Clogs are a common occurrence in homes due to a wide variety of reasons. The vast majority of drain pipes found in a home are Plastics Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes. PVC pipes have several benefits like low cost, high-temperature resistance, fracture resistance, and strong joint tightness, which is why they are so commonly used in piping.
Unlike other types of piping, PVC pipes aren’t prone to corrosion. Regardless of that you still need to be careful when using drain cleaners since some can be quite damaging to PVC pipes. Here are some of the top recommendations when buying a drain cleaner for PVC pipes.
Professor Amos' SuperFast Drain Cleaner
If you’re looking for an option that’s safe for all types of plumbing and not just PVC, you can’t go wrong with Professor Amo’s SuperFast Drain cleaner. You can use it to get rid of clogs and any build-up that cause slow draining. It works in all areas of the home ranging from bathtubs, showers (see our high pressure shower head buying guide), bathrooms, and sinks. If you have any pungent odors coming from your pipes, this cleaner also eliminates it and gets rid of drain flies. Overall it’s a cost-effective drain cleaner that can get rid of any clogged drain in a matter of hours. For maximum effect, leave it on overnight, and in the morning, observe how your PVC pipe runs like new.
- Works for most home applications.
- Recognized worldwide due to its effectiveness in clearing clogs.
- Helps keep drains clean from build-up.
- Can’t be used for garbage disposals.
Green Gobbler Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover
One of the most common causes of clogged drains is hair and grease. As the name implies, the Green Gobbler Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover does a great job removing those two problems. It also clears up clogs that occurred due to soap scum and paper by dissolving them.
It’s rapid-acting, immediately clearing up clogs, and due to the formula, it remains in your pipes to help them run things smoothly. To clear up any drain, simply pour one container down the clogged pipe and wait between half an hour to an hour. After that, pour some hot water into it and verify that the pipe is no longer clogged.
- Comes in a pack of two.
- Has a fast-acting formula.
- Simple to use for the average homeowner.
- Releases strong smell
Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner
The Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover is specifically designed to remove any tough, nasty clogs. It acts fast and removes clogs within 10-15 minutes, which is relatively quick compared to other drain cleaners. You can use it to remove clogs in sinks (often responsible for leaks), showers, and bathtubs.
The cleaner formula has an ingredient to protect pipes against corrosion. Although it doesn’t affect PVC pipes, it will matter if you want to use it with other plumbing pipes. Like with other drain cleaners, always be careful when using it since you don’t want it to get on your eyes or skin.
Also, be smart and don’t leave it lying around if any kids are present. You can use this drain cleaner to remove any hair, soap scum, paper, and other build-up in pipes.
- The thick formula is effective and quick.
- Protects against corrosion.
- Can be used on other types of pipes.
- Strong smelling odor.
How To Unclog PVC Pipes
Depending on where the clogged PVC pipes are located, whether it’s the bathroom or kitchen, clogging can occur due to different debris buildup. You can tell you have clogged pipes if the water isn't draining or if the water pressure is low. If your water pressure is low, you might also want to consider investing in a water pressure booster pump.
You will want to use a drain cleaner that can clear up different types of material, which you can find with any of the options listed above. For most drain cleaners the steps are similar.
Pour the drain cleaner formula down the pipe that is clogged. Wait anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour depending on the formula and the instructions. You’ll often get the best results if you leave it on overnight.
Once it’s been on for a while, pour hot or boiling water down the drain. At this point, the clog should be gone, and it should work as if it was brand new, assuming you used a quality cleaner.
If it’s still not fixed, then it might be time to bring out a drain snake. Most of the time, a clog forms in what is known as the p-trap of a pipe. The p-trap is the curved area of the pipe, and if there is a clog at this point you might see water trickling from here.
First, place a bucket under the pipe and then loosen the nuts to remove the p-trap. If you see the clog, remove the materials with a drain snake or any other tool.
If no clog exists at this point, then just use your drain snake and run it down the drain until you hit the clog. Even if you use a drain snake, you will still want to use a drain cleaner to clean up any left debris.