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hair clog...

topic posted Mon, December 26, 2005 - 12:42 PM by  Unsubscribed
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I have a slow drain. The tub is home for 3 dogs and two ladies, so i know there is hair down there!

By the length of time it takes to back up, I can tell the clog is deep in the pipes. I already tried a 15' snake.

So do I go chemical? If so, then what brand?

Or do I call the plumber and snake it.

Then, what do you guys recommend as maintence?
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  • Re: hair clog...

    Mon, December 26, 2005 - 1:31 PM
    Hey there. you have yourself a pesky problem. Im thinkin plumber but I hope i am wrong and someone else is brilliant out there. as for maintence get the metal things with many holes that are made especialy for drains you can get them from wal mart to home depot super cheap & worth it. then once in a blue moon use a foam declogger (liquid plumber)Good luck to ya!
    • Re: hair clog...

      Thu, December 29, 2005 - 9:41 PM
      Liquid plumber can be a bad thing. It can slowly dissolve certain types of drainage plumbing and cause nasty leaks down the road. In general it is a largely inneffective and very temporary solution.

      If you can't get the clog with the snake you'll probably want to call the plumber. Service plumbers generally aren't cheap but it's for a good reason: they unclog pipes and keep us from being submerged in poo. They also have to deal with some nasty situations that very few of us would ever want to do at work. Plus if it is a bigger problem then they are more likely to find it (i.e. roots in the sewer or something)

      Prevention is by far the best way to deal with hair. enough hair and/or grease can clog any pipe but if you dispose of it carefully you have nothing to worry about. shell is totally right about the drain basket. Buy one and keep hair from goin down the drain, put it in your trash or compost instead.
  • Re: hair clog...

    Mon, December 26, 2005 - 1:35 PM
    At most home improvement stores you can get a plastick stick kinda thing that looks a lot like a snakes vertabra.

    Drill a hole in the end to attach it to your snake and push it down the drain.... when you hit the clog it tangles in the hair.

    Retract it and find what looks like a fuzzy alien lifeform

    Repeat till you have removed all of it.

    If it is more than 15 feet down you can rent much longer snakes at most rental centers.

    JSin
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: hair clog...

      Mon, December 26, 2005 - 1:41 PM
      Ah yes, I have seen it! Attaching it to the snake, awesome!

      Thanks!
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: hair clog...

    Mon, December 26, 2005 - 2:00 PM
    I don't know what is best, but if you go with chemicals, I wouldn't buy them from the section where the home cleaners are... these are the brand names you see on TV that cost at least twice as much as the stronger drain cleaning chemicals you can find in other sections of the store - in Wal Mart, I think these chemicals are usually near the paint section. Also, be advised that some of them are very strong and you should wear gloves and keep your pets away while using them.
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: hair clog...

    Mon, December 26, 2005 - 3:19 PM
    go to the rental place and rent a snake. Run the snake in from the upper (overflow) drain (not the drain in the bottom of the tub) after you pull the hardware off and yank the plug assembly.

    Chemicals will only dissolve the pipes.
    nuthin dissolves hair.
    • Re: hair clog...

      Mon, December 26, 2005 - 3:57 PM
      "Run the snake in from the upper (overflow) drain (not the drain in the bottom of the tub) after you pull the hardware off and yank the plug assembly. "

      How come? why not the base plug? (please?)
      • Unsu...
         

        Re: hair clog...

        Mon, December 26, 2005 - 4:06 PM
        To forgo the 90 degree bend coming off of the drain and since most newer tubs are plumbed with plastic it tends to break.
  • Re: hair clog...

    Mon, December 26, 2005 - 4:16 PM
    Our plumber recommends pouring a cup of bleach down our drains every couple of weeks....we do it more like once a month but it works like a charm. Oh, and we also invested a couple of bucks in one of thise wire mesh drain/hair catchers as mentioned in a posting above and it works great!
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: hair clog...

      Mon, December 26, 2005 - 6:21 PM
      I live in an old building (1917) with the original plumbing. My trick is to use a foaming drain opener (whatever's on sale) every month. After it sits for 15-20 mins, I rinse it down with a huge stock pot of boiling water from the stove. It works.
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: hair clog...

      Tue, December 27, 2005 - 6:08 AM
      Bleach is a strong base ( opposite of acid on the PH scale) most chemical drain cleaners use lye.

      Either way they dissolve the pipes.
  • Re: hair clog...

    Tue, December 27, 2005 - 6:54 AM
    Chemicals are bad for the pipes, and awful for the groundwater. This includes bleach.

    For minor clogs, I pour a cup of baking soda in a drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Then, I follow with a gallon or more of boiling water. It's worked like a charm, so far!

    I recommend the other suggestions -- prevention is the key. Get a metal strainer to fit in the drain, and keep it clean. Then, once a week or month, do the baking soda/vinegar thang. That should keep your pipes clean (well, relatively, anyway), and clear!

    I've also heard of a plunger-type thing that creates a tremendous blast of air/water. It's intended for toilets, and claims to be able to clear clogs as far as 400 ft! I can't see why it couldn't be used on a tub drain. If you're interested, I'll look for a link.


    namaste,
    alex
    phoenix, az
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: hair clog...

      Tue, December 27, 2005 - 7:09 AM
      "For minor clogs, I pour a cup of baking soda in a drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Then, I follow with a gallon or more of boiling water. It's worked like a charm, so far! "

      ditto

      and it totally gets rid of wierd kitchen drain smell.
      • Re: hair clog...

        Mon, September 4, 2006 - 11:38 AM
        wow, my shower was draining slow. I used your baking soda/vinegar/boiling water technique, and now it is running fine. Thanks for the non-toxic way of clearing the drain!
    • Re: hair clog...

      Tue, December 27, 2005 - 6:47 PM
      Alex wrote:
      >"
      I've also heard of a plunger-type thing that creates a tremendous blast of air/water. It's intended for toilets, and claims to be able to clear clogs as far as 400 ft! I can't see why it couldn't be used on a tub drain. If you're interested, I'll look for a link."<

      VERY nasty toy on any pipes with any age on them.... Have seen a huge number of pipes get blown out with that toy especially when the homeowner has been playing with drano on thier nice metal pipes.

      JSin
      • Re: hair clog...

        Thu, December 29, 2005 - 10:05 AM
        Thanks for the advice! I've not used one, but was thinking about it for a while! And, since our home will be 50 years old next year, probably a bad idea for us.


        namaste,
        alex
        phoenix, az
  • Re: hair clog...

    Tue, December 27, 2005 - 9:24 AM
    Do you have trees on your property? There are 3 long-haired people in our family, but the slow drain turned out to be a root-clogged sanitary line.

    Be careful of the air "de-cloggers" if the drain has totally stopped. I ended up blowing out the wax toilet seal and ended up with water leaking from the toilet.

    RE prevention...if you have one of those sink drains that pop up, wrap a piece of nylon net around it to catch the hair. You can buy it by the yard in fabric shops...very cheap.

    RE chemicals...I only use them as a last resort. If products like Drano don't work, try sulphuric acid drain cleaners. They play hell with the pipes, so they shouldn't be used very often. They also tend to discolor the metal drain parts in the sink.

    Good luck!

    WW
    • Re: hair clog...

      Thu, December 29, 2005 - 9:05 AM
      i use a wire hanger and it works excellent. nasty the stuff that gets pulled out, but cost to environment is nothing and to wallet.

      peace~dreamer
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: hair clog...

    Tue, January 3, 2006 - 9:39 AM
    A big thanks to you all!

    I used no chem, just a long snake with that fancy hair attachment.
    • Re: hair clog...

      Tue, January 3, 2006 - 7:55 PM
      The collective working wisdom of this thread is awesome. Best collection of clog removal tips i've ever seen, by far and away. I knew a thing or two. Now i know about 5 or 6. The hair attachment on snake idea actuall got and hollered some kind of noise in enthusiastic noise response on reading. By god, THAT ought to do it.

      Same with the tribe as a whole. Awesome collective practical wisdom.

      I wish for some way to make this wisdom available to all Tribe members at precisely the right moment when they are in need of desperate need of a little enlightenment.

      I've been trying to imagine such a setup. A Tribe toolbox. What would the nuts and bolts, the plumbing, of such a setup look like.

      This amazing thread is due to sink down and dissapear. Then we will go through this again. And this is fun...........but i think a fraction of the potential utility.
      • Re: hair clog...

        Tue, September 5, 2006 - 10:38 AM
        Wil, I totally agree that there are some awesome answers.

        Boiling water will dissolve the soap scumb that seem to hold hair and such in place. Amazing what a little knowledge will get us.
        • Re: hair clog...

          Thu, September 7, 2006 - 9:53 PM
          Yay! I was reading this thread when it was discovered that our kitchen sink, well, it was draining slow. I tried the baking soda and vinegar method, I tried boiling water. In a moment of weakness, I even tried drano. (I really didn't want to have to pay for a plumber.)

          So then I went and bought a 25' power snake, hooked it up to my drill, pulled the trap off, and busted up some clog. Somebody who's been washing coffee grounds down the drain needs a spanking. I feel all badass, and will have to call my Dad to let him know I'm a real homeowner now! And now I'll use the baking soda/vin as a maintenance each month.

          By the by, my power snake has a plastic sheath over it, I would imagine to protect fingers from damage? Thanks for everyone's ever so useful postings!

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