Although they are less common in newly constructed homes, galvanized pipes were once frequently used in household plumbing systems. Galvanized pipes are usually made of steel and coated with a silver or white finish. But due to the fact that the pipes are made of steel, they are prone to corrosion. The corrosion often is the cause of blockages as the rust-roughened surface causes bio-film, gunk and foreign objects to build up and lodge inside the galvanized pipe. If you're experiencing clogs within your galvanized pipes, you can remedy the problem yourself with some basic tools and supplies.
Remove all excess water from the bathtub, sink or toilet. Simply use an old coffee cup to scoop the water out and pour it into a large container or bucket. If there's a stopper in the sink or tub, remove it as well.
Run hot water into the sink or tub until it reaches a depth of approximately 2 inches. If you're dealing with a clogged galvanized sewer pipe connected to the toilet, use a bucket to pour hot water into the bowl of the toilet. Some water is necessary for the plunger to work effectively.
Hold a plunger firmly against the opening of the drain in the tub or sink. If you're working a toilet, use a force-ball plunger, as it is designed to seal more tightly against the drain of a toilet. Plunge up and down. This will push water through the galvanized pipe. The high pressure of the water rushing through the pipe might dislodge the obstruction.
Plunge the drain opening until the obstruction is cleared from the galvanized pipe. Run hot water down the drain or pour it into the toilet from a bucket. If the water drains or flushes as it should, then you've successfully cleared the obstruction. If you've repeatedly plunged the drain without any success, proceed to Steps 5 and 6.
Purchase a chemical drain opener and pour it into the appropriate drain. A drain opener utilizing bauxite and/or caustic soda will generally offer the best results. Read the label on your specific brand of drain opener for proper application instructions.
Flush the chemical drain opener out of the pipes by running hot water down the drain for approximately 10 minutes. If you're dealing with a toilet, flush it several times to clear the pipes.