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How do you keep your sink drains clean?

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  • How do you keep your sink drains clean?

    I replaced the faucet and drain tail pipe in the powder room this morning. Working under a pedestal sink was a PITA, BTW. Anyway, I almost ralphed when I disassembled the P-trap. Some kind of thick gray goo inside. I rinsed it out in the kitchen sink and wiped the inside clean with my finger. Yummy. I'm sure that trap had not been apart so it was installed almost 20 years ago. It was pretty amazing considering this is a low use powder room. I'm worried for what's waiting for me in the kitchen sink and higher traffic sinks.

    This sink didn't drain slowly but do you guys periodically pour draino down there as preventative maintenance to keep them clean or something else?

  • #2
    I cleaned out some bathroom drains some time back and the drain pipes and P-trap were coated with a thick coating of a grey goo. I finally figured it out that it was toothpaste.
    It wasn't really greasy and washed out with a garden hose spray nozzle easily enough. But toothpaste is something we wash down every day a tiny bit at a time. And the only thing, really.
    Is you powder room used for toothbrushing?
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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    • #3
      For some reason my sink drain in the bathroom clogs with the black gunk up before my wife's sink does. I also believe it is toothpaste also. Surely I don't use that much more toothpaste than she does, or maybe she swallows it, yuck. I have to clean out about once per year. On a different note, Lowes sells bathroom sinks drain p traps that are flexible and are a lot easier to hook up and a lot more forgivable that the hard pipe. The don't seem to be prone to leak if as bad either.
      capncarl

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      • #4
        Not sure what kind of flexible pile, but if it's the accordion type, I didnt think that was code. I had used it in our last house and the buyer's inspector made me remove it.

        Anyway, I guess it could be toothpaste but this is the typical 1st floor powder room. We don't get a ton of guests so I couldn't imagine where it would all be from since we don't brush our teeth downstairs. If it is toothpaste, then I definitely don't want to see what the drains in the two main bathrooms upstairs look like!

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        • #5
          My daughters all have long blonde beautiful hair that turns into the most disgusting substance known to man once it gets into the shower or sink drains. I have a flexible wire that has a tip like velco at the end. I think I bought it at home depot or lower and can't remember what it's called. It's about two feet long. Anyway, the velcro end grabs on to anything in the drain and pulls it back out without taking the trap apart.
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          • #6
            This flexible p trap was not the accordion type, it looked just like the pvc pipe but was flexible.
            My local landscape supply place also carries flexible schedule 40 pvc pipe in 1/2", 3/4" and 1" in short lengths. It use by sprinkler installers and repairers when they are in a tight spot. Looks real promising for some repairs.
            capncarl

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            • #7
              A few months ago, I had a blockage in the kitchen drain. Draino ( etc) didn't help any, so I figured I'd open it up. That was the start of a bigger problem. I couldn't get the a tight connection from the strainer basket and the p-trap and it kept leaking. It turns out that both strainer baskets were rotting away, and because the sink was so old, there was no way of just replacing the baskets. I replaced everything from the sink all the way through to past the p-trap.

              All good to go, right? Wrong! The think was still plugged! I traced it to a short, five foot section of almost level section of pipe in my laundry room just before the stack. I guess over forty years of draining, the sludge built up and backed up. A drain auger fixed the problem quickly.
              From the "deep south" part of Canada

              Richard in Smithville

              http://richardspensandthings.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                I've found from many times re-doing a sink drain piping job to just go ahead and put a generous gob of clear silicone on each connection. Silicone does not prevent disassembly like some other sealants and I have never had a leak on one assembled this way.
                capncarl

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                • #9
                  Our bath sinks would clog every few months with the gray goo- yeah, toothpaste sounds like a likely culprit, along with hair clumps. On a whim, I got a Zip-It Hair Snare at BORG, for 2.50. It's a flexible plastic tape with barbs- looks like an "as seen on TV" gimmick, but the thing really works! No more crawling under the vanity to clear out the trap.

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                  • #10
                    I tell my wife that the hairry sink drain needs a cleaning. I can't do it,grosses me out. Plus those aren't my 12 inch long hairs in there!
                    "Why are there Braille codes on drive-up ATM machines?"

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                    • #11
                      I have the same issues with drains and encourage people to never put chemicals down the drain. The person that takes the trap off has to be very careful when when on their back and removing drain parts. Hot water is all I recommend. It is better both for me and the septic system.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bmyers View Post
                        I tell my wife that the hairry sink drain needs a cleaning. I can't do it,grosses me out. Plus those aren't my 12 inch long hairs in there!
                        You are either a brave or foolish man.


                        Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                        Chr's
                        __________
                        An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
                        A moral man does it.

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                        • #13
                          http://www.realsimple.com/home-organ...rain-unclogger

                          Baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. Seriously, it works. Not perfectly clean, but clean enough to keep you from losing your lunch under the sink... My wife's sink jams up pretty regularly with gunk that looks like that gray goo you guys are talking about, combined with spots of what I think are her makeup base... Just nasty stuff.
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                          • #14
                            Please don't use Drano or any chemical! My dad, a plumber for 50 years told me that it doesn't, can't and won't work. The clog most often occurs somewhere in the line other than the trap where the chemical collects.

                            The 'stuff' in the drain is soap scum, hair and dead skin cells. Gross looking, but pretty benign.

                            I retired from engineering 15 years ago and started a handyman business. People pay me, a 69 year old fart, $45/hour to clear their drains.

                            If they've used chemicals I charge extra.

                            Use a piece of clotheshanger wire with a 1/4" bend at the end. Stick it in the drain and rotate it it few times. Usually, a knot of aforementioned soap scum, and hair will snag on the wire. Have some newspapers handy to lay this new 'rat' on, roll it up and have an adult beverage to calm down.
                            You might think I haven't contributed much to the world, but a large number
                            of the warning labels on tools can be traced back to things I've done...

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                            • #15
                              My wife likes using that plastic barb thing. She also uses some kind of vinegar mix that works sometimes. I just pull the P-trap. It isn't my most favorite thing but neither is changing doggy diapers... Old Yorkie. Being an adult means doing some things that aren't your favorite.

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