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Unblock a pipe plugged with silicone sealant?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by BenHB, 14 Mar 2010.

  1. BenHB

    BenHB

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    I want to reinstate the original water feed to a garden shed that the previous owner has cut off. They have chopped the 15mm copper feed pipe 3" above the concrete floor and filled it with a load of silicone sealant. I've managed to pull out a 15" silicone plug but am assuming it has snapped and left a section in the pipe. Anyone know of a clever way to remove or dissolve a plug like this as replacing the pipe requires digging up the patio?

    Cheers
     
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  3. dextrous

    dextrous

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    Long drill bit? Reverse flush the pipe by connecting a hose at the far end of the run.

    Or try this and dissolve section be section.

    Or a combination of the two :idea:
     
  4. crockett

    crockett

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    The silicone remover won't even touch it, and I'm afraid that you will need to dig up your patio as much as you need, firstly to trace which way the pipe runs (using a drill bit to try and clear any silicone inside the pipe is a disaster waiting to happen!!) and secondly so you can cut out as much pipework as is required to clear it, and then renew. :)
     
  5. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    It's got to be worth a try, as there's certainly nothing to lose if you'd end up chopping out the damaged section anyway. I agree that a long drill bit is a good idea. Equally, a hose securely connected at the other end of the pipe and a reasonable water pressure may even be enough to dislodge the sealant if there's only a small amount left in there. You'd need to have someone watching the end in the house if you want to avoid a small flood in there, though!
     
  6. crockett

    crockett

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    The pipe, as the OP has mentioned, is sticking up out of a concrete floor. I would then guess it has a bend in it somewhere so it can run horizontally to the house. You will have a job to get a drill bit anywhere near the blockage, as the OP has said he pulled a fifteen inch length of silicone out before it snapped off. The floor where the pipe comes out of will need to be dug up to remove the remaining silicone, as there could still be another 15" of it in there.
     
  7. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    I wonder if it would be possible to get a spiral drain cleaner to latch onto it and pull the rest out?

    God knows why someone would go to such an effort to seal it...
     
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  9. crockett

    crockett

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    Silicone, as I'm sure you know, is semi solid. The spiral drain unblocker is great for hair, grease etc., but, as with the silicone remover, it won't shift it in a pipe that narrow. The reason the previous owners used silicone is probably because it was to hand in the shed, and also because they didn't know that they could purchase a cap end. :rolleyes:
     
  10. tamz

    tamz

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  11. BenHB

    BenHB

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    Thanks all for the advice. I'm interested to know what a spiral drain unbloker looks like - I managed to get the 1st 15" of silicone out using a wire coat hanger I'd wrapped round a screwdriver shaft to make a bodge corkscrew affair. It bites into the silicone so long as you can get it in a good 3 turns - now the end is a further 15" away I can't get sufficient torque down the wire so the end bites into the silicone far enough. It looks like I may have to go patio digging but would like to try ANYTHING before resorting to lump hammers and cement mixers.
     
  12. dextrous

    dextrous

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    ANYTHING? :eek: Feel like I'm about to break into an Oliver Twist song.
     
  13. dextrous

    dextrous

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    You may well be right, but if there's any way of dissolving it, then it's surely worth a shout. Wonder what would happen if the op tried sticking a blowtorch on the end of that coathanger. Just trying to work out is there's any way of solidifying it :confused:
     
  14. lifesagasman

    lifesagasman

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    edit, just noticed 15mm. good luck

    15" down the pipe the plug might not be a solid, wedged-tight mass, just dribbled in

    maybe insert a piece of 10 or 12mm down the 15
     
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