Chemical Drain Cleaners And Their Shortcomings
If there is 1 question that’s been requested of plumbers over and over again, it’s why drain cleaners easily available in local retailers don’t seem to work. This is usually because we are consulted just after the user has tried one of those liquids-in-a-can. I have solutions here, so in case you’ve ever attempted using the same products and had poor final results, read on.
All types of hardware store purchased drain cleaners accomplish their task by chemical reaction. There are essentially 3 kinds that can be purchased, each one utilizing an unique process to clear the drain and each one useful on a specific selection of substances. Having said that, each variety has it’s own disadvantages and could potentially be be harmful. The distinctions in each type are described below.
Caustic Drain Cleaners
All of these drain cleaners use caustic chemicals to bring about a reaction between hydrogen ions and the clog, in that way releasing the clog. This style of cleaner is sometimes damaging to pipes and quite often merely tackles hair and grease.
Acidic Drain Cleaners
Clogs are broken down by a chemical reaction between acid and the crud. As you might suppose, making use of acid may be good for dissolving debris, but it isn’t good for pipes. It will actually dissolve paper and various other items. Employ with care as most of these types of product lines are offered to professionals only. On the other hand, some are found in some stores.
Enzyme Drain Cleaners
These product lines are among the most environmentally friendly and best to work with as they incorporate harmful bacteria within their mix to clear away the clog. These products only work on certain organic compounds specifically hair, grease and additional food fragments. No paper towels, bathroom tissue, or other common items that might just wind up down the drain.
Given that these cleaners consist of potentially toxic chemicals, it’s enormously necessary to check the labels previous to using and only use in accordance with these directions. I would suggest using other approaches first, before invoking the chemical products, as damage could occur if you use more substantial quantities frequently.
Finally, here’s another reminder to observe: do not make use of chemical drain cleaners if you have a septic system. Your septic system is really a fragile balance of beneficial bacterias and these chemical substances will upset this balance and create issues.
Why Do Chemical Drain Cleaners Not Always Work?
Now that I’ve given you arguments why NOT to use chemicals, listed below are a few facts about why they usually are not that useful to begin with – therefore utilizing them primarily as a last resort should be a no-brainer.
To begin with, if your drain is clogged, odds are water is sitting in the line. Drain cleaners, when poured into this water, will get thinned down. Also, to reach the impediment they will need to sink through the water. Whenever the clog is far down the line, the chemicals may not reach it at all and if they do, the quantity of chemical remaining and their strength will be considerably lessened.
Second, in the event that the clog is past the “p-trap,” it’s much less certain they will work. The “p-trap” is that “u” shaped section of pipe you will see right under your sink drains. The purpose of this part of drainpipe is to keep unsafe sewer fumes from seeping into the house. It does well for this purpose. Frequently, this particular portion also traps plain water and if the pipe just isn’t flowing smoothly, will regularly trap debris and other stuff too. If your drain is plugged and it’s before this section, the chemical drain cleaner has an excellent likelihood of doing the trick. However, the chemical may not reach the clog effectively if it’s past this portion of pipe. It would definitely be to your benefit to try uncloging it manually by unscrewing the pipe fitting and then clearing and reattaching it. Simple, practical, and a much improved choice.
To summarize, if you have a blocked drainpipe, try a plunger first, then attempt to snake the drain using a plumbers snake. If that doesn’t do the job, a manual cleaning if possible, and ultimately, a store bought drain cleaner. Most of the time, plungers will manage the problem, particularly the ones that provide very good suction.
Caution should definitely be taken into consideration when making use of any chemical products nowadays. I hope you don’t ever experience any obstructions in your drainpipes that require removing. If you do have a problem though, for simplicity and comfort, there’s no alternative more desirable than getting in touch with a skilled plumber.
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