How Often do you guys -clean- your drain lines

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by chefwong, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. chefwong

    chefwong Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    I'll chalk it up to WFH. More increased usage.
    Was putting down ZEP Drain care in the kitchen and bathroom sink as I noticed it running slower than normal.
    Bathroom sink was pretty slow from the get go.
    Kitchen incrementally getting slower when pouring large volume (2-3G Produce Soak) vs. a slow faucet open/close.


    Fast forward today. I know BIO cleaner takes time but it wasn't showing much improvement. Ended up snaking both lines. Wasn't actually expecting much on the kitchen one - but it did have black slime as I pulled the chain back. I suppose its grease pipe wall buildup and whatever dirt gets' entrapped with the grease over time ?

    Dunno, but both lines are clear and all is well.

    For proactive maintenance presume the buildup happens slowly and not in the trap but just on the walls of the drain. Should I be using Bio Cleaner more often as preventative maintence.

    OR

    Is the answer that it comes with the territory and lines do need to get snaked every now and then.....
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Home built in 1978 and I've lived here 15 years. I have never snaked my kitchen line. I do use Bio-Clean from time to time, and replace my disposers every eight years. Way cheaper to replace a disposer than to snake kitchen lines.
     
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  4. chefwong

    chefwong Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    District of Columbia

    Hi Terry -

    Don't have disposers.....I do know what part of the issue is with just the kitchen line I suspect. Based on my username, I cook quite a bit. Even before WFH. Pans or dishes are never really oily. I actually even scoop out -oil- from the top of soup stock and the oil goes in the trash. I'm aware to not put this stuff down my drains. I will use a paper towel and wipe a oily pan clean before it goes into the sink to minimize oil in my lines as a practice

    My hood grates however , do get thrown in the dishwasher. I don't wait for them to get mucky....but hood grates do their job in that they capture the atomozied oil onto the metal. I suspect between the dishwasher cycle and then the 1 or 2X rinse cycle (which uses very little water overall), when I run the dishwasher cycle @ night, and once the rinse water goes down into the trap, etc - said water is semi stagnent/sitting in some form of fashion due to the very little water of the dishwasher and the same lines not being (flushed) with residual use since we have gone to sleep for the night. Hope this makes sense in what I think is part of the issue.....or at least on my radar, of not good practice .

    ------
    U should have heard my diagnosis. Bathroom sink was slow drain from the immediate
    Kitchen was noticably slower but not complete slow backup unless I poured 3G into the drain from a produce basin.
    Since the bathroom was ontop, I was thinking it had to be the vent stack.
    I haven't seen that black squirrel that has been destroying my lawn in 2 weeks. Maybe he got stuck....

    Extension ladder...roof. Yikes. No fun
    Ran a hose down the vent. No change.
    Lugged a Jetter and Jetted the Vent Line !
    I did feel some resistance as I ran the line in whole. Yippe. Thinking problem solved.
    No change.

    Ultimately it wasn't the dang vent line but it needed a good old fashioned snake.
    I would have jetted it....but I did not want the mess indoors.
    The jetter probably might have give it a good deep clean on the ID of the drain walls
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Lav drains tend to get most of their muck in the vertical from the bowl into the p-trap. I pull out the stoppers, remove the trap and push a wad of paper down into a bowl.

    The kitchen sink lines can get pretty greased up. Restaurants buy a lot of Bio-Clean for their grease traps and some cities make them do that to prevent problems down line.

    [​IMG]

    A kitchen line with no grease poured down the sink. At least that's what she told me.
     
  6. chefwong

    chefwong Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    I kinda suspected it might have been -stagnet- buildup due to my grate hood washing....but figuered by the next day with the daily water usage, it would have keep it clean. Was just surprised that when I pulled the line back, it was grimey with muck ! Wasn't expecting that but I guess greasy ID sidewalls and then residual dirt for being a -kitchen sink line- , it will pick up stuff with the greasy sidewalls.

    Any tops on BioKleen in the lines without rinsing it out .
    The traps are clean. What I do is I pour it into the traps. Come back a 45 min later, and just pour a bit of water so it washes out the trap and into the line. And right before bedtime, one more -water- into the sink traps so I flush the BIO more into the lines. I don't know if the product is just being -wasted- and rinsed right down the drain with some minimal BIO clinging to the sidewalls doing what I want it to do.
     
  7. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    92346
    Im a plumber but not a drain cleaner soThey only get attention when stopped . so far never or maybe one minor a kitchen stoppage. I have a backwater valve on my first floor of 2 story home built in 02. relatively small underground system with a 20 foot run im guessing at kichen branch
     
  8. chefwong

    chefwong Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Thx. I guess I'll stay on the =reactive= side vs proactive and whenever on the whim....I will just add Bio since it's in my stash.

    Ha. I felt so defeated after jetting the vent. Here I was thinking, man, this thing has probably never gotten a cleaning in it's lifetime and now she's all sparkly clean inside....
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    How about pushing a medium drain bladder down the roof vent pipe, past the santee, and then turn on the hose supply. You have to get below the santee, or else you will just be forcing water into the sink. The lower the better. The drain bladder forces water, but it also makes a little jet at the tip.

    That is the much-lower cost thing to do some of the things as a jetter.

    What if it gets stuck? That would be a risk. I am not a pro.
     
  10. chefwong

    chefwong Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    I only ran the jetter after I ran the hose with no change.
    I thought it was a vent issue

    And it was because of how I observed the problem

    2nd Floor Bathroom Vent roof stack right above
    Slow backup instant

    Kitchen - same stack - right below bathroom
    It drains fine when the faucet is just - running-
    It would backup when pouring 3G all at once, or even the simple flood test of just running the faucet on full, eventually it would slowly backup/drain slow

    Hence, I was thinking it was -air-. Turned out it was 2 seperate clogs......
    It's been eons since I snaked anything.
     
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