How to remove tar from around drain pipe


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Old 08-23-19, 11:50 AM
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How to remove tar from around drain pipe

Hello,

We are remodeling our bathroom and went to install a new tub and the drain and overflow don't match the new tub we bought. So we need to replace the drain and overflow junction so it fits with new tub. Our issue is the existing fixture (drain and overflow is pipe) covered in black tar substance and we have no idea how to remove it. Anyone encountered this before? Any tips are appreciated.

Our house was built in 1978 and we are in San Antonio TX
 
  #2  
Old 08-23-19, 11:59 AM
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

Not an expert, but rubbing alcohol removes tar, so try that.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 12:31 PM
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Shadeladie it's a 10x10x God knows how deep pocket of hard tar. Running alcohol did not work ☹️
 
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Old 08-23-19, 12:36 PM
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Sorry. Hopefully someone will have a better suggestion!
 
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Old 08-23-19, 01:05 PM
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Mineral spirits, gasoline and such will dissolve tar BUT it would take a lot and that would mean a lot of fumes in an enclosed space
I suspect chipping maybe sanding/grinding it off would be your best bet, maybe use a solvent to tidy it up once you've removed most of it.
 
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Old 08-25-19, 05:53 PM
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Ick. Agreed that mineral spirits will soften the tar so it can be scraped off... but it sounds like there's a lot of it. Can you cut back to a clean piece of pipe? I'm wondering if the tar was added to seal a leak, that maybe should be fixed for good.
 
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Old 06-27-21, 08:02 PM
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Did you find a solution? Currently dealing with same problem. Chiseling is taking a long time.
 
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Old 06-27-21, 08:54 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

This may get moved to a new thread for you but..... a question.

What is the tar doing there ?
I've never seen drain plumbing encased in tar.
Is the drain line in the ground ?
Can you post a picture for us...... How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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  #9  
Old 06-30-21, 08:50 PM
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I wish I knew. Father in law believes it is a termite barrier. House was built in the 60's. Ended up chiseling it out with a wood chisel and a large pry bar while sucking up the chips with a shop vac. Took three days because I had to be careful around my hot and cold water pipes. It was a battle. Pictures for reference in case anyone else runs into this I suppose?

Before

After
 
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Old 07-01-21, 11:37 AM
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Holy .... wow! I have not seen anything quite like that before. I'm sure it took a while to get that out.
 
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Old 07-01-21, 11:45 AM
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Wow is right.

It looks like the tar created a pitch pocket like what would be used for a roof penetration.
I'm not thrilled with the copper pipe directly in the dirt. Hopefully clean fill was used in the installation.
 
 

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