Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Advice on cleaning drains of old fat deposits  (Read 4330 times)

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on cleaning drains of old fat deposits
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2016, 10:04:54 am »

   the stuff is not like fat at all anymore, when we first scraped dome out we thought it was an asbestos pipe that had ruptured and the hard grey material that came out was confirmed as fat by a septic tank fitter.

  We have had them jetted but it didnt clear this stuff. a camera and a report would be £200.

We do have a jet washer but I'm not sure if hot water will be effective as the fat no longer resembles fat.



  • Joined Jun 2015
  • Dorset
Re: Advice on cleaning drains of old fat deposits
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2016, 10:24:45 am »
First thing to establish is what material the pipes are made of.
If they are the old Pitch Fibre type the only solution is to replace them. They were introduced in the 1950/60's as a 'new' cheap material that subsequently was found to flatten/squash and disintegrate over time and so were discontinued.
If they are Glazed stone pipes or Plastic (if an old installation unlikely) then if you can scource some Hydrochloric Acid, pour it into the drain at the beginning of the fat problem, it will dissolve ANY organic material. However, it is a dangerous substance, take great care not to come into contact with the acid or inhale any fumes given off, also be aware the reaction can be violent when the acid comes into contact with organic material!

Hydrochloric Acid is used for several purposes, it comes in plastic containers as a dilute solution. If you are a genuine business you can buy it from chemical companies such as those that sell cleaning products to commerce, alternatively you could contact a steam pressure washer supplier/servicer who use it to descale their washers and buy it from them.


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Advice on cleaning drains of old fat deposits
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2016, 01:06:22 pm »
As said, old fibre pipework may need replacing anyway. As also said the tool is a drop-down scraper which needs to be used with sturdy rods clearing (pulling back towards you) perhaps half a metre length at a time. The difficulty will be clearing anything from the top half of the pipe. You will have to tilt the rods through 90 degrees each way and be careful not to unscrew the rods- they will need marking for orientation as they go in. But if you have a scraper and rods it is a useful way of getting leaves out of guttering that you can't get a ladder to.

Buy a set of rods and they will usually come complete with the end tools.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on cleaning drains of old fat deposits
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2016, 02:37:20 pm »
We have a set of rods and the builder who has just been has decided that its lime scale. So the mystery continues. I have asked him to give me a price to put a new pipe in Fleecewife.

I dont recall reading about all this malarkey in John Seymour's guide to Smallholding ::)

[/size]I thought it would all be about making jam and bottle feeding cute lambs by the warmth of an aga.[size=78%] :-\

[/size]Thanks for all the advice guys I will keep you posted.[size=78%] :eyelashes: [/size] [size=78%]


  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Advice on cleaning drains of old fat deposits
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2016, 04:13:56 pm »
Fat busters for pipes linked to septic tanks:

Either bicarbonate of soda (see baking ingredients shelf in supermarket) and vinegar
Or washing soda (see washing powder section of supermarket).

If using bicarb - pour 200g bicarb down the outside gully, followed by 2-4 pints of vinegar and watch the froth rise. Leave for a few hours, then flush with hot water.

If using washing soda - pour about 500g of washing soda down gully, followed by 5-10 pints of very hot water.

DO NOT mix the methods - using vinegar & washing soda could generate a lot of heat and cause cracks...

Either method should dissolve fat deposits and will not cause problems with the septic tank.

Caustic soda is too strong and will kill off the bacteria in the septic tank.



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