A Common Spray Nozzle Keeps Your Drains Flowing - RV Enthusiast Magazine

A Common Spray Nozzle Keeps Your Drains Flowing

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Pro Tip, RVEXPERT

A common spray nozzle and hose is all you need to keep the shower and sink drains clean and flowing freely

Sink and shower drains will plug up over time — it’s a fact of life whether living in a stationary home or RV. Hair, crud from dishes and hands, and other debris, always collects in the drains — usually resulting in a slow flow of water or even a total stoppage. Strainers will capture much of the debris and should be cleaned on a daily basis, but even so, the drain will plug up, oftentimes sooner than expected. You can minimize the frequency for cleaning the drains by using a strainer in each sink and shower; Camco offers a strainer three-pack (No. 42273) for less than $8 on Amazon. It’s also best practice to always wipe off dishes, utensils and pots/pans before washing — and never pour oil from cooking and fish cans (for example) down the drain.

close-up of a dirty drain
The smallest strainer in Camco’s three-pack works perfectly in a bathroom sink. These strainers have a fine screen that captures quite a bit of hair and debris. It’s best to tap the strainer into a paper towel every day to remove collected stuff that can stop-up drains.

RV owners may be tempted to use a liquid drain cleaner, but such chemicals do not fare well with holding tank chemicals and can impact seals. While it’s possible to use one of those barbed probes to pull out the gooey stuff — a job that is messy and usually stinky — the easiest solution is to simply flush the drains with water. It seems too simple to be true, but it works like a champ.

Actually, we should say “pressurized water,” because you’ll need to use a standard-type metal nozzle with a lever (no need to get fancy here). Hook up the hose to an outside faucet (and test it for leaks before dragging it into the RV), then pull out the strainer from the drain. Insert the nozzle into the drain and stuff a towel around the gaps; microfiber towels work great here. Pull the nozzle in short bursts, allowing water to enter the drain. Do this a few times and the crud on the sidewalls of the drain pipe and any debris causing a clog will be flushed into the holding tank.

working on the drain
A standard-type metal nozzle works best for flushing drains. These nozzles are available in just about any hardware or home improvement store and matches up well to sink drains. It only takes a few short bursts of water to clean the drain.
after removing the drain and have the nozzle inserted
When flushing the drains in a double galley sink, make sure someone holds the stopper in the second sink down. A second microfiber towel can be used in lieu of the drain stopper. Hold down the towel tightly while flushing the drain.

When flushing a double galley sink, have someone hold down the strainer (if it’s the type that seals the drain) or use another towel to provide a seal. You’ll only forget this step once after getting sprayed with water.

working on the shower
After popping out the strainer in this shower drain, the same procedure was used to clear any blockage. The whole process only takes a few minutes.
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