I have used general purpose shower drain cleaners from Ace Hardware, and
several types from Home Depot, and Lowe's.
The last one I use was the Enforcer 10 Minutes Hair Clog Remover.
These mild liquids help a LOT for a week or so (or sometimes just a day or
so) then the drain begins to drain very slowly again. I assume I am not
getting much "cleaning" in the first place.
Is there a more powerful, specific brand that I might try next ? My drain
is not stopped up, but is just slow.
Hair clogs don't respond to drain cleaners because hair is
virtually indestructible, unless you use very powerful acids
and risk dissolving the waste piping too.,
Might try a plunger; that works once in a while.
You may have to snake it out.
Next time you are at Home Depot, take a look in the plumbing department for
a newer product to clean the drain. It is a thin, 1/2 inch flexible tape
with barbs on the edges. You push it down the drain and when you pull it
back, the barbs catch the hair. It only costs a couple of dollars and I
have seen it on end caps.
Here is a link:
If the drain is cleaned does it flow properly? If not, there is a problem
in the piping.
Rather than waste a lot of money on chemicals, use a mechanical cleaner
and/or plunger. If there is a clog in the horizontal section of the drain,
the chemical will seep along the bottom and make a small opening but not
touch the rest of it. A few minutes with an auger will clear it.
I was in a box store the other day and saw a plunger device with a
pressurized cartridge attached to it. Similar to the ones used in paint
ball. It was reasonably priced. Has anyone had experience with this?
For as long as I can remember, I never had anything good to say about liquid
drain cleaners...until I discovered Drano Gel. It cleared my slow shower
drain! I didn't have to use my snake!
I applied a dose, not too too much, but I let it sit overnight. Then I
chased it with a pan full of very hot water, heated on the stove. Who
knows, maybe my soapy hair clogs are just being moved further down the line.
If you shed hair, then a big strainer at the drain is a good idea.
Cleaning your shower drain really depends upon what type of trap was
used when it was installed, and if the plumbing was installed
correctly in the first place.
There are two places clogs normally occur. The most obvious being in
the trap and/or waste line, not so obvious is an obstruction in the
vent, often at the fitting between waste and vent lines.
A plunger is most effective on P-Trap type traps, but offer very
little relief if a drum trap was used, and often what little relief
you do get is only temporary.
Assuming the drain used to flow freely and is now running slowly with
frequent clogging, if no foreign object is lodged in the trap, the
most likely culprit is simply a buildup of soap and hair in the trap
and/or waste lines.
Since your drain is only slow running, I would suggest pouring 3
gallons or more of near boiling water down the drain, pouring 1 gallon
then waiting about 2 minutes, pour the 2nd gallon and wait about 5
minutes, then pour the 3rd gallon of near boiling water. Then run
only the hot water tap for about 5 minutes to carry the waste all the
way to the street. A follow up of flushing the toilets will keep it
all moving and out of your waste system.
A snake is my #1 pick. My second pick is "Zep 10 minute hair clog
remover", which I use in generous quantities and leave in overnight. I
have so many bends is a realtively short span in the drain that it
makes it difficult for a snake to work, so I switched to chemicals.
The Zep stuff really works because it's made for hair clogs. Since I
knew for a fact that hair was my problem it helps to know exactly
what's causing the clogs so you buy the right product to unclog it
with. And I bought this on a recommendation of another customer at
Home Depot who said that he had three teenage daughters whose hair is
always clogging up the shower drain.
It's my hairy legs and balding head that's probably doing it. How would
teenagers' long hair ever get into a drain, if a strainer is used?
So what's the active ingredient(s) in that Zep hair remover? Is it acidic?
I thought hair was inert to lye. I wouldn't put acid in my pipes, and I
have seen acidic products on the market in the past; notwithstanding the
probable objections of municipalities and their sewage treatment operators.
I'm always looking for a good chemical.
i agree with using a snake--except what would happen if the snake gets
i tend to use chemicals
what i have found that sort of works is to run very hot water or even
boiling water tehn i pour celar ammonia down the drain
stopper the drain and leave overnight
seem sto sort of work
sulfuric acid is hell on pipes
lye stuf is not worth the danger
i have tried 2 part cleaners that foamed up a lot but did not really help
Now ammonia sounds dangerous to me. It is highly basic, like lye, but is
gaseous...and poisonous. I guess you don't mind.
Disagree. Nearly every product sold as drain cleaner is akin to lye
solution. Haven't seen the solid form for years; I heard some lady blew it
into her face and made the manufacturer of the lye appear responsible. How
come all others had enough common sense to keep their faces out of it?
And I tried the "enzyme" approach to no avail.
I really like Drano Gel.
lye is still found in solid form at least here in teh bronx--took care
of patients who as child drank some--horrible effect over ther
years--many surgeries as patient grew
i agree about the ammonia
whre do clogs form in bathroom tub set ups?
i was told it's at teh junction where the tub and sink connect a little
that's why when the sink is drained it runs into the tub
I've no idea. However, if you get one of those 25' snakes, that is housed
in a spinner, you can go after your clog, and you will probably find out
where clogs happen in your pipe. Keep track of the footage extended. Oh,
yeah, where some protection!
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