Preventive drain cleaning/treatment?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Vitaliy, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy New Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Hi Guys,

    Next weekend I am planning to replace old toilet with new one.
    During this time it will be nice opening into main drain system.
    As of today drain works fine but house is 50+ years old and
    I am thinking about preventive cleaning and/or treatment.
    Initially I thought about using whatever chemicals but looks
    like all you are against them (I wonder why HD has them on a
    shelves and many of the labeled “Used by professional plumbersâ€).
    I don’t have right equipment (and of course, experience) to do a
    good and right mechanical cleaning.

    So, what would be your advice?
    Do nothing (drain is working fine) or call a plumber?
    Or do I still have any DIY option (I am really good Handy Man)?

    Thank you,

    - Vitaliy
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    HD has them on the shelves because people buy them. "Used by professionals" may mean that doctors and lawyers use them to save the plumbing bill. I do not recommend doing anything until it is necessary. If you snake an operating drain, there is not enough flow to wash all the material that could accumulate, so it would just lie there until it created enough of an obstruction so the drain would stop up, and then a second snaking would dislodge it and the accumulated water would flush it out.
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  4. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Apr 18, 2005
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Rent a drain cleaning machine and run the tub and lav sink at the same time you are running the machine down the drain; all the wastewater is going the same direction. Most likely if you hit a low spot in your system or roots, the end of the cable will retrieve it. If not, you took a preventive measure worthy of its cost. Drain cleaning products do one thing, take your money. Years and years ago the boss I worked for always had customers that would have us clean drains on maintenance based contracts. I kinda hated it because there seemed to be no justification of cleaning a clean drain. But, sometimes we would pull back black sludge in a low-lying pipe or bring back a ball of roots. Either way that justified our very reason to be there with the machine running.
  5. finnegan

    finnegan New Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    I was in your same position a while back. I had cut my main to run some new lines in my basement. I opted to call someone in to snake my line 100' to the main. I think I paid $150 or so in NJ. I was not having any problems, but the cutter head pulled back some ugly roots. I think it was worth it for the peace of mind. Keep in mind though that if your pipes are in bad shape, a power auger can chew them up. Be careful.
  6. casman

    casman New Member

    Sep 8, 2004
    New York
    Keep in mind to that renting those machines can be dangerous if you don't know what your doing. I bought and broke a machine by forcing the 3/4 inch steel cable and it snapped and violently whipped out of the drain and bent clamped onto my left to professionals
  7. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Aug 7, 2005

    Listen to HJ and RUGGED.
    Their comments are always top notch.
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