Is "Main Line Cleaner" safe for older cast iron wastelines?


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Old 02-06-11, 07:06 AM
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Is "Main Line Cleaner" safe for older cast iron wastelines?

I have a 2 story 1930's era house. My shower, bathroom and kitchen sink's 2" lines feed into a verticle 3" line that eventually goes under the garage cement slab. Somewhere there is another 2" line under the cement that drains my garage sink/washing machine. There is a cleanout a plumber accessed and snaked out when my washing machine sink started baking up, but I don't have a good power snake to run into it. The floor under the 2nd floor is the ceiling of the garage and I guess they laid all the 2" lines almost horizontal for clearance, so not a lot of water speed and consequently, crud collects.

A guy at Home Depot was trying to sell me something called Main Line Cleaner (1 gallon jug) to pour in from the roof vent, once a year or so. It contains Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide. Is this just a large size of regular drain cleaner, and how hard is it on cast iron if left in for the recommended 8 hours? How about those "digestive enzyme" type cleaners., or just bleach?
 
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Old 02-06-11, 04:15 PM
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Using chemical drain clearners is just another way to waste money plus you take a chance of damaging your lines or your body; mix the wrong ones together and you have a bomb.

Your best bet is to have your lines snaked out :NO NO NO:
 
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Old 02-07-11, 07:12 AM
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Not planning on "mixing" chemicals. Can't afford a plumber right now.
 
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Old 02-21-11, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by robs10 View Post
A guy at Home Depot was trying to sell me something called Main Line Cleaner (1 gallon jug) to pour in from the roof vent, once a year or so. It contains Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide. Is this just a large size of regular drain cleaner, and how hard is it on cast iron if left in for the recommended 8 hours? How about those "digestive enzyme" type cleaners., or just bleach?
From the roof vent?!??! Mmmm, I can't judge that for sure, but sounds nuts to me. And, instructions on all that stuff says to pour in from the drain.

Consumer Reports consistently finds those chemicals to be worthless as well as hazardous. (They are still sold because people buy them). The enzyme cleaners were more effective. The Zep Drain Care has worked for me, to get tiny flow up to more flow.

BUT, you need SOME flow for any of that to work, meaning if you have no flow at all, you need a good snaking first. Otherwise, none of that stuff will even get to the clog.
 
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Old 02-21-11, 05:20 PM
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Cast iron drains get gunked up good. The best defense is the enzyme based products. To do it correct for older piping is have all the lines snaked to remove the heavy stuff and use the enzyme monthly. This is a product I use. Although they have liquid versions now I still think the powder type mixed with warm water activates the bacteria better. Follow the instructions there is a procedure.

Statewide Supply - Bio-CleanŽ


The acid based products just basically burn a hole along the bottom of the pipe to restore flow. Very dangerous too. I used to love going to the home to snake a line out only to find 2 gallons of burn my eyes and skin off product in the line. "Thanks lady"......LOL

Mike NJ
 
 

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