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Nardit 02-06-2011 05:50 PM

cleaning drain lines with steam
I have a friend who tells me he maintains his drain lines with steam. We are having a bit of a debate, as I have been told this is not a good idea. Safety aside(steam is low pressure ) does any one have an opinion or advice on why this may or may not be a good idea? Thank-you, Nardit:)

AllanJ 02-06-2011 06:01 PM

Disadvantages of steam:

1. Safety; an imperfect seal could result in steam commingled with sewage blowing back out of a drain opening into someone's face.

2. Some caulking materials may have such a low softening temperature that the system joints come apart. For underground connections a leak to the soil could develop that would let raw sewage out a la cesspool or make it easier for tree roots to get inside.

broox 02-06-2011 09:40 PM

HOW?? does he really just blow steam through his commode or sink? Sounds goofy to me and it is not a safety question, I do not think low pressure steam would get the stuff out of drain lines that I pull out with my auger.

AllanJ 02-07-2011 07:18 AM

When you start blowing steam into the pipe, the steam will condense on the sides of the pipe while the pipe heats up. Eventually the pipe gets hot enough that the steam does not condense. But you don't know when that time comes and when you keep on blowing steam in, the pressure will get higher even if the steam was low pressure to start with.

Some fat and grease will liquify when the pipe gets hot enough. You hope that it breaks up into little globules and gets commingled with water condensed from the steam and flows down to the sewer or septic tank without adhering to the pipes further on down.

the_man 02-07-2011 08:59 AM

the company i work for has a homemade steamer that we use for thawing drain lines that freeze. it does unclog the drains to an extent, but i've always assumed that it was because of the hose being slid down the drain not the steam itself. but i have had success clearing stopped up drains with steam :laughing:

AllanJ 02-07-2011 05:17 PM

Ah yes, sticking a steam hose down a frozen drain pipe all the way down to a blockage consisting of a chunk of ice, and then pumping in steam, will melt it.

joemc 12-12-2011 05:26 PM

Steam to clean a drain
I was thinking of the Tree root problem that causes most of the problems. I think that a blast of live steam from a steam jenny will kill the roots and then they will rot away. I think it would be better then Rootx or some of those other things. What do you think? O by the way I just rented the drain cleaner and cut my roots out.

AllanJ 12-12-2011 07:10 PM

But they won't rot away that fast. We're still talking about months, or if there are fat parts of the routs, years.

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