Skip navigation

Tag Archives: drain cleaners

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Your humble correspondent had quite the predicament over the weekend. I had burned one of those fake logs in the fireplace, and after the fire went out I closed the flue and went to bed. Only the fire didn’t go out. I awoke the next morning to a condo full of smoke and my wife in a semi-panic.

NaOH_-_drain-cleaner.jpgAiring out the house proved problematic. A storm was moving through Seattle (great timing!). Thus, opening the front and back doors created a miniature tempest inside our home. Worse, wind kept coming down into the fireplace, blowing ash all over the house. And we couldn’t close the flue because the fake log was still smoldering.

So, we did the only thing we could think of: We threw the burning log in the bath tub and doused it with water. That worked, but it created an entirely new problem. As the fake log disintegrated, it clogged the tub. Unfortunately, the sodium hydroxide-based drain cleaner we used to unclog it wasn’t up to the job. Read More »