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 candle wax in drain
Author: Anonymous User

I recently adverted a fire by throwing my burning candle with cardboard skirt in my bathtub. But now the wax has clogged the drain and no drain unclogger has worked. Do I need to step up to heavy chemicals like MEK, acetone, or muratic acid? would any of those work?

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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

I would not use any chemicals unless you can confirm from their manufacturer that they would be effective and safe for use on wax.

After posting the above paragraph I am editing this to say that I dont know if ANY of the chemicalls you mentioned are SAFE or LEGAL to put down a drain.

How much was was there? How far into the drain so you think it went? Could you possibly scrape at it with a bent coat hangar?

I have heard that ICE is used to remove gum and wax from carpets. Seems when you freeze the stuff, it looses its "sticking power". Worth a try to put a very large amount of icy water slowly down the drain. This in combination with the hangar or if necessary a small snake. It you can stiffen it up then free it from the walls of the pipes, the chunks would flush away.



Post Edited

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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: Dunbar (KY)

Hot water.

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 Candle wax in drain
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

If your house was completely engulfed in fire.... would you consider a garden hose to put out the flame... or call the fire department ??
What happen to your drain is about the same.
Call a licensed profession and save yourself and your house alot of money and misery.
Those chemicals mentioned will cause a greater amount of damage and problems to your drain and house.
Accept that you are a hero in saving your house from fire. Now don't make a fatal mistake. Call a licensed plumber.
Best Wishes

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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: hj (AZ)

The wax congealed as soon as it reached the water in the trap. That is the good news. The bad news is that there is nothing that will dissolve it, (and even if there were it would just congeal again further down the drain. Even a snake may not be able to grind through it unless it is just a thin shell over the water, it depends on how much wax there was, but that is the first thing to try. If that doesn't work then you have to open the wall behind the tub and remove the overflow riser pipe, and "chop" the wax out.

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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: e-plumber (NY)

I received a call from a customer that said her daughter had poured "about" 2 cups of wax down the bathtub drain. On the way over I was thinking that I would be opening the ceiling below, cutting the trap out, basically expecting it to be one of the worst bathtub clogs.

It turned out that the snake cable broke up pieces of wax and they came floating to water surface, then the cable broke through the rest and the bathtub drained quickly.
It must not have been 2 full cups but it was a considerable amount that floated up out of the drain.

e-plumber



e-plumber
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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: HytechPlumber (LA)

The first step would be to remove the waste and overflow plate with associated lever/rod parts. This part itself may have excessive wax built up around it. Also tha wax may have built up between the strainer and overflow pipe. This can be determined by pouring water down the overflow pipe and seeing if it drains or not. If the stoppage is futher down then the sewer cable would be the next step and is best when a qualified and experienced person is controling the cable. GOOD LUCK

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 IMPORTANT: DONT PUT ACID IN DRAIN
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

In his post, hj make the excellent point that the wax most surely hardened up right away in the trap water. This makes it amenable to working with a snake through the overflow.



RE: CHEMICALS

In my earlier post, I overlooked a most important point: DONT MIX CHEMICALS.

Especially this: you have already used drain openers (Lye). If you were to add an ACID, a dangerous, possibly LETHAL reaction could occur. DO NOT put any more chemicals in this drain.

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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: Crash

pouring acid down a tub drain is a really bad plan (as you have figured out by now) there is a chance you will spill in your tub & damage it

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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: Anonymous User

Thanks for the response. I found that sticking a soddering gun at the base heated up the wax down the length of the pipe enough for boiling water to push it through.

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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: Anonymous User

Thanks for the response. I found that sticking a soddering gun at the base heated up the wax down the length of the pipe enough for boiling water to push it through.

****Best Advice Award*******

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 Re: candle wax in drain
Author: Anonymous User

Thanks for all the help, guys. Hopefully it will be a while before I need to get back on here.

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