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How do you keep your sink drains clean?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JimD View Post
    changing doggy diapers... Old Yorkie.
    I had to read that twice!

    I would estimate that sink had about a 25% blockage. I didn't even notice that in normal operation with the water running at full blast.

    BTW, I found water leaking out of the hot water side. I wasn't able to tighten the nut onto the bottom of the faucet sufficiently (my friend is lending me her basin wrench tomorrow) so I turned the shut off knob to off (there's got to be a better way to say that) this morning. That only made it worse which I didn't find out until tonight. Luckily I had a spare 1/4 turn shut off valve which I swapped in (notice the time, I did it about 10 minutes before HD closed so I would have been SOL if it didn't work). I was also able to get a better wrench on the connection to the faucet and all looks water tight now. I added a bunch of those 1/4 valves to my Amazon cart, too. When I replace the kitchen sink, I'll be swapping those in.

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    • #17
      I agree the hair/makeup/scum is nasty, but nothing compared to what my wife did. She put about 4 cups of cooked rice down the disposal and didn't flush it long enough. Sure enough it formed a solid wall about 40 ft into the pipe and then backed up. Luckily my basement isn't finished so I could get at it. I couldn't find a power auger long enough so I had to cut the drain pipe to get at the clog. It had solidified to the point that I could "tap" the pipe much as you tap to find a stud. It took a hammer and a large screwdriver to "chip" the blockage away, all while having it "rain" drainage back up on on me.

      I didn't say much but made her watch. To this day, she won't put anything down the disposal without asking me to do it first---even though I didn'tmake that rule.

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      • #18
        The sink in our kids' bathroom was draining VERY slowly. My younger daughter and I decided to tackle it this morning. Note to self, don't eat a big breakfast before taking out the P-trap. Barf. There was a big clump of hair and and rank sludge in there. I used a piece of scrap wood to push it all through. Free flowing now, but yuck!

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        • #19
          I'll give another vote for the "Zip-it" thing from Home Depot. I've had one for 5 years or so, and used it enough times that it's about time for a new one. The hair from my wife and 2 daughters causes clogs / slow drains. When the drain starts going slow, I slide the zip-it in and usually pull out a rat of hair (particularly good for tub drains, where you can't get to the p-trap.)
          Bill

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          • #20
            Originally posted by os1kne View Post
            I'll give another vote for the "Zip-it" thing from Home Depot.
            Same here. That thing works! No more hurting your back and fighting with the pipes, making a mess etc. A few seconds with that thing is all it takes. Still gross, but over with quickly.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by dbhost View Post
              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.
              That's how we do our drains, about twice a month.

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              • #22
                There is a lot of stuff I'd rather do than work on drains. I agree with doing the minimum necessary by using the zip it thing, but nearly every time I crawl under the sink to work on something I find another potential problem that would show its ugly face sooner or later. Last time I found the nuts on the p trap and its piping finger tight, just waiting to leak, another time a shut off valve had a slow leak. So it may be better to crawl under the sink and remove the p trap and give everything a good shake!

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                • #23
                  Zip it works great
                  Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by dbhost View Post
                    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.
                    My wife did that years ago. Not sure what happened, as to whether it was old baking soda or perhaps mistakenly baking powder, or maybe not enough vinegar.... but what we ended up with was a sink drain that felt like you had poured plaster down it. I snaked the trap but that was somewhat clear. Pulled it apart and pushed the snake further until it hit a stone wall.... move the snake back and forth and it would just cluck against something solid. Ended up pulling that section of pipe all the way into the basement ceiling. Sure enough, there was this rather solid chuck of dirty whitish crapp. Took the end of a steel rod to smack it apart.

                    I use drain cleaner on occasion for maintenance (yeah, I know) and on those rare occasions when we have a clog, I'll use a quick suction from the shop vac. (You don't want to do that too long or you might suck back more than you bargained for.) Beyond that, I'll just call Steve, the plumber; he's a great guy! (I absolutely hate plumbing on almost every level!)

                    CWS
                    Think it Through Before You Do!

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                    • #25
                      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?

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                      • LCHIEN
                        LCHIEN commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks for copying my post again without attribution.

                    • #26
                      +1 on the Zip-It tool.

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                      • #27
                        Our kitchen sink drain gets clogged up with grease somehow.... we donít pour it down the drain, I guess it comes from the dishwasher. A snake or zip tool wonít reach around the turns in the pipe, the clog must be somewhere near the intersection of the main piping. Weíve tried everything to break the clog without much luck. A friend suggested boiling water so I put several large cook pots on the stove and got the water to a rolling boil and dumped it down the drain. After several large pots full the clog was gone. About every 6 months I have to do it again, but it always works. I was scared it would melt the plastic drain pipes but they are barely warm to the touch after a boiling water flush. Iím getting ready to flush out the bathroom drains soon, I think the toothpaste is the culprit for this clog.

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                        • #28
                          Vinegar and baking soda works. You just have to use a plunger when the dirt inside the drains softens.

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                          • #29
                            Iím tired of regular plungers on a stick.
                            This is what I went looking for.
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                            This is the best I could find locally

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