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Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

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  • Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

    Maybe this topic has come up before and just missed it. I don't get excited over drain cleaning discussions as some the other members do.

    Drain chemicals...do they work?

    There seems to be alot more new products on the market now than just Draino Crystals and Liquid Plumber which is all I used before becoming a plumber and learning how to operate a snake. The only chem I have put down a drain as a professional was to clear a floor mounted urinal in an Irish bar. It opened the drain some but nearly killed me with the fumes. Some sort of sulfuric acid I guess.

    Do any of you drain guys use chemicals besides root treatment and if so what works or what doesn't. Will the same product work on hair and kitchen grease?

    Are thousands of people clearing their own drains and we just don't hear about it? Or are these products just waste of money for the consumer?
    Last edited by plumberscrack; 12-24-2007, 04:41 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

    Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
    Maybe this topic has come up before and just missed it. I don't get excited over drain cleaning discussions as some the other members do.

    Drain chemicals...do they work?

    There seems to be alot more new products on the market now than just Draino Crystals and Liquid Plumber which is all I used before becoming a plumber and learning how to operate a snake. The only chem I have put down a drain as a professional was to clear a floor mounted urinal in an Irish bar. It opened the drain some but nearly killed me with the fumes. Some sort of sulfuric acid I guess.

    Do any of you drain guys use chemicals besides root treatment and if so what works or what doesn't. Will the same product work on hair and kitchen grease?

    Are thousands of people clearing their own drains and we just don't hear about it? Or are these products just waste of money for the consumer?

    For the roots i use Root X...The only chemicals i use are Bio-Clean or SK1.

    Both are live bacteria that are energized by warm water..nonacidic. They are not drain openers but a preventive chemical. They are both powder and eat organic waste buildup.

    Greg
    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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    • #3
      Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

      Yes, I carry them. Urinals is about the only thing I will use it on and I only use it to clean out the trap with the urinal off and maybe the horizontal run. I can recall one time this year, in a residence, that I used a chemical.

      Two reasons. One, I figure I am cheating the customer if they call a plumber and I dump Draino down the drain. I will use a snake to clean the drain.

      Number two, with people ready to sue at the drop of a hat it is just a risk I don't want the company to take. My boss cleared out a McDonald's once using chemicals and lets just say he was lucky nobody went to lawyer with, nausea, shortness of breath, headaches, etc.

      Do they work? IMO, only on moderately slow drains and not clogged drains.

      I do not use the same type of acid for urinals as I do residential drains. I carry about four different kinds with varying chemicals and strength. Not available to non-plumbers (supposedly).

      I hope I never get in a accident with the van because I won't make it out alive it those chemicals spill and mix.
      Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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      • #4
        Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

        Chemicals have changed a lot over the years but I remember an insurance call I got one year regarding a tub stoppage. When I arrived at the house the tub appeared to be full of black water. That is when I realized the black was raw cast iron. The plumber before me had dumped acid into the tub trying to clear a stoppage. I called the insurance company to advise them the tub was not salvageable.

        Mark
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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        • #5
          Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

          The only thing I will use is "Thrift" Works great on hair and kitchen grease. I get it from Fergguson. We tested it here at the shop with Hair in a cup and with a grease packed pipe that we packed with old grease. Most of the time I just cable em out and save the Chemicals.

          BTW..... sorry you dont get as excited over drain cleaning discussions as some of us do
          http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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          • #6
            Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

            After reading the thread about skin grafts,because of Chems. ,It's a NO BRAINER!
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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            • #7
              Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

              Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
              The only thing I will use is "Thrift" Works great on hair and kitchen grease. I get it from Fergguson. We tested it here at the shop with Hair in a cup and with a grease packed pipe that we packed with old grease. Most of the time I just cable em out and save the Chemicals.

              BTW..... sorry you dont get as excited over drain cleaning discussions as some of us do


              DITTO

              I use muratic acid for anything pertaining to calcium/urine buildup. <<< Very inexpensive and I've brought many old toilets back to life in regards to flushing,

              urinals that are cheesed up from use. The first time I used my urinal auger in years, broke it/wiped out the cable on the first try. Should of used chemicals first.


              Apparently one of my back pages gets a lot of traffic on my website and a rep from Thrift called me up, thanked me for my patronage/link to their site.

              Tried to buy volume with them, wouldn't let me do it. Me was
              Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 12-25-2007, 10:12 AM.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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              • #8
                Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

                I use
                - rootx; and there is a whole thread here somewhere on it
                - muriatic for urinal traps; I jet them first, then muriatic for the last bit
                - muriatic also good for removing snake marks in toilets and decalcifying the internal passages
                - ccls for septic tanks
                - rest of it I don't know... some kitchen managers I work with swear by enzyme stuff for grease traps... I end up jetting their lines anyway, don't know if it is less often than it would be w/o. no idea how many clogs I DON"T get called for coz chems worked. I do get a lot where still plugged drain is full of nasty chems
                This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                • #9
                  Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

                  I use safe granulated powder bacteria drain cleaners for drains, garbage disposals, drain and sewer piping, and septic systems. Becoz drain maintenance is a key factor in keeping your drains clog-free and keeping those stinky drain smells away. Or I use home made drain cleaner baking Soda and Vinegar for cleaning. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar and cover the drain if possible. Let set for a few minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush it. The combination of baking soda and vinegar can break down fatty acids into soap and glycerin, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

                    I have been burned by chemicals the customer chose to use, I have seen many damaged sinks and tubs, caused by chemicals the customer chose to use.

                    I have spent a long time breaking through sludge and going through drains, because the customer chose to use chemicals.

                    I was at a rental unit today,t he tenant used chemicals, and it ate throught the cultured marble top and caused it to blister, bye bye sink and counter top.

                    I use root x, and that is only on a very rare occassion. I recommend bleach if anything, to break up sludge, maintain the drain, not to clear the drain.

                    I do use clobber for cleaning up urinal traps and toilet bowls, and there is another one, but I forgot and the name rubbed off the bottle, really good for cleaning up yeast in traps, (after the stoppage is cleared) and hard water under the toilet bowl rim.
                    Last edited by westcoastplumber; 12-28-2007, 09:03 PM.
                    sigpic

                    Robert

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                    • #11
                      Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

                      I went to clean a grease blockage yesterday that I have to clean every 3 months. "his wife tells him to ..... well you know" ... When he tells her not to dump the grease in the sink.

                      They have money running out the "waz-zoo" so she don't mind seeing me every 3 months anyway.

                      Anyway, she say`s bleach don't work as she uses it ever time she washes her coffee cups.

                      So I guess the bleach thing don't work on kitchen grease

                      They like me so much they gave me a $500.00 picnic table yesterday
                      http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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                      • #12
                        Re: Drain Clearing Chemicals....use 'em or lose 'em?

                        This only work on kitchen sinks, but I've found that if you get 2 big pots with boiling water and pour them down the drain as fast as possible, this will open a slow draining sink. I tell my customers to do this because they always inquire about drain cleaning chemicals for maintance. I'm lucky, only burned one time by chemicals, 2nd degree on my legs. I hope that's the last time.
                        Buy cheap, buy twice.

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