Drain Cleaners: How They Work

Everyone experiences clogged drains. It is something that cannot be avoided, no matter how careful and meticulous you are in plumbing maintenance. The good thing is in this article, we’ll be helping you learn how to clear clogged drains and then give you a comprehensive discussion on how drain cleaners work.

How to Deal with Clogs

Drains clog, even if you think you didn’t do anything to cause it. But you have to realize that the best answer for the question of why they clog is because of the way we use them. You see, water should only the thing that goes down in the drains.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There is other stuff and it is basically impossible to prevent them from going down the drain. For instance, the kitchen sink will get grease, food debris, and other food particles that are small enough to find their way into the drain. In the bathroom meanwhile, there will be soap scum and hair. In a short period of time, these substances will eventually build up fast and will begin to clog the drain.

In order to effectively deal with clogs, you will have to locate it, assuming that the problem isn’t caused by a foreign object. You can do this by removing, checking, and then cleaning the stopper or the strainer, which is found on the entrance of the drain. There are some types of strainers that can easily be removed by hand while others will need a screwdriver or a pair of pliers. When you are able to do so, you have to remove anything within your reach and then after that, pour hot water down the drain.

Next, you need to try using a plunger on the drain. If this method doesn’t work, you will have to try removing and cleaning the sink trap, after which, you will try a sewer snake or an auger. If those efforts won’t work, you have no other choice but to use drain cleaning products or simply drain cleaners.

Drain Cleaners: What Are They?

Drain cleaners can be in different forms. There are liquid, powder form, or gel. But if there’s one thing that makes them similar, it’s the fact that they are made from strong chemicals. The chemical reactions involve moving electrons, and this is how drain cleaners work. They will take or give electrons to the clogging substance, which in the process will allow the generation of heat.
Today, there are three main types of drain cleaners. They are:

1 – Caustic Drain Cleaners

This type has substances like lye and caustic potash. They are bases; hence they give electrons to the clogging substance. The hydroxide ions meanwhile are responsible for creating the reaction that will clear the clog.

2 – Oxidizing Drain Cleaners

This type on the other hand is made up of substances like household bleach, peroxides, and nitrates. Those mentioned chemicals will cause the organic composition of the clog to lose electrons, which then becomes oxidized.

3 – Acid Drainers

Finally, there is the acid drainer. But this one isn’t really found in typical home improvement stores. In fact, they’re only sold to plumbers. This is because they contain very high concentrations of sulfuric and/or hydrochloric acid, which aside from being very effective in getting rid of clog and grease, can also be harmful to the health.

What are the Kinds of Plumbing Services Can I Ask For?

Plumbers are highly trained workers who can do more than just fix a leaky faucet or clogged drain. They can also do some installation and repair of any components of your water and waste system. As a matter of fact, there’s quite a number of plumbing services that you can easily ask and pay for.

Of course, the most common plumber services are those emergency ones as well as those involving the detection of leaks. Also, there’s the unclogging of pipes and drains, water heater repair, replacement of garbage disposals, and other types of repair of household appliances involving water. But that’s not all that. You’d be surprised that the same people can do stuff like removing tree roots that spread in the sewage systems, reroute pipes, and do some preventative inspections for new properties.

But you should know that when it comes to cost, emergency plumbing services are usually a lot more expensive compared to routine maintenance of the plumbing system. The main reasons for this are the immediacy of the needed service as well as the period or time when the service is needed.

Meanwhile, leak detection services are also part of general plumber services. This time, it includes the review of water meter to see if there are abnormally high readings. This is one sign that there is certainly a leak somewhere in the plumbing system. Remember that finding a leak may take a few hours of the plumber’s valuable time. In fact, the job may become complicated than you expect. This is because it may include cutting holes in the walls in order to see or expose the pipes and pipe fittings.

Another plumbing service involves unclogging or clearing clogged drains and pipes. In a typical home, there are so many things that can lead to clogging the kitchen drains and bathroom sinks. These things include food debris, hair, dirt, and others. When you ask for this kind of service, the plumber will have to use equipment like plumber’s snakes, rooter machines, and they may even resort to using hydro-jetting.

Once garbage disposals become worn out because of constant use, you also can ask for this specific plumbing service. This time, what needs to be done is the installation of a new garbage disposal or the repair of the damaged components or parts of the old one. The repair will most likely include replacing fittings or in most instances, the recommendation would be to replace the entire unit.

But when it comes to emergency services, there is nothing more common than a water heater replacement or repair. Homeowners can’t afford to not have their heating equipment working during the cold season so plumbers usually get the emergency calls whenever there is damage to the water heater. The replacement of the water heater will take a minimum of two hours and be reminded that not all plumbers know how to deal with this type of problem. It’s a specialized service that only a few can do.