Sacrarium not draining, need advice


Hello, the nearly 50 year old sacrarium in my current parish is not properly draining. It backs up especially on Sundays and it takes several days or almost a week to lower. Would anyone here have experienced this before? What was done to fix the problem? I’ve brought it to the attention of our building managers but they also do not know what to do about it.


Could it be plunged with a clean plunger?


Or snaked with a clean snake?


The building managers aren’t going to do a thing. Y’all need a plumber, preferably one who is Catholic and familiar with these matters.


As all above, also if it has a swan neck plastic joint it may be blocked inside and they often simply unscrew. If it’s metal that may need either a plumber or a high pressure jet in the top aperture, very carefully. Plunger or snake would be safer imo. Plumbers are good too :wink:


You might also contact the diocesan office (probably the Office of Worship) to see what their recommendations are.


Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I’ll try to update when we find a solution


You may need to rod the pipes the other end, from the drain end.
If you find the nearest manhole you should be able to see which outlet pipe it should be.


The pipe for a sacrarium generally is a straight shot down into the ground.


I believe that is the case we have here. Would snaking it make any difference since its straight into the ground?

I am actually considering sopping up the stagnant water with a towel 24hrs after it’s last use, then hanging it to dry. By 24hrs time, any consecrated bread remnants should be fully dissolved. Would this be “kosher”?


That does sound reasonable, but I think I’d check with your priest and the diocesan office before proceeding with any course of action.


Surely if it goes straight into the ground it just soaks away yes?

If it goes into a hole in the ground, ie no connection to sewer, then it needs pumping out I should think as a long term solution. If it’s not soaking away the area has become supersaturated so,it needs time to reestablish soaking, therefore needs pumping out?


That’s how it should work, yes.

The question for the OP is how one would go about doing that while respecting the Real Presence present in every particle of the host or trace of Precious Blood that goes down the sacrarium.

I’ve never heard of one getting stopped up like that before, so I honestly have no idea what the best course of action would be. I would hope the diocesan office would have some ideas. I would imagine you can’t just pour Drano down the sacrarium.


Hmm :thinking: a thorny problem

I’d phone the diocese and ask them, they usually have someone who,knows about maintenance issues and the businesses they use as outside contractors.


Would boiling water work? Boil water and then put it down the drain. Since it’s only water, I can’t imagine it being illicit to use.


Thanks for the suggestion, but I don’t believe it to be a clogged pipe, but dirt soaking problem. Unfortunately, adding more water, hot or not, may only exacerbate the problem.


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