An Overview Of Chemical Drain Cleaners And Safety Procedures

Posted on: 23 January 2015

Household drain cleaners contain strong chemicals that are not safe for you or for your pipe's clogs. Yet, some homeowners still prefer to use these products instead of seeking out a professional drain cleaning company. However, this choice could be risky. Here are some things you should be aware of concerning different drain cleaning options.

Commercial Drain Cleaners

Commercial drain cleaners use oxidizing and caustic cleaning agents to unclog your drain. These chemicals work by creating a reaction that loosens and breaks down the clog. Many commercial cleaners contain strong chemicals like lye and caustic soda. However, these chemicals not only soften up organic material, but they create a reaction that heats, softens, and corrodes your metal pipes. While they are certainly effective at clearing a clog, they can also cause severe damage and leaks in your pipes. This damage could cost a lot more to fix than a small clog!

Enzyme Cleaners

Enzymatic cleaners are an alternative to chemical cleaners, and they are also an eco-friendly solution. You will pour the enzymatic solution down the drain and the enzymes will grow to form a colony in the drain. The colony lives in your pipe and eats organic waste. The downside is that enzymatic cleaners take longer to dissolve a clog (usually one or two overnight applications).

Are These Cleaners Actually Dangerous?

When you apply drain cleaner, the problem is only going to get worse since the chemicals aren't always completely washed away. You could also accidentally burn your skin with every new attempt to unclog your drain since the cleaner immediately eats away at anything that it comes in contact with it.

How Can You Use Them Safely?

It is important to read and follow the directions on the bottle when using drain cleaners. You want to make sure the product is safe for your septic tank. If not, it could interrupt the bacterial action in your sewage system. You should also wear goggles and rubber gloves when handling these chemicals. Following the directions on the label protects both your body and your home's sewage system. Labels usually provide information on storage, safety, and product disposal.

While you can follow these safety precautions and use these cleaners every once in a while without too many problems, you need to leave big clogs to the professionals. If you want to maintain your sewage system, then you should call in a professional, like DBR Plumbing, to eliminate the blockage. A professional drain cleaning is the safest option and best way to prevent damage pipe damage.