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Old 01-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


Hi;
I have a 3 to 4" drain line running from the kitchen sink & dishwasher, down into the laundry room where the laundry tub (into which the washing machine empties) connects to the line before it goes under the basement floor for about 30 feet to the sewer stack (which is in the front of the house).

This pipe becomes sluggish after 1-2 years and must then be roto-rootered.
The guy who opens the drain for us recommends using Zep Drain Care once per month to keep it flowing.

I have had limited success with Drain Care on smaller drains, but it never seemed to do anything for this larger, longer drain line.
The problem, in my estimation, is that a pint, two, or even a quart of drain care poured into that pipe (through the laundry tub) and left for 8hrs never gets far enough down the line, or touches any part of the pipe but the very bottom to do much good. The clogs always seem to be far down the pipe, as is made evident by running water down the laundry tub drain and observing that the drain doesn't start to back up until quite a bit of water has gone down.

So I'm thinking of pouring say, a gallon of properly mixed Drain Care down the laundry drain once per month.
Even a gallon won't fill the pipe enough to touch much of the diameter, but at least it may actually reach the entire length of the pipe.
Considering that any grease which gets down the drain is coming from the kitchen sink where flow is not going to be very high, I would expect the grease buildup to be closer to the bottom of the pipe. So, if the gallon of Drain Care at least reaches the end of the pipe, it has a chance to work on the bulk of the grease buildup.

During the two months prior to calling in the roto-rooter guy, I poured a gallon of chlorine bleach down the laundry tub drain at monthly intervals, and let it sit in the pipe overnight. I don't really like the idea of using chlorine bleach on a regular basis though; as I am of the impression it is not good for the old iron pipe, and not good for the environment.

We are usually very careful about what gets down the drain, but it is almost impossible to prevent some grease from getting down from the kitchen. I also believe that the fact the washing machine dumps into the same line helps to keep it clearer than it would be if it were only the kitchen sink.

Any suggestions / comments, especially on the use of larger volumes of Drain Care?

Thanks

FW

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


I'd personaly never suggest using any type of drain cleaner.
Old cast iron pipes scale up on the inside which catches and thing flushed down the drains.
Bleach is doing nothinng but killing the bacteria.
Waht it fixed for ever, dig up that old drain and install a PVC drain.

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


A properly graded pipe does not need Zep "Drain Care" or any other chemical for that matter. I hope you dont have a septic system that you keep hitting it with bug killer. 3 to 4 inch lines are large for draining the fixtures you refer to, and maybe you aren't getting enough flow to move the debris out. Is the 3 properly vented? It sounds like the tie in at the laundry tub might be where you are getting a constriction for some reason. I think you should scope that line and see what you have the next time is gets slow. Also, it really makes sense to pour a good size pot of boiling water down your kitchen sink every once in a while, and follow it up with a full kithen sink of hot water. Flushes the system.

I do not recommend any type of chemical down a drain. If boiling water and some vinegar cant clear it, you have to get in there, and it aint fun getting lye or some other chemical warfare agent on your skin and in your lungs.

Sounds like Joe and I went to the same school. HKU (Hard Knocks University) Here I am in my cap and gown and heres a picture of me in class
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Last edited by jagans; 01-08-2013 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #4
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


My ex father inlaw got 3 degree chemacal burn when working on a drain that the home owner said he had not used any drain cleaner on.
Come to find out he had pored two bottles of draino down the drain.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


Thanks for your replies;
I was mistaken on the pipe diameter. I had guestimated by just looking at it. When I measured the circumference, then did the math, it comes out to 2.6", so it's probably around 2-1/4 ID.

As for drain cleaners; the only thing besides a gallon bottle of chlorine bleach I poured down twice over a two month period, I have used Zep Drain Care only. No draino or any other chemicals.
30 years ago we used to buy this really strong stuff called "Clobber". It was pretty much sulfuric acid, and smelled like rotten eggs. The junk was banned for consumer use, but the plumbers continued to use it for a while after that. Recently though, no one has used it on any of our drains.
I agree; there is nothing better than the roto-rooter tool, as long as it is done by a professional (or at least someone who has had some experience; myself not included in that class).

I guess it can't hurt to continue the Zep Drain Care (a gallon per application) and boiling/hot water after the 8hr "brewing" period once a month.

FW
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:54 AM   #6
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


Any tree root problems?
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:55 AM   #7
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Is this pipe Galvaanized steel? If it is, it is probaly rusted inside and the rust scale is catching anything goig down the pipe. Repalcing the line with 2 inch PVC DWV would be a really good idea. Slope at 1/4 inch per foot and make sure you are properly vented, and goodbye to your problems.

OOPs just read your post. I have never heard of running a 2 that far under a poured floor. I would reroute that line above the BM floor on the wall and delete that original line. Plug it off.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
Is this pipe Galvaanized steel? If it is, it is probaly rusted inside and the rust scale is catching anything goig down the pipe. Repalcing the line with 2 inch PVC DWV would be a really good idea. Slope at 1/4 inch per foot and make sure you are properly vented, and goodbye to your problems.

OOPs just read your post. I have never heard of running a 2 that far under a poured floor. I would reroute that line above the BM floor on the wall and delete that original line. Plug it off.
That's what I was thinking if it becomes necessary. For now, I think it will be OK as long as it is roto-rootered about once per year. The job of replacing the line is not something I would be able to handle myself. Sure, I could run the line, but connecting it into the sewer is another story.
Would be a much longer run along the wall though.
I don't think it's galvanized steel. Most likely cast iron. House is more than 80yrs old.

FW
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:45 AM   #9
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


Quote:
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Any tree root problems?
Shouldn't be. It's an indoor line. No trees near the house that could get into it.

FW
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #10
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


DUH ! need to get new glasses. Sorry
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #11
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


First mistake calling roto rooter but whats done is done no chemicals in any line that have skull and cross bones on the bottle, active enzymes are very helpful but they need to sit in the line for long periods of time to work, if your going on vacation longer than a week then treat the lines with enzymes they do work. check for bio guard products on line. by the way a well cleaned kitchen line not cleared but cleaned should go for 5 years plus with out any clogs under normal use if the line has no hidden issues. pvc or cast iron. just because someone put a cable down the line and the water drains doesn't mean its clean.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:35 PM   #12
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Its fairly easy to tell the difference between Galvanized steel and cast Iron. The Cast Iron used in older homes is bell and spigot, and rusty or black Galvanized is silver blotchy and threaded. You cant thread CI. Running a 2 inch CI line all the way under a basement floor is foolhardy IMO. Should have been 4 inch with that run. Tying in to main soil stack is not that hard nowadays with fernco fittings, you just have to know theory, have the right tools, and properly support the Soil stack.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:34 PM   #13
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You need to take Javiles advice. I don't know the product you're using but the enzymes is the way to go. Don't flush it out- let it sit in the line and do it's job.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:51 AM   #14
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Zep Drain Care for larger drains?


I am following the instructions on the Zep Drain Care can. Let it sit in the line for at least 6hrs.

As for the type of line, it is CI. Bell and spigot, no threads, at least where the pipe goes into the floor. Above that, there is a combination of Cast Iron, Galvanized steel, and PVC; the PVC being the latest piece of replacement pipe. The vent pipe which connects to the line near the laundry tub is galvanized.
It's definitely a hodge-podge of plumbing.

Javiles; why was it a mistake to call roto-rooter? That has been the only method of getting the drain running "normally" after a couple of years when it gets slow.

I would love to scope out the line, but don't have the cash to spend on that right now.

FW

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