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  • Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

    Urine and feces are acidic, as well as drain cleaners. How BAD are the cleaners on cables? I also thought I heard of someone charging a fee if the homeowner used a drain cleaner.

  • #2
    Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

    Some drain chemicals are highly corrosive and can really eat up steel cables quickly. I always rinse mine off and apply snake-oil. It seems to help.
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    • #3
      Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

      I know a lot of guys that reload their gooped up dirty cables right back into their hand held drain machines and off to the next job they go. Their next kitchen sink stoppage might be the same day or three days away. That's going to take a toll on any cable. I always wash out my gun and cable and let the cable drip dry as its hung up in my truck, some times I spray it with WD-40. Where my cable would last years, other guys would last for months. Chemicals in a sewer line would be way more dilluted than in a kitchen sink line, and running a lot of water when your pulling it out will surely help wash a lot of stuff off. As our economy tightens a lot more people will attempt a home remedy before they call us, I've been watching this trend for over 30 years. If you charge an additonal fee you look like every other plumber in town, if you tell them nicely that drain cleaners are dangerous and don't work and that you will not charge anything additonal on your visit, they will be more receptive and the fact that your fair will incline them to call you again and again. It's all about service that will seperate us from the herd.

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      • #4
        Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

        i personally appreciate the drain cleaners in the line especially as it is burning your hands as you release it into a bucket even after the homeowner swears they put nothing down the drain, also iam sure they appreciate the smile on my face as i explain why they have to replace there garbage disposer or why i have to replace there ci or galvy sink line, yep i love the smell of drain cleaner in the morning it smells like, like, like, victory!!!!!( as for my cables at the end of every day i use them i power wash and wd40 as needed)

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        • #5
          Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPXVGQnJm0w

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          • #6
            Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

            in the last 3 months i've walked away from jobs wherer the client used either sulphuric acid, muriatic acid, or other heavy solvent/acid in their lines. on 2 occasions i've gone back AFTER they vaccuumed the water out and let me fill the line with fresh water. i can smell the chemicals and will walk a job, if necessary.

            my favorite story is the Master Plumber with over 35 (caribbean & stateside) years experience calls me with a toilet blockage he can't clear wiht a top snake. i tell him i'm jammed up and will get to him ASAP. well the numbnut pours a quart of sulphuric acid down an old toilet that is blocked. it heats up and cracks the porcelin. now he calls me back with acid on the floor, a trashed throne, and feces on the floor. i tell him to clean the mess and i'll reschedule my day to get to him.. the blockage was tampons about 15 feet down an OLD c.i. pipe. took me 10 minutes to clear and he had to replace the toilet.

            BTW i charged him time and a half and he had to replace the toilet, set it, and fight with the owner over the bill. i got paid in cash before i left.

            he is now a proponent of NO CHEMICALS, NO WAY, NO HOW and i know a call from him is a clean call

            steve
            In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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            • #7
              Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

              Chemicals are real bad and can cause damage to the operator as well as your cables. I charge 50 if chemicals had been used before. One time I got second degree burns down my thighs because of drano. My cables always get washed and wd40'd after every use. I will admit my 5/16 cable doesn't get washed and it's lasted almost a year. Paying 60 a year for a new cable is not a big deal imo.
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

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              • #8
                Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

                What about Clorox with bleach to kill the bacteria? Is that bad for cables? I don't think it has acid in it.

                Also, what about selling products like Bio-Clean? I know some of you guys use RootX (I plan on using that where necessary). Is it safe to say that enzymatic products aren't bad?
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                • #9
                  Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

                  Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
                  What about Clorox with bleach to kill the bacteria? Is that bad for cables? I don't think it has acid in it.

                  Also, what about selling products like Bio-Clean? I know some of you guys use RootX (I plan on using that where necessary). Is it safe to say that enzymatic products aren't bad?
                  clorox should not an issue unless youa re a septic tank. i use a variety of enzyme products and have had decent results. Consume & the Roebic line are my principals

                  steve
                  In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

                    Enzymes like Bio-Clean are harmless to humans and pets. The bacteria used only digest grease. Unlike the guy in the Bio-Clean video, I have no intentions of testing it on my own gut, however.

                    Steel cables, not being organic, are not harmed by Bio-Clean, and neither are the pipes. (Unless they're made of animal hide . . .)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

                      there a cable called spar shine made by spartan tool, and the guy at spartan drop it off at the shop . And it been holding up really well it still shine and stiff .plus I charge for a 2nd line if there acid it on the invoice.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

                        Cleared a kitchen sink drain in a 6 story condo building. Of course after I'm done she fesses up to using chemical drain cleaners for the past few months. She didn't have to tell me, I already knew from the tiny splatters on my arms and face. As long as she has lived there it has never drained that well. I'm happy, she's happy, the birds are chirping

                        The next day there's a massive leak in the trash room. I found this 3" cast iron no hub wye completely rotted. My cable obviously broke through the day before. This wye at the base of the kitchen stack. The building is only 15 years old and the whole 3" horizontal line is rotted on the bottom. Even the Rubbermaid trash cans were warped from the chemicals splashed on them. I can't hear the birds anymore

                        The hosebibbs had already been winterized so I wasn't able to rinse my cable off until the next day. Completely covered in rust and already seem more brittle.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

                          I am suprised the "Greenies" have not attacked the drain cleaning corporations yet. The impact on the environment is death, as well as accidents etc. Wait! The greenies need drain cloeaners to unclog their drains due to excess vegie blockage!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

                            Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
                            I am suprised the "Greenies" have not attacked the drain cleaning corporations yet. The impact on the environment is death, as well as accidents etc. Wait! The greenies need drain cloeaners to unclog their drains due to excess vegie blockage!
                            I wonder if the enzyme drain cleaners work well with fiber (veggies).
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                            • #15
                              Re: Drain cleaners and effects on rodding cable.

                              Originally posted by Herk View Post
                              Enzymes like Bio-Clean are harmless to humans and pets. The bacteria used only digest grease. Unlike the guy in the Bio-Clean video, I have no intentions of testing it on my own gut, however.

                              Steel cables, not being organic, are not harmed by Bio-Clean, and neither are the pipes. (Unless they're made of animal hide . . .)
                              Does the guy actually eat it? LOL! I believe there are supplements that have the same ingredients as Bio-Clean and other enzymatic drain cleaners. I have taken an enzyme supplement in the past when I was consuming a ton of meat to help break it down easier.
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