Home renovations, such as the addition of a basement shower, can result in concrete or similar substances accidentally getting poured down drains. The resulting clogs and backups are more difficult to get rid of than hair or soap scum buildup, but can often be removed using the same tools for soap or hair clogs.
One option when dealing with a drain clogged with concrete is to pour muriatic acid down the affected drain. Let it sit for two or three hours, flush the drain with about 4 gallons of water, then use a plunger to loosen the clog. The acid will attack the lime in the concrete and break it up. While this can be an effective method for those with severe concrete clogs, this method can also eat away at your piping. The acid content in other products, such as apple cider vinegar, is enough to help remove concrete clogs without damaging pipes.
Also called a plumber's snake, a cable auger is a long, flexible steel cable used to clear clogs that are deeper in your drain. Cable augers range in size up to 100 feet, though 25-foot augers will likely suffice depending on how deep you believe the clog to be. Use a cable auger to break up wet concrete and work through clogs. There are also versions of this tool specifically made for clearing toilet clogs.
Electric Power Auger
Rent an electric power auger to deal with concrete and other tough clogs, such as tangled tree roots. In addition to removing severe clogs, electric power augers also work well on clogs that are found deep in piping. It is essentially a cable auger that features an electric motor. If you have never used this tool before, ask the rental agent how to use it safely for best results.
For concrete that has set so thickly in your pipes draining tools have proved inefficient, professional help may be required. The flooring surrounding the affected drain will have to be removed or broken up to get at the clogged drain. The clogged pipe is then removed and replaced. Ask friends and family members for plumber recommendations, or browse online reviews of plumbing services near you if possible.
Kent Page McGroarty
Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.