Author Topic: Drain enzymes?  (Read 2682 times)

serpentstooth

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Drain enzymes?
« on: September 28, 2015, 09:21:24 PM »
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« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 09:02:31 AM by serpentstooth »

LAGuy

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2015, 09:55:22 PM »
A plumber once told me not to put anything down there other then bleach. Otherwise, you're just asking for an even higher plumbing bill.

Boz86

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 05:51:26 AM »
And then the septic tank guy told our neighbor bleach was bad for the septic system.

Seriously, I'm not positive, but I figure enzymes can't hurt (at least in our house). The plumbing is about 25 years old and it's pvc. There's a kink in the system that tends to build up from the kitchen drain. It's approximately 34 feet, 10.4m, down from the p-trap. I know this because I had to buy a 50 foot snake to reach it.

There was a point we had the house rented out and the plumber charged over $200 to clear it.

I'm encouraged that I didn't find any sites saying the enzymes are a scam -- how's that for logic? Hoping a chemical engineer chimes in.




ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 06:44:39 AM »
I think that putting bacteria down makes more sense than putting just enzymes down - if you get them established, you're set. I haven't tried it to know if they work, though. We do occasionally Drano (well, store-brand equivalent) shower drains to get rid of the hair monsters that form down there.

Axecleaver

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 07:41:56 AM »
"Drain enzymes" (like Rid-X) don't help the drains, they help the septic tank. If you don't have a septic tank - ie, you connect to city sewer, then these don't help you.

A well-functioning septic tank has bacteria which break down the sewage into sludge (which must be pumped out occasionally) and effluent, which is mostly water and is distributed through the leach field. If you were to kill all the bacteria in your tank, you could clog up the leach field. One way to do this is to dump many tens of gallons of bleach or chlorine in it.

But, it takes a lot! For perspective, a typical sewage tank for a SFH is 1250 gallons; to kill the bacteria, you need a 1:5 bleach:water solution, so roughly 250 gallons of bleach. Pouring even a half dozen gallon containers of bleach down the drain is unlikely to affect your septic system.

In the unlikely event that you need to replenish the septic enzymes (bacteria), the best way to do that is to poop in it. All the enzymes your septic system needs are contained in a resource to which you have plentiful access.


MandyM

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 09:07:50 AM »
"Drain enzymes" (like Rid-X) don't help the drains, they help the septic tank. If you don't have a septic tank - ie, you connect to city sewer, then these don't help you.

A well-functioning septic tank has bacteria which break down the sewage into sludge (which must be pumped out occasionally) and effluent, which is mostly water and is distributed through the leach field. If you were to kill all the bacteria in your tank, you could clog up the leach field. One way to do this is to dump many tens of gallons of bleach or chlorine in it.

But, it takes a lot! For perspective, a typical sewage tank for a SFH is 1250 gallons; to kill the bacteria, you need a 1:5 bleach:water solution, so roughly 250 gallons of bleach. Pouring even a half dozen gallon containers of bleach down the drain is unlikely to affect your septic system.

In the unlikely event that you need to replenish the septic enzymes (bacteria), the best way to do that is to poop in it. All the enzymes your septic system needs are contained in a resource to which you have plentiful access.

+1. Enzymes don't do anything as far as maintenance or a clog preventative. If your pipes are running clear, then the enzymes will just be washed down with the water.

Boz - Is the "kink" in a section of pipe that is buried? If you get a regular clog that far down your line, it could be roots growing through a pipe joint.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2015, 09:48:06 AM »
I used to have a boyfriend who ate bacon at practically every meal, and greasy burgers, and cooked a lot of meat in my kitchen: the kitchen drain was always slow. I tried to get him to throw most of it away with paper towels...but he didn't listen for shit (as in: former boyfriend).

The first house we were in was city sewer, and I found that pouring salt with super hot soapy water 'cut' the grease and the drains improved.

The second house was septic, and did the above and would throw a box of those RidX enzymes down once a year.

I've been in this place since 2008---zero bacon and chicken maybe once a week--- and have only remembered to throw one box in all that time: no septic problems. But other problems due to the well silting up.

Boz86

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 12:02:33 PM »
"Boz - Is the "kink" in a section of pipe that is buried? If you get a regular clog that far down your line, it could be roots growing through a pipe joint."

That's possible, but the "kink" is well outside being under the canopy of the nearest tree. But if the clogging continues I need to consider it more.

Exflyboy

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 12:39:59 PM »
I agree.. something in not right here.

You need to dig up the pipe (or rent a "seesnake".. a camera on the end of a snake) to take a look at what is really going on.

I suspect either the pipe is broken or has a tree root partially blocking it.

Fix the root cause and forget about putting anything down the drain.

electriceagle

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Re: Drain enzymes?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 11:15:57 AM »
Google "plumbing bladder"

You insert it into a drain and it closes the entrance and then spurts gushes of water into the system. The pressure and motion of the water pushes clogs down and out. I find this to be much more effective than any chemical compound, and even better than a snake in most cases.

The catch is that you must run a garden hose to wherever you want to use the bladder.

Also, its a one-time purchase that can last for a long time.