Go to routine drain maintenance?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by Sparky617, Mar 18, 2019.

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  1. Mar 18, 2019 #1

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

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    I had to clean out the drains to my master bedroom dual sink vanity over the weekend. My wife's side was slow. Mine was OK. As per typical, it was sludge build up on the tailpipe and after the trap. The trap itself was clean.

    I started with baking soda and vinegar followed with boiling water. Which actually made it worse as I think it did a good job of cleaning the tailpipe and sent more crud further downstream. I had to break out the big gun at that point and go chemical. After a jolly good dose of ZEP drain cleaner followed with boiling water it is flowing free and clear now.

    Does anyone have a regular maintenance program they do on bathroom sinks to keep them running clear? I shave in the shower so the main thing going down the drain is water and the by-product of brushing one's teeth. I pulled the trap out and it was clean even before I went chemical. There wasn't any hair build-up. That has been a problem in the kid's bathroom due to my daughter's longer hair. My wife and I keep ours pretty short.
     
  2. Mar 21, 2019 #2

    billshack

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    I live in a 40 year old house, and i never have to do drain maintenance. that being in said, i do not have of use a garbage disposal, i never put grease down the kitchen sink, i have a small particle strainer in the kitchen sink. nobody in the house has long thick hair. if i did i would use one of those strainers that fit in bathtub drain .
    I remember doing a job several years ago. there was a leak under the kitchen sink, the clients wife but drano down the drain every friday as maintenance . we ended up changing all the piping from the p-trap to the main stack . the result , drano eats metal pipes .
     
  3. Mar 21, 2019 #3

    Sparky617

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    I don't have a problem in the kitchen sink. It is mainly in the bathroom sinks. My plumbing, with the exception of the vertical stacks going from the second floor to the first, is all PVC. The vertical stacks are cast iron for noise control. The clogs tend to be black scummy stuff sticking to the drain lines including the tailpiece out of the sink and just beyond the trap as it goes into the wall. The traps have always been clear. I have had issues in the kids' bathroom with my daughter's long hair.
     
  4. Mar 22, 2019 #4

    JoeD

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    I do not do regular maintenance. If I have a drain with an issue I deal with it then.
     
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  5. Mar 22, 2019 #5

    Sparky617

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    That is one way, I was curious is periodically running a gallon or two of boiling water down drains would help keep them clear. As I noted above the kitchen drains aren't a problem, possibly because they do get boiling water down them every once in a while when making pasta for example.
     
  6. Mar 22, 2019 #6

    oldognewtrick

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    :I agree:

    I think chemical treatments do more long term harm than good.
     
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  7. Mar 22, 2019 #7

    Sparky617

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    Hence my desire to do something non-chemical that keeps the drains running clear. I've pulled the drains apart and what I typically find isn't a giant clog of hair, but a clog of black goo lining the vertical pipes. The trap is almost always clean. Given what goes down the drain I think it is toothpaste laden spit, soap from hand washing, some hair. I stopped shaving at the sink and started shaving in the shower so shave creme and whiskers aren't part of the goo.
     
  8. Mar 22, 2019 #8

    Sparky617

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  9. Mar 22, 2019 #9

    oldognewtrick

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    Last week I rented a sewer jet from the tool rental place and flushed the downstairs drains. $45.00 and the drains are running free again. It's basically a pressure washer for the drain with an electric motor. Easy to use and does an excellent job.
     
  10. Mar 22, 2019 #10

    Sparky617

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    Did you use that on the sink drains or further downstream?

    The linked article I posted talks about running boiling water down WEEKLY. That is probably a bit excessive. My experience has been it takes a year or two for the scum to get to a slow drain, so maybe monthly.
     
  11. Mar 22, 2019 #11

    oldognewtrick

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    Only drain I ever have an issue with is the downstairs sink directly under the kitch sink. My wife cannot be convinced that a garbage disposal should be capable of digesting anything and everything she wants to put in it. So...every couple years I rent the sewer jet. Works like a charm and gives me something to do for a couple hours. I've never had much if any luck using boiling water.
     
  12. Mar 22, 2019 #12

    joecaption

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    Unless it's grease hot water is useless.
    That's one of my many pet peeves, why in the world did they come up a garbage disposals!
    Only one that likes them is plumbers.
    They sell cheap drop in screens for smaller drans,
     
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  13. Mar 23, 2019 #13

    Puddlesx5

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    First off Stop pouring boiling water down a pvc drain! Pvc is only rated for 160° . Serious deformities can happen in the pvc otherwise.
    For maintaining open pipes use a product of or like Bio-clean. It is an enzyme based drain cleaner. It is not a quick cleaner ,but more of a maintenance product. These products do not harm pipes, pvc or metal.
    As for garbage disposals running water is your friend with them. Run water as long after you shut it off as the machine was running. You want to flush out of the pipes what was just ground up.
     
  14. Mar 23, 2019 #14

    Sparky617

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    We use our disposal sparingly. Most vegetable waste gets composted. Chicken bones, after I'm done making stock from them get frozen and chucked out on trash day. I don't really have an issue on the kitchen sink. Grease also gets frozen in a peanut butter jar and thrown away when full. Grease in drains is a big no-no.

    Schedule 40 can handle 95C water for a short time. Running boiling water down the drain is not going to deform it. Do you pour pasta water out somewhere other than your kitchen sink?

    Maximum Short Time Operating Temperature
    - for pipes without pressure.

     
  15. Mar 23, 2019 #15

    Puddlesx5

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    Cpvc is rate for your 95c. Pvc is 140° farenheit.
    Hot water in my house is tempered with liberal amounts of cold water.
    Yes boiling water will deform pvc. The length of contact time will determine the deformity of pvc. At your house you my do what you want. I'm just letting you know.
     
  16. Mar 24, 2019 #16

    68bucks

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    PVC will take 140F continuous service, CPVC can take 180F I believe, continuously. That would be on a low or no pressure application such as a drain. The thing is unless you dump a lot of boiling water down the drain bu the time the pipe heats up to 140 the water is gone, very unlikely to harm the pipes. I still like to run the cold water when I dump boiling water down the drain, just in case .
     
  17. Mar 25, 2019 #17

    Sparky617

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    It would take a lot more than a gallon to get the pipes to deform. Otherwise, kitchen sinks would be a constant problem with deformed plumbing. As you state the water gets tempered pretty quickly once you start pouring it.

    Has anyone heard of Drainstix? I got a targeted ad for them today. trydrainstix.com They are supposed to be some enzyme that you drop into the sink, that lasts about a month. They are about the size of a straw, 6" long and they hang out in the trap slowly dissolving away. Not sure how they would help with the stuff that collects on the walls of the drain tailpipe out of the sink and above the trap.
     
  18. May 8, 2019 #18

    Billbill84

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    I heard a plumber swear by kitchen sink maintenance by means of pouring half cup of dish soap in drain with water off then wash that down with about 2 cups of bleach. Let's it soak in for a few min then run hot water through sink for about 5 min to flush it all out.
    Any opinions on this one????
     
  19. May 8, 2019 #19

    Johnboy555

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    For routine drain maintenance I have had very good luck with "Drain Care" by ZEP. Once the drains are free of clogs, follow directions and millions of microscopic "bugs" will eat all the sludge out of the pipes and clean them. I usually recommend 2 treatments first then just follow the schedule.
     
  20. May 9, 2019 #20

    Fireguy5674

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    I've heard the "pour bleach down drains to keep them open." But on lavatory sinks where this was done normally the stopper lift arm is completely eaten away when I take them apart. I would go with Johnboy's suggestion.
     
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