Partially blocked drain from washing machine

29 Sep 2007
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United Kingdom
I live in a very hard water area.
Washing machine overflowed recently; during pumping out, water overflowed the open pipe leading to the U bend. So I hooked the pipe from the machine into a nearby sink which nearly filled but did drain away slowly.
This sink and a basin discharge via U bends into the same drain pipe which joins a large, foul down pipe which empties into a drain outside. That outside drain is clear. The lower end of the drain pipe is not accessible as it is in a boxed off area. I've snaked the drain pipe and I'm pretty sure I've reached where it joins the large down pipe; during snaking, I didn't feel any blockage or excessive resistance.
I dismantled the washer machine U bend and was surprised to find quite a lot of hard, black flakes which I scrapped out. I assume these consists of lime-scale which usually is white. Perhaps it is black due to the black mould found in some washing machines (not mine so far!) due to the use of cheap detergents and low washing temperatures?
I guess the drain pipe might be partially blocked by the same black flakes; the question is how to clear them out? My snake doesn't "feel" much resistance from the flakes and comes out clean.
I'm thinking of checking if a black flake dissolves in lime-scale remover and then keep pouring lime-scale remover into the drain pipe.
The more difficult alternative would be to cut out a section of the drain pipe and try to poke out the lime-scale somehow?
All ideas and comments welcome!
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change the lot

sorry its not what you want to hear, but any drain cleaner will only work if it can find something to clean, if it moves past it it will only clean a bit (if you see what i mean)

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