Are Drano and Liquid Plumr bad for shower pipes

I have a stall shower that was newly renovated 18 months ago.
Seemingly all of a sudden, the drain started going slow and then not at all (ok... very very slow).
I suggested a bottle of Liquid Plumr or Drano, but my wife says no.
She says its bad on pipes. Is it?
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Robert Fenster wrote:

Depends on the pipes. Old galv iron will get eaten away; plastic pipe = no eating. <g>
Jim
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:Robert Fenster wrote: :> :> I have a stall shower that was newly renovated 18 months ago. :> :> Seemingly all of a sudden, the drain started going slow and then not at all :> (ok... very very slow). :> :> I suggested a bottle of Liquid Plumr or Drano, but my wife says no. :> :> She says its bad on pipes. Is it?: :Depends on the pipes. Old galv iron will get eaten away; :plastic pipe = no eating. <g> : :Jim
I was recommended at local hardware store to use Drano Max Build-Up Remover. "Safe For Pipes," is what it says. It's not sodium hydroxide (lye) like "regular" drano. I've used lye a number of times (carefully!) and to my knowledge never suffered consequences, but I'm impressed that it's a good idea to stay away from the stuff if possible. Since I cut my hair, I have much less need to use it!!! I leave it on the hair-cutter's floor instead of in my drains. However, your wife may not want to wear a pageboy!
I do use the Drano Max stuff occasionally, just to help prevent drain clogging. It acts by ensymatic action. Not sure how good it really is, however.
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http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Thanks...
The plunger did it. Why we think plunger only for toilet is beyond me.
Thanks again.

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On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 11:01:35 -0500, "Robert Fenster"
:Thanks... : :The plunger did it. Why we think plunger only for toilet is beyond me. : :Thanks again.
Uh, yeah. Plungers can do wonders in sinks. : :
: :> http://pages.cthome.net/edhome :> :> :> :
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snipped-for-privacy@snet.net says...

Hi Ed- a correction if I may:
Sodium hydroxide isn't an acid, it's a base (the opposite of an acid). Agreed: lye, and other strong bases, are caustic agents that are very good at dissolving organic matter.
The distinction between acid and base is very important: some old drain cleaners had acids in them. Mix two drain cleaners, one acid and one base, and you could get an extremely violent neutralization reaction.
Marc
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Hi Ed- a correction if I may:

Of course you may. Your accuracy is appreciated. Ed
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Acid+base=water+salt, if I remember my chemistry classes of several decades ago.
Also, a salt is defined as a metal combined with a non-metal, right???
Just a guy trying to see if the cobwebs in the old attic are not too dense yet!
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MAG wrote in message ...

A bit more on acids and bases and caustic, etc.
I worked in a chemical plant for 35 years. Had to deal with very strong acid quite a bit. Some of the acids were so strong, they were only available in the chemical industry, and only from a few suppliers.
However, strong as those acids might be, most folks in my plant and the chemical industry in general are more afraid of strong base, such as the sodium hydroxide used in Draino.
You have a fighting chance if you get acid on you, wash with water and you often can avoid a lot of trouble.
Don't EVER put water into a pool of strong acid though, it heats up, boils, and spatters acid all over. Same with mixing strong acid such as the sulfuric acid sold to treat plugged drains; and strong base, such as the sodium hydroxide sold to treat plugged drains. Try to mix them and they react exposively, enough to put acid and base on the ceiling, and shower you, especially your eyes.
Caustic attacks the human body much, much faster than most acids, and much more thoroughly.
I do drain cleaning while wearing gloves and goggles.
Regards Old Al
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which is exactly why it's used for clogs; it eats into organic matter very easily. the problem is, it doesn't make any distinction between the hair in the drain and the skin on your hands.
dv
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wrote:
: :Drano is lye, which is sodium hydroxide, an acid. -snip-. :Ed : snipped-for-privacy@snet.net :http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
Actually, sodium hydroxide is the opposite on an acid, it is basic. However, it is extremely corrosive, just as an acid is. Acids and bases are opposite to one another and cancel (neutralize, actually) one another out (when mixed).
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On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 14:46:48 GMT, Horatio Hornblower
:wrote: : : :: ::Drano is lye, which is sodium hydroxide, an acid. -snip-. ::Ed :: snipped-for-privacy@snet.net ::http://pages.cthome.net/edhome : :Actually, sodium hydroxide is the opposite on an acid, it is basic. :However, it is extremely corrosive, just as an acid is. Acids and bases :are opposite to one another and cancel (neutralize, actually) one :another out (when mixed).
I shouldn't have said this. It's true but as noted elsewhere in the thread, if the acid and/or base is strong, you are apt to have an explosion if you do this in practice.
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Umm, no. Lye is an alkali (or base) - opposite of acid. Your major concern with lye is plugging up your waste line with it and then having it explode in your face when you mix and match other "drain cleaning" products. Mechanical is the way to go for most blockages.
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replying to Edwin Pawlowski, Sven wrote:

Lye is not an acid--don't lye! :) Lye is very alkaline.
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<< I suggested a bottle of Liquid Plumr or Drano, but my wife says no. She says its bad on pipes. Is it? >>
Could be, depending on the pipe material Old fashioned Drano is nearly pure sodium hygroxide pellets. NaOH is an extremely strong caustic (base, not acid) and is OK for cast iron but not much else. It will severely etch any glassy coating like enamel on sinks and glazing on porcelain toilets and tiles and ruin a fiberglass tub. Not well known IIRC from first year chemistry is the reaction of NaOH with zinc, leading to destruction of brass alloys used in sink drains. HTH
Joe
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Well, I do recall my chemistry well, and never heard anything about NaOH reacting with zinc. Strong bases do not corrode metals, although I have heard several times that strong bases can do something nasty to aluminum and the reaction involves an oxide that normally exists on the surface of aluminum. Do not mix strong bases with strong acids (may boil/sputter) nor ammonia (may produce large quantities of ammonia gas, which can knock you out in a matter of seconds and kill you if you breathe a lot). Do not mix bleach with acids (may produce chlorine) nor ammoinia (that produces chloramine) for that matter.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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