Drain cleaning is a necessary part of ensuring the safety and proper function of your home’s plumbing system. Regularly scheduled drain cleaning at On Point Plumbing & Heating can help avoid the foul odors caused by clogged drains.
Using chemical drain cleaners is one way to clean out your drains. However, there are several other methods that are also effective.
Chemical drain cleaners come in liquid form and work to dissolve clogs through a chemical reaction. They are usually comprised of sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) and contain ingredients that can be hazardous to humans and pipes if not used properly. These cleaners often sting the skin and eyes and can cause respiratory problems if inhaled. They can also be damaging to pipes, especially if they are used frequently or on older pipes.
They may be effective for some types of clogs, such as those caused by hair or food debris in tub or shower drains or in kitchen sinks without garbage disposals. However, they won’t be able to clear a clog that is caused by solid objects or mineral deposit buildup. In addition, they can be dangerous for the environment if they are not properly disposed of or find their way into groundwater supplies.
These chemicals are also detrimental to septic systems, which rely on healthy bacteria to process waste and eliminate it from the home. Using chemical cleaners can kill these bacteria, leading to system failure or sewage backups.
While these products are sold as “quick fixes,” they can end up costing more in the long run. They aren’t as effective as professional drain cleaning services, and they can damage your pipes. If you use a chemical drain cleaner, follow the directions on the package carefully to avoid spilling or splashing it. Wear rubber gloves, goggles, and a face mask if possible to protect yourself from the caustic chemicals.
For those who are wary of using chemical drain cleaners, a plumber’s snake is an alternative option for clearing clogged drains. This tool consists of a long piece of metal with a coiled wire at the end. It’s slipped down the drain to break up or scrape away the clog. A plumber’s snake is effective for most types of clogs and won’t damage your pipes if used correctly. It can also help to identify the source of the clog so that you can address it more effectively.
Enzyme drain cleaners are a natural alternative to chemical-based cleaners that may damage your pipes. These products contain enzymes and bacteria that break down organic waste and odor-causing substances. They are safe to use on all types of pipes and plumbing systems, including septic systems. They are also safer for your family and the environment than chemical cleaners, which can produce harmful fumes.
Liquid enzyme drain cleaners are easy to use and can help prevent clogs before they happen. They are typically poured down the drain and left to work for at least 8 hours, or overnight, so they can thoroughly break down the organic materials that build up in your drains and garbage disposal.
These products don’t require any harsh chemicals to be effective and are an ideal choice for households with kids and pets. They are also biodegradable, so they won’t harm the environment or pollute your water supply. However, they must be used regularly to keep your drains functioning properly.
The bacterial enzymes in these cleaners target and dissolve FOG, which is what causes most drain clogs. They can also break down other organic substances, like hair and soap scum, making them more versatile than chemical cleaners. Most bacterial enzyme drain cleaners will also eliminate unpleasant odors.
Because these cleaners aren’t made of harsh chemicals, they don’t require as much heat to break down organic material. They are also less likely to corrode pipes than chemical cleaners, so they can be used on older pipes and can save you money on pipe replacement costs.
While these products are usually more expensive than chemical cleaners, they can be less costly than professional plumbing services. You can also find bacterial enzyme drain cleaners in powder form, which you can sprinkle or pour down the drain and let sit for a few hours before you use the sink again.
The only downside to using bacterial drain cleaners is that they work more slowly than chemical ones. They can take up to 48 hours to completely break down food and other organic stains. They also require more frequent treatments than chemical cleaners and may not be as effective on very thick clogs.
A clogged drain can cause a lot of trouble and stress for homeowners. Not only can it lead to water overflow and potential property damage, but it can also leave behind foul odors that can be difficult to get rid of. Most people immediately reach for chemical drain cleaners when they encounter these issues, but these products can be harmful to your pipes and even dangerous to your health. Luckily, there are natural solutions you can use to unclog your drains that are safer for both your home and the environment.
Boiling water can be used to break down soap scum, hair, and grease that can clog your sinks, tubs, and showers. To use this method, start by boiling a pot of water and carefully pouring it down your clogged drain. This should help dissolve the clog and leave your drains smelling fresh.
This method is not recommended if you have PVC pipes or a porcelain sink, as the high temperature of the water can melt or crack these materials. However, if you have a metal or plastic sink and pipe system, this can be a great way to clean out your clogged drains.
Another benefit of this method is that it can be much cheaper than buying and using chemical drain cleaners. Additionally, the high temperature of the water can actually add pressure to your plumbing system, helping to dislodge and wash away unwanted goop.
This method is also a good choice for kitchen drains that are clogged with grease. The hot water will help to melt the grease and may even remove stubborn clogs that have formed around the drain opening. Be sure to use a large enough pot of boiling water and pour it down the drain slowly to avoid steam burns or scalding your skin. If your clogged drain is caused by food waste, always remember to throw away raw meat and fish, fats, oils, and other foods into the trash instead of the sink. This will not only keep your drains clean, but it will also prevent clogs and smelly waste buildup in the future.
One of the most common and affordable drain cleaning tools is a standard plunger. When used correctly, it works wonders at removing even the most stubborn drain clogs. But it’s important to match the type of plunger you have to the specific situation as well as understand the process behind plunging.
When you plunge a drain, the rubber cup seals over the sink, tub, or toilet opening, creating suction and pressure. When the handle is pushed up and then pulled down, this action forces water and any debris in its path up through the pipe, dislodging and flushing away most types of clogs.
Before you start plunging, make sure there is enough water in the tub, sink, or bowl to completely submerge the plunger cup. If the plunger isn’t fully submerged, it won’t be able to create a good seal and generate enough pressure. It’s also a good idea to coat the rim of the plunger cup with petroleum jelly, which helps it form a stronger seal and improves its performance.
Once you’ve got the plunger in place, remove any excess water from around the drain opening. If there’s too much, it can block the air flow and prevent the plunger from working effectively. You should also lay down a towel or rag to protect yourself from dirty, bacteria-infested drain water that can splash out as you plunge the drain.
Depending on the type of plunger you have, there are a few different sizes available. A smaller handle is generally better for working in tight spaces. However, there’s no right or wrong answer as to the length of a handle; just pick one that feels comfortable in your hand.
While a plunger can usually remove small and light clogs, there are times when it will be necessary to call in a professional. If a plunger doesn’t free your clog or the clog is too deep, it may be time for some more aggressive drain cleaning methods.