Recently one of my bathroom sink drains began to slowly clog up. The water
would not drain quickly and easily, and although I had noticed it for a
few weeks prior, it didn't seem to be a problem. At least not something
that would strongly remind me to pick up some drain cleaner when I was out
shopping. Then over a period of a few days a few weeks later the sink
started to clog really badly to the point where water would take several
minutes to drain away. It was time to do something.
Firstly, I though the U-shaped pipe under the sink was probably clogged...
a common problem with most sink drains over time. I disconnected it to
check, and surprisingly it was quite clean. Uh oh, there was a blockage
further down the pipe. Those can be troublesome and costly if a plumber
needs to be called in. I thought I would try some drain cleaning products
in the hope these would clear the blockage, wherever it was, and not need
Now, when I went shopping I found may brands and types of cleaner, from
liquids to gels to crystals. All claimed to be able to remove clogs and
free up the drain for free flow once again. I decided on a satchel of
drain cleaning crystals which claimed it could free up almost completely
blocked drains, which is what I seemed to have.
After getting home and following the directions on the pack, I discovered
the crystals really didn't do anything to clear the block I had. I was
hoping it would be some tree root problems further down the drain pipe
outside, but I knew there were no problematic trees anywhere near the
pipes. So I was disappointed with the "Drain Kleen" brand crystals I
purchased. They didnt seem to do much for my drain problem.
So back to the shops and this time I went for some Drano brand Max Gel in
a bottle. I had used Drano liquid before with some success on another
drain, but had never used the Gel form. Being a little dubious now, I
reluctantly purchased a bottle hoping it would solve the problem second
time around. Following the instructions, I added a whole bottle of Drano
Max Gel to the sink as it was now nearly fully blocked and very slow
draining. The Gel slowly seeped down the sink hole and I left it sit there
for 30 minutes (which is recommended for tougher blockages). Thirty
minutes later I crossed my fingers as I started to run the hot water down
the tap (the next recommended step)...
Immediately I knew the Drano max Gel had done the job. The hot water,
although only low pressure, was draining away down the sink hole very
rapidly with no backfilling in the sink evidenced. I let the hot water run
for a few minutes to completely flush the blockage away. Following that I
decided a better test was in order. Off with the hot water and I ran the
cold tap fully open at high pressure, and although the volume of water now
running was much higher, the sink swallowed it all in record speed. The
sink had never drained better since we purchased this 30 year old house
two years ago.
So in the end, the Drano Max Gel product worked VERY well indeed and I am
pleased as punch that a potential hefty plumbing bill was avoided. It
certainly worked better than the other brand of crystals as the Gel is
able to penetrate standing water much more effectively and essential seep
right to the site of the blockage to take action. As I wasn't able to see
what kind of blockage I was dealing with, whether it be hair, gunky stuff
or soap scum etc, I was praying the Gel would at least do something. And
of course it did the job as advertised on the packaging, which is more
than I can say for the other product I tried.
Drano Max Gel will also not harm pipes (plastic, PVC, metal), garbage
disposal units or septic systems. But I would be wearing gloves when using
the gel to prevent any contact issues with skin.
Well done to SC Johnson, the manufacturer of Drano, for producing a
product that actually does what it claims to do on the packaging (which
can be a rare thing these days with many cleaning products). I will
certainly be purchasing more Drano Max Gel in the future for slow running
or blocked drains. They also sell a "Build-Up Remover" product designed as
a maintenance product to prevent clogs in the first place. I haven't tried
it yet but certainly will give it a go from now on and report back at a
later date as to whether it works as well as their Max Gel product.
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Available from most grocery chains
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In the USA