I have a kitchen sink drain that has given me problems due to what I
believe is a grease clog. Although I do not pour grease down this
drain, I believe it is almost impossible to prevent some, due to the
nature of its use.
Although I have tried many drain opening chemicals along with a 15 foot
drain pipe wire, the most effective for the latest clog was the rubber
bladder attachment to a hose supplied with hot water. (I have an
exterior access plug for this drain, and that is where I inserted the
bladder) It DID open the drain, but I am looking for something that will
remove any additional grease remaining in the pipe. In the past I have
even used the grease eating powder recommended for septic tanks, but I
am not sure it did any good. While the drain is still open, I hope to
pour something down it to remove any grease that has not been removed
from the pipe, as I do not cherish the opportunity to again clear the
pipe. Has anyone had good results grease removal in drains??
I understand you don't want to try anything more than once, because cleaning
pipes is disgusting, but what about an entire bottle of some serious dish
detergent, like original Dawn? Some stores have very large refill sizes,
which should be enough for it to reach the clog. At least if it doesn't
work, the pipe's not full of some chemical that's going to run down your arm
if you have to open it up again.
The problem with any chemical is that unless you can fill up the pipe
completely, there will be crap stuck to the upper half, or "ceiling" of the
pipe. So, *maybe* the detergent might achieve this goal if you dumped half a
bottle into the sink, filled up the sink with really hot water, then opened
the drain plug.
Drano makes a two part cleaner that foams up in the pipe to get all sides.
Tried it once. The foaming part sure worked good but I dont know if it did
anything. Regardless, you get to play with chemicals and thats always fun
Can I ask why you just don't take the trap apart and see what it looks like?
My Dad's house has cast iron drains that have corroded to 1 inch opening. No
amount of drain cleaner will fix that.
Your question is a valid one, and I should have explained in more
detail what I was working with: My kitchen sink is a dual sink, with
one sink attached to a disposal unit. From there it goes into a single
vertical drain section in the wall. There is access to this vertical
section from the outside of the house through a 2 inch access plug. The
vertical section goes down until it reaches the slab the kitchen is on,
and then turns horizontal and goes toward the front of the house. Since
I can see the main drain tile and its feeders for most of the house
under a crawl space, and I do not see a link from this kitchen drain
under the slab, I assume it runs some 40 feet toward the front of the
house and connects underground to the main drain going to the street.
The problem as you suggested is that you cannot see what is remaining
in a drain after you clear some of an obstruction. My guess is there is
a glob of grease on the top of the pipe like Doug suggested and that is
what I would like to clear while it is still flowing.
On a side issue, I dump all the grease I can into a one gallon pickle
jar rather than dump it down the drain. To see what would dissolve the
grease, I have tried several chemicals in the grease jar to see what had
the most effect. One web site suggested citric acid, so I tried some
lemon juice. Another suggested TSP. None of these by themselves seemed
to have much effect on standing grease. I might try boiling water in a
large quantity unless I hear of something better.
I used to have the same problem. Horizontal pipe from sink to sewer.
We have found setting the dish washer to pots&pans/extended timer once
in a while and pouring greasy stuff down the toilet helped greatly. We
had hot water and dishwasher soap to the pan or pot and I pour while
she flushes. Reminds me: due for the dishwasher routine.
Hot, Hot water down the drain for a minute or two.
Pour in a 1/2 quart of Ammonia down the drain.
Fill the sink up with hot water.
Pull plug and keep the hot water running. Empty sink.
Repeat once a month.
Been working for me for 20 years.
If you're on a septic system be careful about any chemicals you pour down
the drains as they could destroy the biomat in the drainfield.
My brother recently had to replace his drainfield and it wasn't cheap,
around $9200 because they had used *too much* anti-bacterial soaps/shampoos,
DW detergents and Jet Dry in the DW. It cost so much because the stuff they
dig up is considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly.
You should consider getting a specialist out there to take a look, you might
have venting problems or other mechanical issues that chemicals cannot cure.
I don't use it at all, we're on a well with a softener, so the jet dry is a
whole nuther issue.
The various septic companies involved in my brothers year long drainfield
fiasco told him all of the above.
Its a chemical thang, I suppose.
This is Turtle.
well they have stuff call Liquid Fire or another name is Ram Out. This
stuff will get the water to boiling and eat it's way out to the sewer.
nowwatch out for it will burn you bad if you get it on you.
Thanks to all for the suggestions, I intend to try them all if
necessary. What I did do however is the following: I boiled about four
or five gallons of water on the stove and dumped it into one of the
sinks. Although the water DID drain from the sink, it was noticeably
faster as more of the boiling water drained. This led me to believe
that more and more of the grease was being melted by the boiling water.
After the boiling water was drained I poured a quart of Ammonia down
the drain. (I am not sure just what good it did, but I had already
poured many other things down the drain, so I figured it could not hurt
and might help.) After that I ran the hot water for several minutes and
it continued to drain nicely.
Now what remains in the drain pipe is anyones guess? For now it
appears to be free running and I also have the suggestion of Liquid Fire
or Ram Out should I need to go to something more powerful. I think I
shall shop for some Sulfuric Acid the next time I go to a hardware store
so that I have some if I ever need it. Thanks again to all who commented.
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