Plumbing in the Home/Slow toilet drain


This house was built in the 60's and has the old cast iron drain pipes.  So I assume there is a build up of rust etc. along with the usual things that clog toilet drain pipes.  It hasn't gotten bad enough that I want to go to the expense of replacement.  

For the tub, I occasionally run through one of those dangerous sulfuric acid commercial drain openers that come in extra plastic wrapped bottles.  And it does an adequate job.  So I was wondering if there was something similar for toilets, or some other option I hadn't considered.  A snake won't really work well because there is a curly cue jumble of various pipes that meet close below the toilet.

Hi Art,
You have pretty much answered your situation as well as I can. You can use the same cleaner in the toilet but it is far more effective if you pour it directly into the pipes without flushing and diluting the chemical so much that it is not effective. If you have no close cleanout opening you would have to pour it (the chemical) down a vent or remove the toilet and pour directly into the closet bend.
If it were me i would be thinking about the replacement of all the accessible pipes fairly soon because cast-iron does not get better and yours is surely very thin in spots...all I can suggest is to just plan ahead.

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Cortez (cort) Cate


PLEASE read this entire introduction. I have been doing this for a long time and I have come to the conclusion that if you are not willing to take the time to write a detailed question then don't expect a detailed solution! I am getting far to many questions that do not give enough detail to warrant a good solution. I realize it is a little difficult to formulate a good question but if you want a good answer you have to give me good this entire introduction please....remember this website is world wide I have no clue where you live if you don't tell give more detail on the fixture you are having problems with...a one piece eljer 3.5 gallon flush will be totally different than a one-gallon flush toto.....details are important. I can answer most questions related to residential and commercial plumbing for many buildings. I have sufficient knowledge of the UPC and UMC. I will speculate for you if necessary. In those cases I will try to give you some guidance and you should use that to refine the question further and we, together, can seek the answer via a follow up. Plumbing codes and practices vary around the world--If you don't tell me where you live the answer I give may not fit your locality. I am giving my time to you as a way of fulfilling my perceived obligation to share. I am here to try to help you find a solution to your problem. REMEMBER, If you want a good answer you need to ask a detailed question and include where you live, type of pipes, type of building, water pressure if it is a water problem, type of heater, age of appliance & building all these and many more are variables that have an effect on various situations. Detailed information will help produce a better answer.


Since 1972 a California licensed B-1 General Building Contractor, C-36 Plumbing and C-16 Fire Sprinkler Contractor; also installing and servicing Heating, Air Conditioning and Sheet Metal operating as C and C Building and Plumbing, California State License 279516. In 1995 I downsized the company to become semi-retired. Still I remain active in the construction industry. As head of a company I placed personnel and job safety as the number one objective followed closely by training and continuing education. Always seeking to stay informed of leading edge technology in the industry. Also I have spent several years as an Apprenticeship Instructor in the Pipe Trades Unions. Additionally I am a certified OSHA instructor.

United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Instruction Training, Ann Arbor, MI Bakersfield College, Bakersfield CA Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA Foothill College, Los Altos, CA California Licensed Contractor from 1971

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