Almost every type of drain cleaner specifies that they should NOT be
used in a toilet. Why is that?
Is it because they feel there is too much standing water in the toilet
due to the size of the trap?
Or does the cleaner have an adverse effect on the wax seal used for the
The reason I ask is I had a poorly flushing toilet and plunging it did
not improve the situation. I tried a snake but the trap of the toilet
and the direction of the drain pipe underneath it made the snake
ineffective. I ended up removing the toilet and used a snake. What I
discovered is the toilet met up with the tub drain pipe, and I know this
from the hair I pulled from the piping with the snake and the direction
the piping went.
The toilet flushes, but my guess is there is still some hair from the
tub that is restricting the flow. So my question is: If I were to
remove the water in the toilet and put some drain cleaner into the
toilet after the trap, would that cause any unforeseen problems?
I have already put some cleaner into the tub drain, and a snake will not
go into this drain due to the drain hardware of the tub. Thanks.
I appreciate your reply, but it is undoubtedly due to the hair from the
tub, as that is what I retrieved when I removed the toilet. I used the
acid to remove calcium from the passages of the toilet, so they are clear.
If it is an old house with lead drain lines tied into the 4-inch cast iron
toilet drain line almost right at the toilet, you can sometimes take the
toilet off and see where the tub drain ties in there. You could then access
the tub drain line from there with the toilet off. It just depends on what
setup you have, but some of the old plumbing drain lines are set up that
My guess is that acid-type drain cleaners will damage the porcelain toilet.
And, Drano-type alkali drain cleaners probably just don't work on toilet
clogs -- they work (supposedly) on hair clogs etc. that are in sink and tub
The drain hardware in the tub can be any one of a number of different
configurations. I assume that you cannot, or do not want to, open up the
ceiling below the tub drain to see which type of configuration you have. If
you are just going through the tub drain itself, that sometimes does not
work due to the configuration of the trap etc. But, if you are lucky, and
you take to overflow cover off of the tub up near the spout, you can
sometimes put a snake down through there and it will make the turns that you
need to get into the drain line. But, again, it depends on what the
plumbing configuration is for your particular tub.
Another possibility is (although you probably already tried this) is to go
to YouTube.com and do a search for videos on tub drain cleaning. There are
many, and you can look through them to see if they show any options that you
have not yet tried.
Good luck. Let us know if you figure out something that works.
The only Drano® product recommended for use in a slow toilet is Drano®
Max Build-Up Remover. When used according to label directions, the
microorganisms in this product will break down toilet paper and organic
matter in pipes, which can slow water flow. (This product will NOT open
a completely clogged toilet.)
Do not use any other Drano® product in toilets. Drano® Kitchen Crystals
Clog Remover generates heat that can cause the vitreous china in the
toilet bowl to crack. Drano® Liquid Clog Remover and Drano® Max Gel Clog
Remover do not contain microorganisms. The trap configuration in toilets
prevents the Drano® Liquid Clog Remover and Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover
from reaching areas where matter can accumulate and cause plumbing
problems—so these products are ineffective in toilets.
As Seen on TV. I recall the ads for a drain cleaner that was
supposed to be wonderful at cleaning out traps. Essentially it
was a very thin snake that could be run down into the trap. I
didn't think much of it, but it might be possible to clean out the
tub trap with it. I suspect that it would be pretty exasperating
to use, but it might work.
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