I have a couple of drain applications where I'd like to find some
ongoing maintenance treatments for so thought I'd post here to see if
anyone knew of any good solutions.
Application one - I have 2 bathrooms in my home with back to back
sinks where the drains come together and then 90 degree down towards
the sewer. This 90* turn has troubled me on more than one occasion so
I'd LOVE to find the magic "place coffee grounds down that drain once
a month for a lifetime of happiness" solution. :-)
Application two - I have a washing machine drain on the other end of
the house (50yo house) that 'seems' to tend to close up due to the
soap build up where I'm either putting acid in the drain for the trap
or running an auger through there every couple of months in a home of
6. Again, the miracle cure that has worked for others wear drain
buildup is concern would be greatly appreciated.
So... Does anyone know of any more environmentally/user friendly
solutions for keeping drains clear? I 'hate' using commercial drain
cleaners and drains can be such a hassle for homeowners at times as
anyone who's had the pleasure of working on them knows... TIA
My best solutions so far...
Hair traps on the bathroom sinks and shower/bath drains.
Lint trap on the clothes washer drain.
Never putting grease down the kitchen sink.
Never flushing anything but toilet paper and whatever comes
out of your body naturally.
Don't plant trees within a couple of feet of the sewer line.
Have your plumbing inspected by a professional when really
bad things happen or every 50 years, whichever comes first.
Good list. There is nothing magic that is good for the drains and
works. If you have an ongoing problem, I suggest that it be addressed by a
plumber who can advise you of how to really fix it, not trying to use magic
cures. If you have continued problems, then you have a plumbing problem, not
a monthly maintenance problem.
Don't plant trees within a couple of feet of the sewer line? Have you
never seen the roots of a ficus or any other big tree? It is not
uncommon for a ficus to send roots out two _hundred_ feet in all
directions. Tree roots will find any cracked joint in a sewer line
and invade or crack it open, and once an area is fertilized and waterd
from a pipe crack, it can be a problem from then on unless the entire
area is excavated.
Your other suggestions are right on target. Additionally, if you have
problem plumbing, do not use a garbage disposal.
There could be some design problems with the OP bathroom setup. There
are rarely 90 degree turns in waste lines. The sink lines should
(separately) enter the vertical line so that the line drains
completely except for the J trap. No sewer line should ever be flat
unless it is pressurized, and major turns limited to the main 4" or
Each situation is different, but one simple method of limiting drain
problems is completely filling all sinks with _hot_ water, allowing
them to drain quickly, then filling them a second time and draining
them five minutes later. Any grease gets loosened and liquified by
the heat of the first flush, and the second flush can then usually
remove normal buildup. Most drains, with the exception of the
shower/tub, are never heated enough to liquify the grease that has
solidified in the pipes. In good designs, the showers and tubs are at
the ends of the waste lines to help with that job.
Would that it were so. The kitchen and bathroom sinks connect to a T at
what would be a right angle if things were done properly, but everything is
just a bit off. Makes it a real bitch to try to snake the sink line because
the snake is as likely to go up the standpipe as down the waste pipe.
That's been fixed, though -- clogs over the years have caused the standpipe
to rust away, enabling a clear downward shot for the snake if we shove it in
through the rust hole.
I want just five minutes alone with the asshole who plumbed our house...
I assume you're using powdered laundry detergent. Stop doing that. Or, if
you can't stop for some silly reason, try a suggestion someone else posted
here once: A gallon of ammonia poured into the drain, followed a while later
by flushing with the hottest water you can get from the tap.
For the bathroom, good luck. I have the same problem. Perhaps someone needs
to stop washing hair down the drain. I minimized the problem by putting a
better screen in my tub drain, but that would be cumbersome in sinks.
For kitchen and bathroom drains (i.e. short runs to the trap), these
really work. I haven't had to use chemical drain cleaners since I
bought a couple packages of these a few years ago, and they're cheap,
too - $1.79/package of two at Menards:
"The patented Zip-It is a long, thin strip of very durable, highly
flexible plastic with barbs on either edge. When pushed down a clogged
drain and pulled back out, the Zip-It pulls the clog out with it."
Doesn't look long enough to get past the trap. Did you see the
prize-winning clog page? I swear I saw those things on the colon-cleaning
website, the one that warns you about the pounds of impacted fecal matter in
the average colon...
Someone suggested using bleach once. I've tried that a few times and
found it to be effective on a sink drain and a tub drain. I run hot
water last thing at night, then put some bleach into the drain and let
it sit until the next day. It seems to help. --Phil
I pour a couple of cups of bleach in my drains every few months and let that
sit overnight. This has always helped my bathroom drains. I read that
bleach doesn't necessarity dissolve the hair but it dissolves the gook that
keeps the hair clumped up.
I always notice that the day after I do my bleach treatment the drains flow
like the bleach just tore a new hole in my plumbing. Does anyone know if
bleach is harmful to drain piping?
I have been using the bleach treatment on my drains for years. The
only damage is that it gradually wore off the shiny chrome surface of
the bathtub drain, and left the dull brass underneath. No big deal to
me. On the sink drains I wipe off the chrome darin ring afterr pouring
the bleach downt he drain, and careful not to splash! (as withness the
shite spots on a blue shirt :)
Something else would have done that, not the bleach, or the
drain was very badly chromed. You dont get that effect with
kitchen sinks when you use bleach, or with laundry tubs either.
Bleach wont dissolve chrome.
I have a bathroom shower drain that
was running "slow".
No help from a plunger,
Couldn't "snake it".
Regular liquid DRANO would just run past.
Then I bought the "foaming DRANO".
( two chemicals that foam when combined )
I dumped it down the drain,
plugged the opening so the foam wouldn't come out,
and let it sit a couple of hours.
Dumped a bucket of boiling water down the drain to flush it,
End of blockage !
Not a do-all solution,
but great for a "slow drain" where
regular liquid cleanerr doesn't work.
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