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Thread: Mixed Drain Cleaners...scared of fumes. help!!

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    Default Mixed Drain Cleaners...scared of fumes. help!!

    Hello, I didn't realize I should mix drain cleaners. I used Pequa Industrial Strength drain cleaner in my basement shower and sink to help a slow (shower) and clogged (sink) drain about 4-5 days ago. Today about 2 hours ago I bought Liquid Plumr Industrial Strength Gel and used it on the same drains, neither have worked. I then realized you weren't supposed to use it on drains where other cleaners have failed.

    There is a smell of bleach in the house, I am venting it, but I am worried that there might be harmful fumes. Does anyone have any experience with this. Is it normal to smell of bleach? I do feel a little light headed, but that could also be my imagination. Any help or experince will ease my nerves. Thank you, Chris in NJ

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    The "Poison Control Center" listed on the first page of my phone book is: 1-800-222-1222. The folks there have virtually everything cross-referenced in their data base and should be able to tell you precisely whether or not you are in any danger.

  3. #3
    Rancher
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    What you smell is Chlorine gas, not bleach... suggest you call 911 and work it out with the plumber they call to fix the chemical problem.

    Rancher

  4. #4

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    Thank you I called them, they said I was ok, does Liquid Plumr always smell like bleach??

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default bleach

    No, it usually smells like sulphuric acid.

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    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisnj99 View Post
    Thank you I called them, they said I was ok, does Liquid Plumr always smell like bleach??
    it does have a bleach smell to it. It is not really worth to use acid drain cleaners. Call a pro drain cleaner or get a snake. I then long run it will save you alot of frustration.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Something I've always wondered... how do you guys deal with snaking a drain, if/when somebody's poured chemicals into it? That's gotta suck.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
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    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Angry How do They live with skin grafts?

    DON'T USE CHEMICALS IN YOUR DRAINS. Some poor drain guy can get hurt.
    I've read about plumbers getting skin grafts on there legs. Also it eats away
    at cables. If You lie about having used chemicals, Your bill May be VERY expensive!

  9. #9
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Default burns

    I had one liquid fire replaced sink,faucet,stack and tools.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    STATS

    What's odd is you started a thread but never asked for advice for clearing the drain.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Huh.

    2 of my relatives recently had good luck clearing a slow drain (NOT plugged completely) with chemicals only. It must work sometimes.

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drains

    Most of the chemicals available to the consumer are so diluted that they are a minimal risk. I have never been burned by chemicals and about the only way I know they were used is by the slickness of the water. If the drain is partially flowing, the chemicals can help to a degree by enlarging the available passage, but not necessarily removing the obstacle. Once the drain is completely stopped, the chemical either cannot reach the obstruction, or it is so diluted by the time it does that it in ineffective.

  13. #13
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    hj, you can still find concentrated sulphuric acid. I don't know if something "more concentrated" is available commercially, but this stuff is nasty!

    I agree about the relative ineffectiveness of pouring a chemical in a drain that is likely full of water. You do get rapid dilution of the chemical.

    I think the ads we see on TV demonstrate that chemicals MAY work on a "new" problem, that is a "fresh" blob of hair, etc. It's the gunk that has built up over time that they don't get to. The result is , a bad drain sees a small improvement that is very temporary. I'm surprised the Sierra Club or Greenpeace or someone hasn't taken action against drain cleaners. WHen you go to a depot, there are literally HUNDREDS of gallons of stuff on the shelf, and they sell a ton of it. What the heck is all that doing to the oceans and rivers?

    For chris99: the problem with mixing chemicals is your basic chemistry thing: some drain cleaners are ACIDS, some are BASES ( lye, caustic soda, most 'drano') . When the two are mixed, they immediately react to neutralize the other and the reaction can be VIOLENT...splashing hot chemicals in your eyes, etc. The other thing is that the chemical reaction breaks down the compounds, RELEASING component gases which may be nasty. Sulfuric acid could release sulfur gas, or hydrogen suldfide, which is the "sewer' smell, and many lye-base compound could release chlorine gas, which is VERY bad for you. This is the reason that you should NEVER mix bleach with anything else, because bleach readily releases its chlorine.

    Another reason to not use chemicals, these things can destroy the temper and hardness of a plumbers drain snake.

  14. #14
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Default Draino

    Thank You Jimbo

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