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  • Blocked sounding pipe

    We've got a blocked sounding pipe for the bilge water tank. Someone has poured cooking oil down and I think it has frothed up and also there is what id imagine is fat blocking the bottom of the pipe. Any advise to get it shifted would be appreciated! Ta

  • #2
    Pressure washer down the pipe.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

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    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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    • #3
      There are a couple of options.

      The safest is some kind of biological fat digester (Gamazyme DPC or similar plus boiling hot water). If you have steam heating coils in the tank then you could boil the whole tank up that way and it should loosen.

      A pressure washer will do it, but it will be messy

      If you have the right connection to screw onto the top then you can use compressed air, but there are risks involved with that so you should do a JSA / risk assessment first.

      A long bit of pipe might get it, or might at least soften it up a bit before you attempt the other options.

      Good luck!
      Go out, do stuff

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      • #4
        If you use a pipe make sure not to drop it down the sounding pipe into the tank, that's annoying!
        A 90 degree bend at the end should stop that from being possible!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Faust View Post
          If you use a pipe make sure not to drop it down the sounding pipe into the tank, that's annoying!
          A 90 degree bend at the end should stop that from being possible!
          Yeah, that would spoil your day properly, the other option is to make sure the pipe is longer than the sounding pipe, you can use a long length of copper pipe
          Go out, do stuff

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          • #6
            Worst case scenario, have to cut the blocked section out and clear it...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by YoungMariner View Post
              Worst case scenario, have to cut the blocked section out and clear it...
              Hopefully shouldn't come to that for a bit of grease.
              Go out, do stuff

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              • #8
                Ultimately find the person responsible and glare.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Clanky View Post
                  There are a couple of options.

                  The safest is some kind of biological fat digester (Gamazyme DPC or similar plus boiling hot water). If you have steam heating coils in the tank then you could boil the whole tank up that way and it should loosen.

                  A pressure washer will do it, but it will be messy

                  If you have the right connection to screw onto the top then you can use compressed air, but there are risks involved with that so you should do a JSA / risk assessment first.

                  A long bit of pipe might get it, or might at least soften it up a bit before you attempt the other options.

                  Good luck!
                  I always go for a bit of neat fairy down it, hot water for a bit then have a go with a plunger, or dishwasher liquid hot water mix soak, that's quite good then plunge, but then I only deal with sinks!

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                  • #10
                    Same principal really.
                    Go out, do stuff

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the suggestions. its the very bottom of the pipe thats blocked, about 3m down. Iv tried water, air, even a corrosive fuel treatment the chief suggested. I think boiling water will have to be my next shot. Wish i knew whos responsible ha!

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                      • #12
                        Have you tried air with a hose shoved down the pipe, or with a fitting screwed on the end and the full 7 bar on there?

                        I would get a small wilden pump and empty the thing out, then put some chemical (DPC if you have it, biological grease digester / pipe cleaner / Dambuster etc) followed by a kettle full of boiling water then leave it over night. If you can attach an air hose to the top of the sounding pipe with an air tight fitting and open the valve. Get the whole tank as hot as you can first if possible.
                        Go out, do stuff

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                        • #13
                          The traditional and much used way to clear a blocked bilge sounding pipe was always to fill the pipe to the very top with water, insert a wooden bung with the same diameter as the pipe (make one if you have to) and then hit the top of the bung several times with a large hammer. The resultant sudden increase in water pressure usually clears the blockage. Remember to make the wooden bung big long enough so that you can get hold of it a remove it from the pipe afterwards, otherwise, you have a blockage at the top of the pipe instead of at the bottom.

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                          • #14
                            I asked our Chief engineer about this today... In his words - "Shove two sticks of dynamite down the pipe. Light the fuse and retire to the control room for a coffee."
                            Pointy bit is the front, blunt bit is the back... Simples!

                            Will work for money/sea time.

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