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Using muriatic acid in sewer lines


Q. I have heard that putting chlorine bleach in sewer lines that are troubled with roots, works. I have also heard putting muriatic acid in these sewer lines works? I have such a sewer line, but before I put any muriatic acid in it, I want to know if there is a danger in doing this? Part of my sewer line is the old ceramic tile, and part is newer PVC pipe. It would be in a very primitive basement with a primitive floor drain, that could be plugged to keep fumes out of the house. Would this be adequate to keep fumes from harming people or pets in the house about this basement? I thank you for your help. I cannot afford to have the sewer cleaned twice a year and there has to be some way of killing the roots, if this is a safe solution it would really help me. Thank you.

Caralyn Sue Zierke
consumer - Rapid City, South Dakota

First of three simultaneous responses -- (2007)

A. Go to one of the big box stores and buy a product that is made for this and follow the instructions to the letter! It will be effective and a lot safer. When the roots die, they will still clog the pipes, so you may have to call a professional or rent a unit and do it yourself and hope that you get it all.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Second of three simultaneous responses -- (2007)

A. Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid would flow like water past the root. Other disadvantages are fumes, worse fumes if accidentally combined with bleach or alkaline drain cleaners, and corrosiveness toward metals and concrete.

Try RootX, which foams to fill the pipe & adhere to roots. If not available locally, can get on eBay.

Ken Vlach
- Goleta, California  

Ken received a special
"Contributor of the Year" award
from for his numerous
helpful and well researched responses

Third of three simultaneous responses -- (2007)

A. Muriatic acid will probably not be effective keeping those roots at bay, and the fumes from muriatic can be quite obnoxious. People my be referring to drain lines which clog with hard water salts, and muriatic does work for that problem. I believe the water in your area is quite hard, possibly that's what's clogging your lines.

jeffrey holmes Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
- Spartanburg, South Carolina

Muriatic Acid



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