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Old 01-19-2019, 02:45 PM   #1
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Drain cleaner that "eats" hair

TF'ers,

I am in the search of a safe cleaner that "eats" hair. Peggie had said that her CP cleaner product "eats" hair but after testing, I found that not to be the case.

I have a dog that sheds and a SO that sheds. I have put strainers on all sinks and interior drains. I think that it catches 99% of hair in the sinks and the ones on the shower drains catch maybe 95% (some times they get moved out of place). I also have several exterior drains, one of which has started to drain slow. I am guessing my dog's hair has clogged that one in particular. I also wouldn't mind putting something in the toilets. I have two heads, seven sink/shower drains, and a few exterior drains. I am guessing that the stuff that you would put into your home plumbing is definitely not a good idea for boat plumbing (and its not even a great idea for home plumbing).

So does anyone know of a magical product that is safe for boat plumbing and will in fact "eat" hair?

Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:53 PM   #2
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I’ve had good luck using a water hose on the waterline drain fittings. Back flushing usually breaks the clog free. Our shower gravity drains over board and needs an occasional back flush to get it draining. I’m not complaining about the shower drain because I’ve had the shower sump type before a real pita.
I started this reply recommending Clorox but to many hazards using it imo.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:03 PM   #3
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When we had our hotel ( in Australia) we used a "protein eater" for blocked drains and toilets. It was supplied by the company that supplied all our cleaning products. You poured it into the toilet or basin and all hell would break loose!

It was scary stuff , noisy and fumy. Not sure what the chemical was.

I am not at home at the moment so can't give you the name.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:47 PM   #4
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Iíve had good luck using a water hose on the waterline drain fittings. Back flushing usually breaks the clog free. Our shower gravity drains over board and needs an occasional back flush to get it draining. Iím not complaining about the shower drain because Iíve had the shower sump type before a real pita.
I started this reply recommending Clorox but to many hazards using it imo.
I've tried back flushing the clogged exterior drain to no avail.

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Originally Posted by D.Duck44 View Post
When we had our hotel ( in Australia) we used a "protein eater" for blocked drains and toilets. It was supplied by the company that supplied all our cleaning products. You poured it into the toilet or basin and all hell would break loose!

It was scary stuff , noisy and fumy. Not sure what the chemical was.

I am not at home at the moment so can't give you the name.
If you can remember it please do update
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:55 PM   #5
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Mystery, if the clog is that bad your going to have to rotor rooter it out with a plumber snake or there is a rubber fitting that allows you to use full hose pressure to blow out the clog.
Have you tried preventive measures like fine mesh hair strainers over the drains?
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:33 PM   #6
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With 25 yrs as a master plumber, I can tell you that the fastest thing to clear a hair clog in a drain is a liquid product marketed by Hercules as Clobber. Clobber will clear nearly any sluggish, but flowing bathroom tub or lav drain in short order. It also makes a stink that has nearly no equal. Clobber is sulfuric acid. Nasty, nasty stuff. Do you want to use it on your boat? Nah, no way. It's not a DIY product, so why the mention in relation to this post?

Because it's the only thing I'm aware of that will clear hair matted in soap scum without doing it the right way.

The BEST and safest way to clear that kind of blockage is mechanically, e.g. a cable or drain cleaning machine. On a boat, one of those hand held cable augers will work fine, I keep one on in the bilge near the shower sump to periodically clean the lines. Keep warm water running and run the cable counter to the flow, from the shower sump if possible. That will minimize the mess, it'll just end up in the sump, then vac it all out. It'll stink bad for a while, but ventilate and it'll be gone. The clean drains should be less stinky afterwards, some vinegar flush with a rinse should help.

When you're finished, rinse the cable with fresh water, spray liberally with WD40, then store it. It'll be ready for the next time. Leave the liquids and magical goo on the shelf, save your money.

Once the drain is mechanically cleaned, regular application of a biologic like Bio-Clean will keep it clear much longer between mechanical cleanings.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:40 PM   #7
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Mystery, if the clog is that bad your going to have to rotor rooter it out with a plumber snake or there is a rubber fitting that allows you to use full hose pressure to blow out the clog.
Have you tried preventive measures like fine mesh hair strainers over the drains?
I did put full pressure into it. Worked marginally. Sounds like snake or physical tool is the way.

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With 25 yrs as a master plumber, I can tell you that the fastest thing to clear a hair clog in a drain is a liquid product marketed by Hercules as Clobber. Clobber will clear nearly any sluggish, but flowing bathroom tub or lav drain in short order. It also makes a stink that has nearly no equal. Clobber is sulfuric acid. Nasty, nasty stuff. Do you want to use it on your boat? Nah, no way. It's not a DIY product, so why the mention in relation to this post?

Because it's the only thing I'm aware of that will clear hair matted in soap scum without doing it the right way.

The BEST and safest way to clear that kind of blockage is mechanically, e.g. a cable or drain cleaning machine. On a boat, one of those hand held cable augers will work fine, I keep one on in the bilge near the shower sump to periodically clean the lines. Keep warm water running and run the cable counter to the flow, from the shower sump if possible. That will minimize the mess, it'll just end up in the sump, then vac it all out. It'll stink bad for a while, but ventilate and it'll be gone. The clean drains should be less stinky afterwards, some vinegar flush with a rinse should help.

When you're finished, rinse the cable with fresh water, spray liberally with WD40, then store it. It'll be ready for the next time. Leave the liquids and magical goo on the shelf, save your money.

Once the drain is mechanically cleaned, regular application of a biologic like Bio-Clean will keep it clear much longer between mechanical cleanings.
Thank you. Snake or physical tool sounds like the way. Problem is I dont think there is enough of a blockage to force it out. There is still water drainage but probably at 50% of the rate of the drain on the opposite side of the boat.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:44 PM   #8
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I've used a simple drain weasel with good results.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:47 PM   #9
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I've used a simple drain weasel with good results.
thanks, i need to find something that is long enough. the drain is up on my fly bridge, inside a metal fly bridge support, enters under my cockpit, then to an overboard drain under the swim platform.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:00 PM   #10
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Mystery, if the clog is that bad your going to have to rotor rooter it out with a plumber snake or there is a rubber fitting that allows you to use full hose pressure to blow out the clog.
Ah! The Drain King!


One of my service guys thought it was the best thing that ever happened to the plumbing business. Unfortunately, he frequently blew the drain open and left. Too eager to avoid the real solution which was running the drain with the machine. It's a messy, unpleasant job. For some tasks there just are no shortcuts.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:20 PM   #11
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I had a slow running shower drain. On my boat everything(save sewage) drains to a central grey sump fitted with pump and autoswitch. I feared the worst, but attacked the drain top flange strainer with a fine screwdriver. I got bits and pieces of debris but eventually dislodged and extracted a fine thin layer of hair etc which appeared moulded to one side of the drain, starting just under the top of the strainer and extending down maybe an inch. Just removing that restored immediate normal draining. Simple but job done, moral is the issue may be high up not buried deep.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:17 PM   #12
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Mystery, you mention it drains on the other side of the boat. The hose should not have any bellies in it and have a constant down angle to the outlet if possible. The inside of the hose also may have come apart if it’s old hose.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:24 PM   #13
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Mystery, you mention it drains on the other side of the boat. The hose should not have any bellies in it and have a constant down angle to the outlet if possible. The inside of the hose also may have come apart if itís old hose.
What I meant was there is an identical drain on both sides of the rear of the fly bridge. they facilitate all water draining from the upper level. I checked the angle (fixed a few hoses that didnt have a good angle) so I am assuming it has some dirt/dog hair in it as the drain opposite of it drains about 2x as fast.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:52 PM   #14
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I buy a cheap, expendable shop vac when I find a great deal on one. I use it for a "nasty vac" for a while until I replace it. To be used mercilessly, only for nasty jobs and replaced often. Useful when used in conjunction with the other tools mentioned in this thread.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystery View Post
I have a dog that sheds and a SO that sheds. I have put strainers on all sinks and interior drains. I think that it catches 99% of hair in the sinks and the ones on the shower drains catch maybe 95% (some times they get moved out of place). I also have several exterior drains, one of which has started to drain slow. I am guessing my dog's hair has clogged that one in particular. I also wouldn't mind putting something in the toilets. I have two heads, seven sink/shower drains, and a few exterior drains. I am guessing that the stuff that you would put into your home plumbing is definitely not a good idea for boat plumbing (and its not even a great idea for home plumbing).

So does anyone know of a magical product that is safe for boat plumbing and will in fact "eat" hair?

I've read here and in other forums recommendations to use a Whale Gulper pump for this application.

I think it's a diaphragm pump, said to swallow anything. I suspect the corollary would call for also removing filters and strainers.

Perhaps that bypasses the whole "clog" problem altogether.

-Chris
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:57 AM   #16
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I buy a cheap, expendable shop vac when I find a great deal on one. I use it for a "nasty vac" for a while until I replace it. To be used mercilessly, only for nasty jobs and replaced often. Useful when used in conjunction with the other tools mentioned in this thread.
"Bucket Head" at HD for about $25. It fits on top of a 5 gallon bucket. I use it for these type of jobs and even cleaning my fuel tanks.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:10 AM   #17
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I am very appreciative to the many very helpful posters that obviously know their field of expertise. The FREE contributions they make to a forum we all share is invaluable.

I find part of the title of this thread insulting.

When I read “It eats hair” it does work. I know, I have used the product. In my view a drain clogged with hair is more than hair, it has soap scum, dirt and who knows what else all clumped together with the hair. When the referenced product is used, I think, it breaks down what it can and this allows the hair to move on into the sump. I would never take the wording “It eats hair” in the literal sense. That’s just me.

For me, I judge who the “experts” are after many of their posts and sometimes non Trawler Forum research. In my view hostile exchanges with the “experts” only serve to chase them away.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:34 AM   #18
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I might try a dollar store drain cleaner that does work in the house. It uses a base, sodium hypochlorite, not acidic and it dissolves hair. It did clear the house sink fine. But otherwise the shop vac idea, or take the whole thing apart to clean it.

All my boat drains are so simple. The shower drain is wide open, no strainer, and hose end sits on top of an open old 5 gallon red plastic gas can with top cut off with a 300 rule pump inside. So it is easy to clean and has actually never clogged up. The 2 AC evaporators also drain into this.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:27 AM   #19
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I've read here and in other forums recommendations to use a Whale Gulper pump for this application.

I think it's a diaphragm pump, said to swallow anything. I suspect the corollary would call for also removing filters and strainers.

Perhaps that bypasses the whole "clog" problem altogether.

-Chris
Sorry, I should have been more clear... I have no drainage issues with my grey water / sump. I did long ago, but it was because the air vent on the sump was clogged. The drain I am most concerned likely has dog hair in it is an exterior drain that goes straight overboard. I will likely silicone glue on a strainer once I clean it out.

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"Bucket Head" at HD for about $25. It fits on top of a 5 gallon bucket. I use it for these type of jobs and even cleaning my fuel tanks.

I dont think I would be putting fuel through the Bucket Head. I have one onboard too. Maybe neutralized fuel only (i.e. heavily doused with dawn dish soap).
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:33 AM   #20
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I find part of the title of this thread insulting.

When I read “It eats hair” it does work. I know, I have used the product. In my view a drain clogged with hair is more than hair, it has soap scum, dirt and who knows what else all clumped together with the hair. When the referenced product is used, I think, it breaks down what it can and this allows the hair to move on into the sump. I would never take the wording “It eats hair” in the literal sense. That’s just me.

For me, I judge who the “experts” are after many of their posts and sometimes non Trawler Forum research. In my view hostile exchanges with the “experts” only serve to chase them away.
You lost me? The thread title is insulting? Say what?

If you are referencing my claim that CP cleaner does not eat hair then its very true. I ran an experiment, it does NOT eat hair. I even contacted Raritan engineering and they confirmed the same.

It would be one thing if a random person was saying CP cleaner eats hair and they happened to be wrong. Then that is just usual internet misinformation. However you have someone that profited (or may still be profiting) that made the product claiming it does one thing and it does NOT. That is pretty bad. If they are still profiting or some how connected, they now have committed false advertising, can be susceptible for damages, law suits, class actions, etc. I also was told the formula has not been changed so I don't think it ever successfully ate hair.

If you notice Peggie never answered in the other thread where I posted my findings. Instead of providing a response she choose to take offense. That says a lot. You can be offended all you want. I spent $100+ on a product because the maker of said product said it did something and it turned out it did not. I am in an honest search of solutions which everyone else in this thread has been VERY helpful.
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