Drain Cleaner & Fixture Finishes

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by sobersgea, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. sobersgea

    sobersgea New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Does anyone know if Draino-type products will harm finishes like brushed nickel? I usually use a product like this once a month - or when the tub drain seems slow. My new tub will have brushed nickel so what will I be able to use to keep the drain moving freely?

    Thanks.

    Ps. Yes, I have heard all the arguments against getting fancy finishes but I really, really, like the brushed nickel.....
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If you take a plastic spray bottle of water and spray off the finish the min. your done pouring it shouldn't harm the finish. That said if you are useing lye that may harm the finish on contact.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    arguments

    Instead of reading why you should not use fancy finishes, you should have been reading the ones that tell you that drain cleaners are almost useless.
  4. sobersgea

    sobersgea New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Useless Drain Cleaners /was Drain Cleaners & Fixture Finishes

    I have heard that - but I have never been able to find out what to use. A plumber once told me to use bleach once a week... do you think that is better than a draino-type product? What do plumbers use in their own homes to keep their tub drains running freely?

    TIA
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drains

    Bleach is useless, as is a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Imagine a sponge in the drain. Then you pour a sponge killer down the sink. When the sponge killer reaches the sponge it is going to flow through it and kill whatever it touches, but the rest of the sponge survives and regenerates the dead portion. Your drain is like that. Drano, or anything else, flows through the obsruction, but it only opens a large enough passage for itself to flow through it. It does not stay in contact with the rest of the accumulation to affect it. And consumer drain cleaners are all diluted to the point where you should not be able to hurt yourself using them, so that also limits their effectiveness. We use our snake when the drain plugs up.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,889
    Location:
    New England
    If you drain is constructed properly, it shouldn't back up! In the kitchen, avoid pouring grease, etc. down there that can harden and build up. If it is hard at room temps, it will harden in the pipes, at least somewhere along the way.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Most manufacturers are using a PVD process for finishes like brushed nickel. Very hard and long lasting, but I do not assume that it is safe for chemicals. If you HAVE to use drain cleaner, use a small funnel and pour carefully to not get any on the finish.

    If your tub is slow every month, there is a problem which should and CAN be fixed by a proper drain cleaning machine. If you clean this out right, you will be trouble free for years.

    You mentioned a new tub going in. This sounds like the perfect opportunity to get a plumber in there with the right size machine to snake out you pipes.
  8. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    if you have family members with long hair, you might consider getting a screen to put on top of the tub drain.
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