Fast but Effective Plumbing Solutions and Strategies

« Back to Home

Three Types of Chemical Drain Cleaners

Posted on

Drain blockages in residential property are primarily caused by poor usage through disposal of inappropriate items such as coffee filters, nappies and hair into the plumbing system. Poor cleaning and maintenance practices will accelerate the issue. It is important to resolve the blocked drains during the early stages to avoid damage of the drainage pipes and the general plumbing network through pressure build-up.

There are diverse common solutions which are expedient when unblocking or cleaning out the drainage system in residential buildings. The use of chemical drain cleaners from the commercial market is one of the significant methods. These products are basically chemicals which can react with and eliminate foreign materials in the drainage channels. Here are the main types of drain cleaners suitable for home use.

Alkaline Drain Cleaners

Alkaline drain cleaners are also referred to as caustic cleaners and they are sold in form of liquids or solids. These chemicals contain strong bases such as lye or caustic potash as primary ingredients. The caustic compound in the drain cleaner reacts with the materials causing the clogs. The process releases heat which dislodges grease from the drainage channels and degrades the blockage into a foam-like substance which can be easily washed away. These alkaline products are denser than water therefore they can be used in severely blocked drains with standing water.

Acid Drain Cleaners

Acid drain cleaners are highly corrosive and potentially hazardous; therefore, they are typically used by professional plumbers. The products contain high concentrations of sulphuric acid or even hydrochloric acid. These ingredients react efficiently with grease, proteins and fat causing breakdown of the molecules. The degradation reaction allows the drain to be cleaned out more easily. The acid components are also notable for their dehydrating properties so they can dissolve other materials in the drainage channels including toilet paper and napkins.

It is not advisable to use acidic drain cleaners without assistance or recommendation from a licensed plumber. Sulphuric acid reacts violently with water when handled carelessly which can result in significant harm. Noxious hydrogen vapours are also released when the acid comes in contact with metallic pipes. These fumes can cause acute and chronic health hazards such as respiratory inflammation, corrosive skin burns and eye damage.

Oxidising Drain Cleaners

Oxidising drain cleaners are mild products which contain primary ingredients such as household bleach and peroxide compounds. The cleaners are designed to initiate an oxidising reaction which degrades material by releasing heat and gas. These are ideal for regular cleaning of the drains since their corrosive effects are minimal.