Bleach to unclog drain???

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by pahomeowner, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Sep 30, 2005 #1

    pahomeowner

    pahomeowner

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    my friend swears by unclogging drains using bleach, but i'm not so sure. couldn't the bleach eat away at the pipes? especially those plastic looking ones? anyone have any input on this? any plumbers out there?
     
  2. Sep 30, 2005 #2

    ruby

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    I've done it a few times (used bleech to take care of a stopped up sink), but it never occured to me it might be bad on the pipes....is it? I have the pvc kind in the kitchen and have done it like two or three times.
     
  3. Oct 4, 2005 #3

    (im)material girl

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    bleach doesn't really hurt the pvc piping, but it isn't as good as a simple shot of liquid plumber
     
  4. Oct 6, 2005 #4

    FirTrader

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    Chlorine is somewhat hardening on lots of plastics (the grey poly-b type particularly). If you soak a clear plastic tube in bleach, you'll see it turn white and it will slowly lose flexibility. As for putting bleach in as a drain de-clogger, you can, because bleach will very slowly eat away at organics. Far better is liquid plumber, or some other sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, or merely "caustic") based product. Not so stinky, does a better job, no pipe damage, plastic or metal.

    Acidic drain cleaners need to be used with care, because some pipes and fittings will be hurt by acid.

    Naturally, never mix two cleaners. The likelihood of blowing yourself up or attackig yourself with lethal chlorine gas is pretty high.
     
  5. Nov 16, 2005 #5

    2pyrs

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    I know this is and old post but just incase someone takes a look at it I would like to point out the dangers in using bleach and then if you should decide to add other chemicals one word BOOM Not that long ago we had to dig out the main in the front yard of a guy who used a gallon of bleach and when it did not work he poured in DrainO He said the ground shook and that was all folks when we dug out the old pipe what we could find of it we replaced more then 15 feet of cracked pipe. He was lucky that it did not explode at the sewer main connection in the street and damaged the main sewer pipe it would have cost him big time from the city. I have even heard over the years of people going to the hospital for burns to there eyes and face because of chemicals exploding from the sink drain. Many times it would be easier to just remove the J joint and clean it out by hand and much safer. Oh by the way it ended up that it was not his sink that was blocked but roots in the main pipe that could have been snaked out. So you tell me did he save money in the end?
    2pyrs
     
  6. Jan 17, 2006 #6

    Manuel Nunez

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    I wont recommend chemicals for drain cleaning, instead, if you own a wet and dry vacuum use it to sucks the troubling matters out. It is cheap, cleaner and safer. If that fails, you have a big trouble that requires a pro to deal with it.
     
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  7. Mar 24, 2008 #7

    westolivedeb

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    Thanks everybody, I will try bleach one time and one time only.........
     
  8. Mar 25, 2012 #8

    Lakedude

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    Bleach may open your drain line, but it will also dehydrate the remaining grease in the drain line making it as hard as concrete. As mentioned in earlier posts, if it does not open your line it can make it dangerous to use chemical based drain cleaners. i would use a bacteria that is earth friendly, such as Grease Away available from Mr. Rooter, It has the best strain of vegetative bacteria that eats the grease that causes 80% of blockages in kitchen drain lines. it may take a couple of applications, but it is earth friendly and is very safe to use. The only bi-products are carbon dioxide and water.
     
  9. Mar 26, 2012 #9

    itiswhatitis1

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    If you are going to call mr rooter to get grease away why not have them to unclog the drain. Grease away don't work. They fine some suckers to buy it. If you buy it and use it. Will they come out and unclog the drain for free if it clogged up?
     
  10. Mar 31, 2012 #10

    Daddytron

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    also, remember that bleach is a strong oxidizer. If you have cast iron pipes in your house, you're basically pouring liquid rust into your pipes... Cast pipes are pretty thick, but if the pipes are 100 years old, and too many gallons of straight bleach go in there, $$$
     
  11. Jun 10, 2014 #11

    icancanu

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    Our problem is mainly pet hair in the washer drain line. I tested some of the residual fiber that got caught in our dryer filter. I used a sample with chlorine bleach in a jar, and a similar sample with concentrated sodium hydroxide solution I made myself in a separate jar. In about 30 minutes the animal hair had dissolved completely in the bleach. The synthetic fibers were virtually unaffected. I let the sodium hydroxide experiment run for 24 hours or so, and the animal fibers were still quite intact as were the synthetics. Here's the deal: bleach works for protein (like hair). Sodium hydroxide (lye) works for fat. In fact, sodium hydroxide + fat = soap. As far as mixing the two goes, I'd say don't. Liquid Plumbr contains sodium hypochlorite (bleach), sodium hydroxide (lye), and sodium silicate (which is simply denser than water and helps carry the active ingredients through the line. But knowing there's bleach mixed with sodium hydroxide in Liquid Plumbr says absolutely nothing about the relative concentration of the two chemicals. Chlorine gas liberated from bleach by doing something stupid can kill you, blind you, burn you. But we use about 1/2 gal of bleach in our washer drain line after washing blankets covered with animal hair. We can leave it in overnight if we forget, and no harm done. Old cast iron drain line mated to 4" PVC.
     
  12. Jun 10, 2014 #12

    kok328

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    If it's in the P-trap, suck it up and physically unclog the drain.
    If it's down stream, I use concentrated phosphoric acid or concentrated sulfuric acid. Wear proper PPE and protect any finished surfaces (including the sink & drain flange). Basically, don't get it on anything you don't want eaten away. Keep an eye on the set time, it will heat up pvc pipes and flush thoroughly between treatments.
     
  13. Jun 12, 2014 #13

    carnuck

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    If you know someone with Amway products, Drain Mate cleared a 20 foot section of pipe that had so many different products put in over the 10 years we lived there. The Amway rep said use it and if it doesn't work, no charge. I poured it in after the kids had their bath (because it wasn't going anywhere) and about 2 AM we heard the POP! gurgle gurgle of the drain flowing again. The way it was made no snake could go down and the whole bathroom would've required ripping apart to get the tub out (1920 built house)
     

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