Good?? Drain Cleaners

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Old 09-20-02, 06:08 PM
rckowal1
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Good?? Drain Cleaners

It's been several years since I tried any of the available drain cleaners - including enzymatic & Drano types. In my experience, none of them has ever been very effective in cleaning out 30 plus year old bath tub drains. In fact, some create more problems than they correct.

Has anything come along yet that REALLY, REALLY works well to clear such drains? I'm well versed in using snakes, plungers, water balloons, air pressure & other mechanical tools so there's no need to tell me about them. I already use them when my drain gets real slow.

I'm just interested in knowing if there are any really good chemical cleaners that are worth using for regular maintenance - between heavy duty mechanical clearing sessions.

Best regards, Dick
 
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Old 09-20-02, 07:02 PM
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It depends on if you sell them or use them...

I am kind of fond of a regular usage of enzymine drain cleaners on kitchen drains. Other drain cleaners on other applications. I feel they have their uses.

There are commercial grade drain cleaners that clear bathtub drains, with hair and soap scum, in seconds. These are commercial products only, so the average joe will not have access to them.
 
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Old 09-20-02, 07:21 PM
rckowal1
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Hi Notuboo

Thanks for the reply. I have access & can buy at several major plumbers supply outlets. What's the name, or type, of the commercial drain cleaner you're referring to?

Best regards, Dick
 
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Old 09-20-02, 08:25 PM
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My 2 cents:

Chemicals don't work 99% of the time, why waste the money on drain cleaning chemicals if there is no solid proof they really work.

The real problem solver is the use a machine and clean out drains as best as you can.
 
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Old 09-21-02, 06:21 AM
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Cool

I use DrainCare, an enzyme-based drain cleaner, for sluggish bathroom and kitchen drains.
It seems to work well by just following the directions on the jug.
Available at big box stores, etc.
Mike
 
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Old 09-21-02, 07:27 AM
rckowal1
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Thanks Plumber 2000 & Old Guy for your replies.

Plumber 2000 - my experiences for 35 years as a professional home owner (stuck with a lousy tub drain design) also indicate that mechanical tools are the only truly reliable way of clearing clogged drains.

However, I've also seen that enzyme cleaners can HELP TO KEEP THEM CLEAN LONGER! But once they are clogged, get the tools out. Try them, you may learn to like them.

Best regards, Dick
 
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Old 09-21-02, 10:08 AM
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If a drain it totally shut off, tool time.

I've had great luck with a product named Resolve by Ultra-chem Inc. It is a crystal drain cleaner that turns any organic material into a basic nasty, slimmy goo that can be flushed with water. If water is moving in a drain, I use this stuff.

Kitchen drains, several biological products to choose from. A regular maintenance program for this product is the key.

I can remember back in the late 70's and early 80's that you could by di-chromic acid based cleaners and these would eat their way all the way to the sewage plant when poured in a large enough quanity. And the stink from this could only be described as rotten eggs on their best day. The EPA no longer allows this as it could and did kill several sewage treatment systems around the country. This was the greatest stuff I ever used on a municipal level of drain cleaning.
 
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Old 09-21-02, 05:04 PM
rckowal1
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Thanks Notuboo,

I'll check out "Resolve" here.

I never let my drains get to the "clogged point" - so water is always flowing in them. With our tub drain, this comes down to blowing out the trap and an adjacent elbow using a garden hose, a drain balloon & water pressure every 4 to 6 months.

After I blow out the sludge & hair that accumalates in the trap, the drain flows like it's new. Then it very gradually slows down again across several months. Been doing this for year. That's why I'm always looking for a "better idea".

Best regards, Dick
 
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Old 09-23-02, 09:17 AM
S
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New plumbing... is the old stuff steel? Properly sized and sloped plastic almost never has a problem,,, plastic just about bankrupt Mr. Rooter
 
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Old 09-23-02, 12:50 PM
rckowal1
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Thanks sberry27,

It's 1 1/2" steel but a lousy design done by a drunken plumber. Has only marginal slope & an "up turning" elbow at downstream end of the P trap. All combine to create a recurring pain in the a_ _.

By the way, "plastic" polybutylene pipe nearly bankrupted several chemical companies as well, due to failures, so plastic isn't always the best answer.

I know ABS pipe well. I worked for the company that pioneered it in the 60's. I also just retired from one of the biggest suppliers of polyethylene resins for commercial gas pipe.

However, being between ceiling/floor joists, to replace the steel with ABS isn't exactly an easy or fun job. Would probably have to tear down & rebuild half (maybe a quarter - grin) of the house to do it.

Best regards, Dick
 
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