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Old 09-27-2022, 08:15 AM   #1
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Sink and shower drain cleaning

What is safe to use?? My wife wants to use a household cleaner. I'm worried about RV pipe / tank materials used and damaging gaskets. What say you?
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:27 AM   #2
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What is safe to use?? My wife wants to use a household cleaner. I'm worried about RV pipe / tank materials used and damaging gaskets. What say you?
What is the reason for using drain cleaner?
Are you having an issue with the sink/shower draining or is this simply something your DW does on a regular basis.

Standard drain cleaners won't harm the drain plumbing or p-traps because it is exactly the same piping used in houses but it 'could' be harmful to those drains that don't use p-traps and instead use the Hepvo style waste trap. I would also suggest dumping the tanks after using drain cleaners as well.
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Old 09-27-2022, 10:40 AM   #3
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I will admit I am over fastidious about many things (my wife uses that term instead of anal retentive
Drains are one of those things. Every few years I will take the p-traps apart and clean the gunk out. RV and house. But I don't like using any drain cleaners. No particular reason, just don't see the need for it, plus it is just a habit from growing up with septic systems. Fortunately, in our RV all the p-traps are fairly accessible.
My granddaughter with the thick, long hair appreciates when I visit as she is happy her tub and sink no longer smell and actually drain again
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Old 09-27-2022, 11:00 AM   #4
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What is safe to use?? My wife wants to use a household cleaner. I'm worried about RV pipe / tank materials used and damaging gaskets. What say you?
A little more information please.
What do you mean by 'household cleaner'? A caustic drain cleaner or something like 'Green Gobbler'?

Do you have a plugged drain or are you trying to do routine maintenance?
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Old 09-27-2022, 11:07 AM   #5
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What is safe to use?? My wife wants to use a household cleaner. I'm worried about RV pipe / tank materials used and damaging gaskets. What say you?
household cleaners are fine with limited use . even bleach down the drain is not a bad thing once in a while . drain cleaner is a no no to caustic . bathroom cleaner ok
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Old 09-27-2022, 11:34 AM   #6
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A few times a year I'll put a dose of tank treatment enzyme down each drain between trips when I put the rig away and let it sit. Then flush the drains when I bring it back out. Never had any issues.
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Old 09-27-2022, 02:08 PM   #7
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Don't use products that are harmful to septic systems if you are at a campground. This is a BAD THING to do.
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Old 09-27-2022, 04:46 PM   #8
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Great info people! She wanted to use Drano. I don't know if it's a p-trap or not yet. I'll have to check if that is harmful to the park system.

Thanks all!
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Old 09-27-2022, 05:37 PM   #9
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Great info people! She wanted to use Drano. I don't know if it's a p-trap or not yet. I'll have to check if that is harmful to the park system.

Thanks all!
As NMWildcat says, it's only a matter of a minute or two to unscrew the P-trap and rinse it out. They only need to be hand-tight.

Just don't be absent-minded out and rinse it in the sink you are working on unless you remembered to leave a bucket underneath. It's a good idea to place one there before you start, so you don't splash the trap contents around while removing it.
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Old 09-27-2022, 05:50 PM   #10
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Why do you need a drain cleaner ?????


We never use drain cleaners in our camper or stick and brick house nor has the DW used any cleaners to clean them. I have taken them apart to check them.


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Old 09-27-2022, 05:56 PM   #11
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Great info people! She wanted to use Drano. I don't know if it's a p-trap or not yet. I'll have to check if that is harmful to the park system.

Thanks all!
They are not going to want you to use drano.

You still haven't described what your problem is. An rv septic system isn't like your home system. We can give you suggestions all day long, but if we don't know what the problem is, our advice might not be pertinent. You've got a grey water tank and a black water tank and they need water to work properly.

Is the problem in the shower, the toilet or a sink? Most problems can be solved with flushing water through the system and using an rv treatment.
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Old 09-27-2022, 06:11 PM   #12
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They are not going to want you to use drano.

You still haven't described what your problem is. An rv septic system isn't like your home system. We can give you suggestions all day long, but if we don't know what the problem is, our advice might not be pertinent. You've got a grey water tank and a black water tank and they need water to work properly.

Is the problem in the shower, the toilet or a sink? Most problems can be solved with flushing water through the system and using an rv treatment.

Reverse Snowbird it's in the bathroom sink and shower. Standard hair and muck. I have a tool to pull it out of the sink, the shower drain has a shallow floor and must drain in a way (sideways?) I'm not familiar with. Neither one of us would be able to hands and knees it like a real plumber. I was going to hire someone and she wanted to pour chemicals before paying a person. Not wanting to make things worse with the coach (or the park system mentioned above) I asked what people on this site what would make sense.
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:24 PM   #13
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Reverse Snowbird it's in the bathroom sink and shower. Standard hair and muck.
Thank you. Hair and muck is a specific problem.

You don't want to use Drano for a couple of specific reasons. One, the parks don't like it, and neither do the valves in your rig. More importantly, you're at risk when you dump those tanks for a long time, either by direct contamination or breathing fumes.

So you've done the most practical 'tool' remedy. You might have to get a plumbers 'snake' to get the hair out of the shower. For the 'gunk', you can use an rv approved liquid like Green Gobbler or you can put baking soda down the drain followed by warm vinegar. It'll foam and dislodge 'gunk'.

Then you need to get a mesh device to put on the drains to avoid this problem in the future.

There are other problems, like a 'pyramid pile' in the black water tank, which is why I asked.
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:36 PM   #14
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No!

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You might have to get a plumbers 'snake' to get the hair out of the shower.
No! You do not want to use a snake in the shower unless you are absolutely certain it does not drain through a HepVo valve. This one-way valve prevents sewer fumes from coming out of the shower drain while permitting water to flow by gravity, by using a delicate rubber-like insert. A snake will rip it to bits and you will really have a stink. This is a bad idea. I would use a DrainKing before using a snake.
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:42 PM   #15
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No! You do not want to use a snake in the shower unless you are absolutely certain it does not drain through a HepVo valve. This one-way valve prevents sewer fumes from coming out of the shower drain while permitting water to flow by gravity, by using a delicate rubber-like insert. A snake will rip it to bits and you will really have a stink. This is a bad idea. I would use a DrainKing before using a snake.
Good point and a much better idea.
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Old 09-27-2022, 10:01 PM   #16
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No Chemical Please

NO CHEMICALS PLEASE. We seem to be "chemicaling" ourselves to death.

Take the P traps apart and clean them with water. Besides, there should be nothing going down any drains that you've not eaten first. Dish soap and water to wash dishes. No grease, no coffee grounds, and no food leftovers down the drain. Scrape the residue in the trash and then wash the dishes.

Bath soap and shampoo are used sparingly for the body.

I've seen the results of DRAINO mixing with other chemicals and exploding. Makes a very dangerous and caustic mess that will destroy the skin to 3rd-degree chemical burns.

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Old 09-28-2022, 09:13 AM   #17
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If you can't physically remove the p-traps yourself, or easily get access to them, CALL someone before you dump caustic products like Drano or Liquid Plumber down the drain in an RV park for a simple clog. Maybe even a friend or RV park maintenance who is willing to help so you don't have to pay a plumber for such a simple task.
RV plumbing is very basic and usually p-traps are fairly accessible. I see you have a park model, so this should hold true.
Do a google search on Drano and read why it is not a great product, especially for RVs.
I have a particular SIL (there are 5 of them) who I call the Drano queen. She had a clog in her sink, used Drano over several days to no avail. She called me to look at it. When I grabbed the p-trap to remove it, the PVC was warm and soft. I put on my chemical resistant rubber gloves and removed the p-trap into a bucket. The clog in the p-trap was now an emulsified conglomeration of very thick sludge of who knows what with a 'hair braid' going several feet into the drain pipe. I ended up replacing the sink tailpiece and the p-trap. And yes, she still uses Drano. It is a sickness
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Old 09-28-2022, 04:04 PM   #18
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I'm going to get some baking soda and vinegar and go from there. Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-03-2022, 06:26 PM   #19
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I have a shower drain issue and opened access under the shower and there is no p trap I'm guessing it is someplace else but haven't found it yet
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Old 10-03-2022, 06:53 PM   #20
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I watched one of the videos on the full-time campers and they had a couple come out and clean their black and gray tanks out and they recommended using a mixture of Mr Clean 10 oz and 2 oz of Calgon bath beads. The remainder you've mixed with water which should amount to a total of 32 oz mix that up and for about one cup in each drain. It worked actually for my bricks and mortar house also.
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