Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

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tc101
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Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by tc101 » Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am

Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain? This is a shower drain and I can see there is a buildup of old hair and soap scum in it.
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Kenkat » Tue May 05, 2020 11:17 am

tc101 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am
Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain? This is a shower drain and I can see there is a buildup of old hair and soap scum in it.
If you have a flat bottom plunger (i.e. non toilet plunger) I’ve had good luck running hot water and plunging the drain to see what loosens up. You’ll be amazed and disgusted by what does in my experience.

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climber2020
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by climber2020 » Tue May 05, 2020 11:17 am

If it's a shallow blockage, you can use a plunger combined with baking soda & vinegar to get the crud out.

If it's deeper, a drain auger works well. Buy it once and it'll last a while.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by livesoft » Tue May 05, 2020 11:22 am

Unscrew the plug and remove the hair ball with your fingers?
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Globalviewer58 » Tue May 05, 2020 11:30 am

1/4 salt + 1/4 cup borax + 1/2 cup vinegar plus pot of boiling water. Mix the salt and borax then pour into the drain, scooping any excess into the drain with old toothbrush. Pour 1/2 cup vinegar into drain followed by pot of boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. This process is also a periodic drain maintenance step to keep drains from clogging.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Turbo29 » Tue May 05, 2020 11:33 am

What's so environmentally unfriendly about Drano?
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by bob60014 » Tue May 05, 2020 11:34 am

I haven't used Draino or similar in years and use a zip plastic drain tool. Cheap and easy.

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbing/d ... c-8514.htm

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Tue May 05, 2020 11:35 am

Snake it. 100% mechanical.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by 02nz » Tue May 05, 2020 11:35 am

Turbo29 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:33 am
What's so environmentally unfriendly about Drano?
I don't know about the environmental aspect but it's definitely very harsh on your plumbing.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Ron » Tue May 05, 2020 11:37 am

bob60014 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:34 am
I haven't used Draino or similar in years and use a zip plastic drain tool. Cheap and easy.

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbing/d ... c-8514.htm
+1 :thumbsup

Used a similar tool from my local ACE hardware store, after using Draino for many years. This clears the gunk quickly/easily and is reuseable.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by livesoft » Tue May 05, 2020 11:37 am

Drano will not harm standard PVC pipe found in homes.
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue May 05, 2020 11:38 am

If it's too far down to get by hand I've found that a mechanical grabber tool works great. No chemicals required and it actually removes the problem rather than potentially just moving it further down the line. Home Depot has them here (in stock at my HD store)....

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-24-in ... lsrc=aw.ds

They come in very handy for retrieving all sorts of things from hard to reach places.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Tue May 05, 2020 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by rbaldini » Tue May 05, 2020 11:39 am

When possible, mechanical > chemical. Get in there with a drain snake.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by jrbdmb » Tue May 05, 2020 11:40 am

For a shallow clogs I've found something like this handy (plastic drain "auger"):

https://www.grainger.com/product/415C75

I use this once in a while when our sinks / shower get slow due to hair and soap buildup. Surprising how much of that stuff doesn't just go down the drain. EDIT: I see a few others have mentioned the same thing.
Last edited by jrbdmb on Tue May 05, 2020 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by neilpilot » Tue May 05, 2020 11:40 am

livesoft wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:37 am
Drano will not harm standard PVC pipe found in homes.
Depends. If the clog isn't totally stopped up or clears quickly, so that flow occurs, then I agree. However if Drano sits in PVC piping for an extended time and generates heat it can soften PVC and attack PVC glued joints.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Patzer » Tue May 05, 2020 11:42 am

livesoft wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:22 am
Unscrew the plug and remove the hair ball with your fingers?
+1
I do this with a pair of pliers and it lasts a lot longer than Drano.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by LilyFleur » Tue May 05, 2020 11:44 am

I use these in my bathroom sinks and shower/bathtub drains. I have to clean mine every time I wash my hair! Last time, my son tried to snake the tub drain, but we ended up calling the plumber who had a much longer snake. I decided using the shrooms is better and less costly.

https://www.amazon.com/TubShroom-Revolu ... NrPXRydWU=

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by ray.james » Tue May 05, 2020 11:47 am

bob60014 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:34 am
I haven't used Draino or similar in years and use a zip plastic drain tool. Cheap and easy.

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbing/d ... c-8514.htm
+1. This is what we use. Drano has its place but this works like charm in 95% of cases.
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by snowman » Tue May 05, 2020 11:48 am

Patzer wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:42 am
livesoft wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:22 am
Unscrew the plug and remove the hair ball with your fingers?
+1
I do this with a pair of pliers and it lasts a lot longer than Drano.
I use old metal coat hanger - I can make it any shape and any length I want, with the hook at the end pulling stuff up. Works like a charm.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Teague » Tue May 05, 2020 11:55 am

jrbdmb wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:40 am
For a shallow clogs I've found something like this handy (plastic drain "auger"):

https://www.grainger.com/product/415C75

I use this once in a while when our sinks / shower get slow due to hair and soap buildup. Surprising how much of that stuff doesn't just go down the drain. EDIT: I see a few others have mentioned the same thing.
These seem to work great for clogs they can reach, and if OP can see their clog it should do the trick. Readily available online or at hardware stores all over. Reusable, too.

As an aside, why do so many folks like to mix baking soda and vinegar together? That makes water, carbon dioxide and sodium acetate, none of which are very reactive or likely to dissolve a clog, or do much of anything else.
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by CAsage » Tue May 05, 2020 12:07 pm

With several household members with long hair.... I would HIGHLY recommend a plastic Zip type drain cleaner. You need that, a pair of pliers to pull it out and then pull the clumps of hair (really, fingers might not cut it), and a bunch of paper towels to grab all the amazing clumps of hair. This works incredibly well, it's cheap, I end up doing it more or less annually when I notice the shower beginning to drain slowly. Works great, Home Depot has them and I'm sure other brands, about 24" plastic with a pull loop on one end and fish hooks all along. I usually do it twice, cleaning it off with the pliers. Haven't tried it on a kitchen, and of course if hair isn't the issue.... use a snake. Mechanical, reusable, just more work.
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by tc101 » Tue May 05, 2020 12:13 pm

I took off the drain cover and pulled out what I could with my finger, but it goes much deeper than I can reach. In addition to the hair and scum, which is easy to get with a finger, there is some kind of hard stuff, like small pebbles, which I can't get with my finger. Maybe it is a mineral buildup or soap that has hardened over the years. Does anyone have any idea what that is?

I will try one of the mechanical gadgets mentioned, but I don't think it will get the hard stuff. Will drano dissolve the hard stuff?
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by TSR » Tue May 05, 2020 12:26 pm

I have one of the plastic zip things and they work well, but two caveats: (1) there are certain types of drain assemblies that make using them more difficult, and (2) be prepared to test your gag reflex --- what comes up ain't always pretty.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue May 05, 2020 12:38 pm

ray.james wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:47 am
bob60014 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:34 am
I haven't used Draino or similar in years and use a zip plastic drain tool. Cheap and easy.

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbing/d ... c-8514.htm
+1. This is what we use. Drano has its place but this works like charm in 95% of cases.
They work very well on blockages close to the top of the drain. I used them frequently when DDs were living at home. So many females with long hair meant a clogged drain every now and then. Never needed a plumber.

DW has not adopted using such tools. And, to be fair, her knees are too bad to get down on the shower floor to use it, anyway.

But, for those who can use them, they work very well IF the hair/soap scum ball isn't out of reach.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by helloeveryone » Tue May 05, 2020 12:44 pm

tc101 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am
Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain? This is a shower drain and I can see there is a buildup of old hair and soap scum in it.
I didn't read all the posts below so sorry if recommendation has already been made.
With the pandemic I've had a lot more time to do random things around the house and yard.

I was inspired to unclog the shower drain the RIGHT way. For at least three years we've been doing draino every 6-9 months and it's not been very fruitful.
Finally with youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... unclogging (find the one that looks most like your shower drain) I was able to easily unscrew the part, and pick out all the matted hard hairs successfully with needle nosed plyers (long ones). Amazingly it was all within 4 inches of the surface that the material was caught up in.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue May 05, 2020 1:37 pm

Never use anything like Draino. You will never see a plumber using it. Draino is not very effective for unclogging drains. More importantly it is a dangerous very corrosive liquid that can splash back on your or a plumber’s skin causing second and third degree burns and blindness if it gets in eye. Drains can suddenly open or release pressure spraying liquid. Do not use any corrosive drain opener ever.

Use a flat bottom plunger or mechanical means to unclog drains - plastic zip strips or a snake. Also try draining and checking the p trap as often the clog is right there or immediately adjacent to it. If not fixed by clearing the p trap, it’s much easier to run the snake in the pipe with p trap removed.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by HomeStretch » Tue May 05, 2020 2:09 pm

tc101 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 12:13 pm
I will try one of the mechanical gadgets mentioned, but I don't think it will get the hard stuff. Will drano dissolve the hard stuff?
If you need to go the chemical route, I prefer Glug drain opener over Draino, as long as your drain isn’t completely stopped up. It works really well on hair, scum. It’s lye-based so proper eye and skin protection is needed along with proper ventilation.

I wonder if the “hard stuff” you are seeing is chunks of hardened mortar or grout. I think you’d need to try to pull those out rather than trying to dissolve with a chemical. But I’m not a plumbing expert...

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by alfaspider » Tue May 05, 2020 3:02 pm

"Draino" is mostly just concentrated bleach (though there are different formulas available). Your water is already chlorinated, and the amount of additional chlorine going into the sewer system from Draino has to be pretty miniscule.

But, as stated before, it's not really the best solution. A drainsnake is a nice item to have for every homeowner. I have a hand crank one, but there are now battery powered ones that are even better.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 05, 2020 3:10 pm

plunger
snake
shower drain snake

no chemicals
Plumbers don't like messing with plugged fixtures that have been saturated with Drano and other solvents.

Try these. They work as long as the clog is not pass the trap.
https://smile.amazon.com/MUSMU-Drain-Sn ... NrPXRydWU=

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 05, 2020 3:20 pm

tc101 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am
Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain? This is a shower drain and I can see there is a buildup of old hair and soap scum in it.
My kids are forever plugging up their bathroom sink with gobs of toothpaste and hair. I usually boil a couple large pots of water and dump them down the drain. The first pot really loosens things up and I will also plunge it some before dumping the second boiling pot of water down.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by neilpilot » Tue May 05, 2020 3:22 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 3:20 pm
tc101 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am
Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain? This is a shower drain and I can see there is a buildup of old hair and soap scum in it.
My kids are forever plugging up their bathroom sink with gobs of toothpaste and hair. I usually boil a couple large pots of water and dump them down the drain. The first pot really loosens things up and I will also plunge it some before dumping the second boiling pot of water down.
Those with porcelain sinks should use caution. A cool sink can crack when suddenly exposed to boiling water.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 05, 2020 3:30 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 3:22 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 3:20 pm
tc101 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am
Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain? This is a shower drain and I can see there is a buildup of old hair and soap scum in it.
My kids are forever plugging up their bathroom sink with gobs of toothpaste and hair. I usually boil a couple large pots of water and dump them down the drain. The first pot really loosens things up and I will also plunge it some before dumping the second boiling pot of water down.
Those with porcelain sinks should use caution. A cool sink can crack when suddenly exposed to boiling water.
Are you referring to solid porcelain? I've done it with many modern porcelain coated iron core sinks and never had an issue.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue May 05, 2020 4:21 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:40 am
livesoft wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:37 am
Drano will not harm standard PVC pipe found in homes.
Depends. If the clog isn't totally stopped up or clears quickly, so that flow occurs, then I agree. However if Drano sits in PVC piping for an extended time and generates heat it can soften PVC and attack PVC glued joints.
PVC isn't actually glued. It's solvent bonded, which is basically chemically welding it together into one piece. There's not really any glue to attack, although I suppose heat could be a concern. Most PVC and ABS is not intended for high temperature use.

When I tried to search for more clarification on this concern, aside from some good technical information about temperature derating of PVC pressurized piping, I mostly came up with plumbing company websites telling people to hire them instead. Pretty consistently, they seem recommend if you must DIY, instead of risking the heat from the reaction melting your pipes, you should pour boiling water into the pipes

To be fair, it's probably actually ok for non-pressurized drain pipes, but they're generally not rated for temperatures above 140 degrees F, and it's amusing for them to advertise themselves using F.U.D. about possible high temperatures, only to turn around and recommend deliberately exceeding the pipe's temperature rating.
Teague wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:55 am
As an aside, why do so many folks like to mix baking soda and vinegar together? That makes water, carbon dioxide and sodium acetate, none of which are very reactive or likely to dissolve a clog, or do much of anything else.
I've pondered this question multiple times, generally while I'm in the process of trying it. My speculation is in line with everyone else's - that the rapid gas generation of whatever portions of it wash down into the middle of the clog, forces apart the hair fibers, and vinegar helps dissolve the scum that helps bind it together, allowing the mass to be washed away.

That seems a bit dubious to me, but it's cheap and easy, so I keep trying it, even though I expect it fail. (1) pull the visible hair out with pliers - usually not enough to clear it, (2) dump 1-2 Tbsp of baking soda and 1-2 cups of vinegar in (3) wait until the bubbling stops, then pour a couple quarts of hot water down to rinse it out

90+% of the time I've tried it, 1-3 rounds of treatment has cleared the drain.

The only time I recall it not working, neither did the next step of using a 25' snake. That time, I rented a 75' snake, and I encountered an obstacle with about 73' payed out.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by dru808 » Tue May 05, 2020 4:33 pm

Lye granules? All natural, i 🤔
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by 1130Super » Tue May 05, 2020 4:33 pm

Turbo29 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:33 am
What's so environmentally unfriendly about Drano?
That’s my thought, It’s essentially just concentrated bleach, lye, salt,and aluminum in gel form. Causes a chemical reaction

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by neilpilot » Tue May 05, 2020 7:01 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 3:30 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 3:22 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 3:20 pm
tc101 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am
Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain? This is a shower drain and I can see there is a buildup of old hair and soap scum in it.
My kids are forever plugging up their bathroom sink with gobs of toothpaste and hair. I usually boil a couple large pots of water and dump them down the drain. The first pot really loosens things up and I will also plunge it some before dumping the second boiling pot of water down.
Those with porcelain sinks should use caution. A cool sink can crack when suddenly exposed to boiling water.
Are you referring to solid porcelain?
Yes.....

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by FrankTheViking » Tue May 05, 2020 7:04 pm

If you can see it, a pipe snake will probably do the trick.... other than that, vinegar or take the pipe apart further down and snake that.
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue May 05, 2020 7:40 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:22 am
Unscrew the plug and remove the hair ball with your fingers?
This!

For deeper problems I bought similar to this for the bathroom sink

Product at amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Vastar-Drain-Sna ... 86&sr=8-15

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by tadamsmar » Tue May 05, 2020 7:48 pm

bob60014 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:34 am
I haven't used Draino or similar in years and use a zip plastic drain tool. Cheap and easy.

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbing/d ... c-8514.htm
That's what I use. Or some other drain snake that will easily fit down the drain.

I have had Draino ruin the visible metal plating on a drain.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by tadamsmar » Tue May 05, 2020 7:55 pm

Turbo29 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:33 am
What's so environmentally unfriendly about Drano?
"It’s dangerous for you, harsh on your plumbing system, and bad for the environment."

https://blog.jiffyondemand.com/why-plum ... nst-drano/

I once had to replace a drain that was damaged by Draino.

It is easier to just use a drain snake.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue May 05, 2020 7:57 pm

dru808 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 4:33 pm
Lye granules? All natural, i 🤔
Lye is sodium hydroxide. Lye is used in producing food, especially olives. Before the lye treatment olives are nearly inedible.

(Ask me how I know).

I do avoid using chemical treatments for drain clogs, in part because...if it doesn't work, taking apart the drain becomes...a problem.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Independent George » Tue May 05, 2020 7:58 pm

tc101 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:14 am
Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain? This is a shower drain and I can see there is a buildup of old hair and soap scum in it.
If you don't mind the investment, buy a kinetic water ram. It uses compressed air to send a shockwave down the pipe to clear blockages.

The maintenance staff in my condo deal with clogs all the time, and swear by it.

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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by beserker » Tue May 05, 2020 8:05 pm

You know, I tried using Drano multiple times, all in hope of easy fix, but in the end I had to put some elbow grease in them. I think I was sold on the commercial how it can unclog the pipes, but every single time I had to use a different method.

If it's something that you can use a device and pull the blockage out, that would be best. If the blockage is not severe, you can use 1/4 auger attached to your drill, the spinning process should unblock it.

My last blockage was our kitchen sink. Fortunately/unfortunate, I had water leakage via refrigerator few weeks before so my basement ceiling was destroyed, but that exposed the drainage pipe under the sink. It turns out the drain pipe under the sink is wayyyy too long horizontally, so blockage had been building over the years. I cut the pipe, but blockage appeared to be much further down. The 1/4 auger could not remove the blockage, it simply could not penetrate it and will kink, it felt like cooked spaghetti attempting to pierce a wall.

In the end, I went to home depot and got myself 1/2 auger, That sucker was thick, but just flexible enough to bend at the angle. It took some doing as it was manual auger, but in the end the blockage was finally removed!!!

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tadamsmar
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by tadamsmar » Tue May 05, 2020 8:06 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:37 am
Drano will not harm standard PVC pipe found in homes.
I my home, there is a visible metal drain at the bottom of ever sink and bathtub. These have a shiny metal finish and Draino ruins the finish.

"Drano sits in a pipe until the clog dissolves, continually reacting and generating heat. Toilet bowls can crack. PVC pipes can soften and eventually break. Old, corroded pipes can be easily damaged, and Drano can quickly eat away at the glue holding pipes together."

https://blog.jiffyondemand.com/why-plum ... nst-drano/

Use a drain snake instead.

iamlucky13
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue May 05, 2020 8:08 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:55 pm
Turbo29 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:33 am
What's so environmentally unfriendly about Drano?
"It’s dangerous for you, harsh on your plumbing system, and bad for the environment."

https://blog.jiffyondemand.com/why-plum ... nst-drano/

I once had to replace a drain that was damaged by Draino.

It is easier to just use a drain snake.
I don't bother with Drano because I'm satisfied with baking soda and vinegar or mechanical means, and I'd be very hesitant to use it in metal drain pipes despite what Drano's advertisements say. However, it should be pointed out that the link is itself an advertisement for a plumber, not a neutral environmental assessment.
dru808 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 4:33 pm
Lye granules? All natural, i 🤔
Historically made by pouring water through wood ashes, and collecting the minerals that remain after the water evaporates away.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by tadamsmar » Tue May 05, 2020 8:22 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 8:08 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:55 pm
Turbo29 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:33 am
What's so environmentally unfriendly about Drano?
"It’s dangerous for you, harsh on your plumbing system, and bad for the environment."

https://blog.jiffyondemand.com/why-plum ... nst-drano/

I once had to replace a drain that was damaged by Draino.

It is easier to just use a drain snake.
I don't bother with Drano because I'm satisfied with baking soda and vinegar or mechanical means, and I'd be very hesitant to use it in metal drain pipes despite what Drano's advertisements say. However, it should be pointed out that the link is itself an advertisement for a plumber, not a neutral environmental assessment.
"...those chemicals are likely to end up in nearby waters."

https://cfpub.epa.gov/npstbx/files/RISWChemicals.pdf

But I quit using it because it ruins drains.

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whodidntante
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by whodidntante » Tue May 05, 2020 8:28 pm

Physically remove the blockage. Or if your pipes are clogged with goo, lye works great and is an ingredient in soap making. Be careful not to get it on your skin though.

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timboktoo
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by timboktoo » Tue May 05, 2020 8:47 pm

Let's see if this link works:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DP ... UTF8&psc=1

That's what I use on our shower. They're very small, but I'm able to get up all the gunk very easily with them. I've tried plungers and Drano in the past. This is definitely the best method I've found for our own situation.

- Tim

Normchad
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by Normchad » Tue May 05, 2020 9:04 pm

Lots of great answers here. I just fought through this, this weekend.

My first recommendation is the plastic, barbed, zip tie looking thing. It works really really well, and usually resolves the issue. It will reach about 18 niches into the pipe.

When that didn't suffice, I busted out the "flat bottom plunger", and that cleared the whole thing up with a single "push" of the plunger.

Given all of the environmentally safe ideas here, a better question might be, "Is there anything more environmentally destructive than Drano for unclogging a drain?" :)

zeal
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Re: Is there anything more environmentally friendly than Drano for unclogging a drain?

Post by zeal » Tue May 05, 2020 10:05 pm

snowman wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:48 am
Patzer wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:42 am
livesoft wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:22 am
Unscrew the plug and remove the hair ball with your fingers?
+1
I do this with a pair of pliers and it lasts a lot longer than Drano.
I use old metal coat hanger - I can make it any shape and any length I want, with the hook at the end pulling stuff up. Works like a charm.
+1
The wire coat hanger is an excellent multitool for shallow drain cleaning... I've used it for snaking drains and also for cleaning my water heater. Plungers work too, boiling water... All good suggestions. The best are those drain augers, specifically made for the task. Chemicals like Drano don't always give you the results you need anyway so I don't bother with them.

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