform the following operations:

  • Weld the ear to the scrap and tie it to a strong cord.
  • Lower the fixture into the riser through the vent.
  • Place the tool over the dust plug at a height of 50 cm, and then suddenly release the cord.
  • If there is no result, raise the crowbar higher. During work, make sure that the crowbar does not reach the lounger.
  • After achieving the desired result, insert a garden hose into the drain pipe and rinse the system under water under pressure.

To clean the riser, open the revision closest to the problem area with a wire or remove the special plug from the tee or cross. Place a wire in the hole and move until resistance appears. Pull, move and twist it until the wire goes right through. Pull out the tool periodically and clean up debris. If necessary, open the second plug under the blockage and repeat the operation. Close the revision and supply hot water to the pipe, which will widen the hole.

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