What is the appropriate liquid to use for a plugged up sink??

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    • #279027
      Art van Meeteren

      I am a new home owner and learning as I go along while doing house maintenance. Today my kitchen sink plugged up completely. I tried using the dishwasher and this is how I realized there was a plug…water all over the floor… I went to a hardware store to get some help on what to do. They told me I need to take apart the whole pipe system under the sink. They also sold me a liquid called “instant liquid drain opener”. The guy said to use that first and see if it works. The label reads”extremely corrosive; vapour harmful; contains sulphuric acid”…
      Here is my question: is this safe for my pipes?? It looks like the pipes are made of black hard rubber on the outside. I have no idea what they are like on the inside.I asked the guy if this was corrosive on my pipes and he said no but I’m afraid to try it. I’ve noticed Liquid Plumber says it is ‘not harmful to your pipes’. Should I be concerned? thanks for any help.[email]null[/email][img]null[/img]nullnull

    • #299826

      The VERY best LIQUID you can use is called WATER from a WATER JETTER.
      CANT BE BEAT see this article



    • #299827
      fourth year

      Since there is a very good chance that the liquid drain cleaner will not work, even though it is not harmful to pipes, it will be harmful to the plumber, (and his snake), when he has to unplug it mechanically. If it does open the drain, it will only open enough space so the liquid can drain out and it will clog up again quite quickly. Call a plumber. And since it will be inside the house where a water jet could get real messy, he will use a snake to unplug it.

    • #299828

      You see sir a lot of ******** unknowing folks would use a snake (wire) to partially clear a KITCHEN sink line not realizing that a snake will only bore a small hole through grease.

      Get some grease or sand and put your finger in it pull it out and see the small opening?

      Also notice that in a very short time the grease opening will close up again.

      Water jetting is designed for SOFT STOPPAGES like grease and other KITCHEN sink wastes stoppages.
      Snaking will never give you full flow BUT water jetting does scrub the internal pipe to full diameter removing years and years of accumulation of soap scum and grease.

      Rather then taking a chance hiring a person thinking they know drain cleaning you should possibly look to a company that knows what they are doing and does drain cleaning Professionally rather then a guy dabbling in this trade.

      Rule of thumb snaking is for HARD Stoppages like rags roots compacted debris.

      Water Jetting for soft stoppages like grease.

      If you hire a “professional” They will use a wet dry vacuum along with the Jetter to soak up and excess water that does not flow down the drain being cleaned


      » This message has been edited by John Aldrich on 09 October 2001

    • #299829
      fourth year

      Since I have been cleaning drains since before you were born and am smart enough not to use my jetter in an area where the water will cause damage, (which makes my insurance company very happy), my original replay still stands.

    • #299830

      Thank you so much for all your help..everyone who wrote in. Since I posted this I took apart the trap myself…a male friend helped with the muscle part…and found nothing more than a knife in there. The rest was completely cleared. I tried the dishwasher again and it still has problems draining and both the sinks fill up with soapy water when it’s trying to drain. I checked through this website and also with some guys at a hardware store and they suggested that the problem is with the pipe that goes into the wall. So…armed with new knowledge thanks to this website I went to look for a ‘snake’ and found a $20 one. However, it’s very skinny and now I’m wondering if it will be any good as my pipes are quite a bit wider. ( Also…I am now wondering if I should give up the attempt to learn how to do this myself and just call in a professional. For $40 dollars I could save myself a lot of trouble.) I’ll keep you posted. Thanks again!

    • #299831
      fourth year

      That snake will not do the job properly. If it does anything, it will not open up much more of an opening than the chemical would have. If the plumber only charges $40.00, then you may be talking to a handyman and therefore might as well use the chemicals. A real plumber will charge much more and use an industrial grade snake machine.

    • #299832

      You were absolutely right about the snake I bought. It was way too skinny and it did absolutely nothing. I took it back and rented a larger snake for $20/4hrs. and tried that for awhile. I put this snake in about 6-7 ft. and it came back absolutely clean…??????….the water is still not draining. We are absolutely baffled. We’ve tried everything we are able to and now we think the problem may be a root or something growing deep deep inside the pipe. I really don’t know anymore. You were also right about the plumber…they don’t charge $40..it’s actually 75$ plus GST..yikes!!! plus transportation costs!!! is this normal??? am I getting ripped off??? it sounds like what the plumber will do is the same thing I’ve been trying to do myself for the last 4 hours with the snake…this seems extremely high or am I just out to lunch on what plumbers charge??? Maybe I’m in the wrong profession…thanks for all your help…sorry if I sound uptight..I’m just tired and frustrated..

    • #299833
      fourth year

      It is still a bit low for a drain cleaning job, but may be average for your area. The plumber will do the same thing but with his knowledge, he will do it properly. 7-8 feet is not enough. You will usually have to go as far as the closest bathroom to unplug it. They may have rented you a snake for a main line, which would be too large for a sink drain. What is your profession? I was working on a job, once, where we left the house on a Friday, Monday was a holiday, and when we returned on Tuesday, the wife asked if I could clean the sink drain. She said her husband had been working on it Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and still had not completed the job. It took about 30 minutes to do the job and make the additional incidental repairs. As I was finishing, her husband arrived and asked if it was fixed. When told, “Yes”, he said he had just rented the largest wrench the tool store had was was all psyched up to spend the evening working on it again. Sometimes it is cheaper and easier to leave the job to the expert. Especially when you have to invest money in rental equipment that you cannot be sure will do the job.

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