Drano Max Gel - Works on what it's suppose to work on.
May 27, 2011
I'm pretty well versed when it comes down to plumbing and I've used many things to clear clogged drains. Things ranging from liquid products like this to using electric snakes. When a bathtub or sink is clogged up, putting a snake through the line is always the last resort. For me and many others, it's mainly because of it being so time consuming. For some people, it's because they don't know how to do it or they just don't own one, and they have to search for a plumber, which is going to cost them a few dollars. Usually, a plumber for something like that will run you at least $125. So before you go that route, it's best to try clearing it yourself.
Drano Max Gel works on minor clog issues such as hair, small food, and I even believe small pieces of lint from washcloths. I use a couple of bottles almost every month dealing with my tenants bathtub problems. The product comes as a liquid gel, and is poured directly into a drain that happens to be running slow or is just plain stuck. The substance builds up and has like a soapy look.
The directions state to slowly pour in half a bottle, or a full bottle for tougher clogs. Next, allow 15 or 30 minutes to settle, then run hot tap water, and repeat steps if necessary. I've used these directions before with good results, but I've gotten better results by always allowing 30 minutes, as well as boiling a pot of hot water during that time, and running that down the drain instead. I've heard doing this could break the pipe after many times and I don't doubt that. But it hasn't happened yet and some of the apartments I've been to have a reputation of clogged bath tubs and sinks, so I visit those apartments on a regular basis, 4 to 6 times a year to be exact. But as a rule of thumb, follow the bottles direction of using hot tap water.
Now, as far as I know, the only time the bathtub pipe has been broken was because of another product called Hotshots, which a tenant used once and it ate a hole completely through the pipe. The second time was when another person ran a snake through the bathtub, which is not recommended for just anyone to do because that takes some skill. So I don't completely buy the using boiling water after Drano story, at least not yet anyway.
I also have some experience with misusing the product as well. In fact yesterday, a tenant used the bottle of Drano I gave him. He then decided to put my pressure pump to the drain, even though the instructions warn not to do so. I didn't say anything because I wanted to see what would happen. Well it went like this; the Drano shot out of the drain and completely ruined the white paint finish, leaving very ugly, brown rust looking spots everywhere it landed and settled. Now the guy has to re-paint his tub out of his own pocket. The silliness didn't end there. This fool then decided to pour an entire bottle of Clorox Bleach right behind the Drano. This created a ruthless smell.
Despite the awful smell that came immediately afterwards, this jack of all trades but a master of none, then decided to plunge it again and the smell shot like a rocket into his nose, knocking him backwards, and he's been complaining about a headache since. No, I'm not making this up. Moral of the story folks; use some common sense.
Drano has cleared some tough clogs for me, but if you run about two bottles into your drain, and you still have a serious clog. Then more than likely it's something else and your line has to be snaked. To help keep your line clean, here are some things to keep in mind:
1) If you wash your mop heads in the bathtub or bathroom sink, use a drain stopper that catches all lint and cloth. A majority of the time when I snake a line, it's almost always pieces of mop down the drain. Drano is not going to eat that completely or at all.
2) If your kitchen is on the other side of your bathroom, then more than likely the lines are sharing with the main line. If your bathtub is going down slow, that doesn't mean that the problem is there. It could most likely be the kitchen sink, and the mainline is clogged with food. Try to dump all food into the garbage before washing dishes. That stuff does build up over time and will cause a clog, and your bathtub will run slow as a result. Should your bathtub run slow, pour half a bottle into the kitchen sink, and the rest in the bathtub. Remember, only do this if your kitchen and bathroom are back to back.
3) If you or someone else is doing some type of work; such as putting grout on the base of your tiles around the bathtub. Remember to cover the drain to keep pieces of the old grout from falling in should you be breaking the old stuff away. That will do it too.
Difference between Gel and Foam:
I've heard some folks say there's no real difference between the two products. There actually is a difference. In the case of standing water; this is when the water is just sitting in the sink or bathtub and isn't moving. Well this is when you use the gel, because when you pour it where the drain is located, the gel will cut through the water and go down the drain. In the case of the foam, it will sit on top of the water and never make it to the drain, which results in wasted money. Another difference is that supposedly the foam removes pipe build up, while the gel doesn't. I think there's some truth to this. The foam seems to build up in the pipe a lot better than the gel, but since I haven't had any issues with the gel clearing pipes, I'm actually 50/50 here. The bottle also states not to use this on toilets, it doesn't say why, but I'm willing to bet it has something do with the toilet having a four inch pipe. Drano is not going to work on a pipe that size.
Overall, Drano Max Gel has been working for me, and I've also had good experiences with Liquid Plumber as well. Try either one if your sinks or bathtub are giving you trouble. Also, read all of the directions if you're not familiar with this or any other product. You could find yourself turning a small problem into a bigger one.
Pros: -Takes care of minor clogs -Directions and precautions are accurate
Cons: -Can damage bathtub if not properly used
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