Dealing with a clogged drain is a pretty frustrating situation to be in. You expect your drains to be clear and free-flowing.
Whether it’s your sink or shower drain, there will come a time when you will experience some form of blockage or clog in your pipes.
Sometimes, you wish you could fix your plumbing issues with the flick of a wrist or a cup of boiling water. It would be much easier to unclog a drain or fix a leaky tap without much effort.
Certain items on the market appeal to ’ accessible’ and ’do it yourself’ plumbing issues.
They claim that their products are easy to use and sometimes better than hiring a professional tradesperson to carry out particular works. Some of these products are drain cleaners like liquid drain cleaners, caustic drain cleaners, or biological drain cleaners.
Is drain cleaner safe to use?
Chemical drain cleaners are generally liquid and contain Sodium Hydroxide (lye), Potassium hydroxide, bleach and Sodium nitrate. These chemicals work together to cause a reaction when these ingredients mix with minerals and chemicals in the water.
The desired effect is to break down anything that comes into contact with these combined elements. You can find chemical drain cleaners in most home improvement stores and supermarkets.
Things like hair, grease, soap and food can all get lodged in the pipework, and chemical drain cleaners work by breaking away and dissolving clogs and other organic obstructions. These drain cleaners are strong chemicals, toxic and may harm human skin upon contact.
The chemicals can also damage your eyes if you get some splashed on you.
Liquid drain cleaners can cause damage to your pipework. Most pipe materials can’t withstand the cleaner with repeated use. You have a risk of corrosion due to the heat and reactions.
If your pipes already have cracks and are beginning to rust, adding more chemicals will eventually break your pipes. Constant use will weaken the water channels in your property.
Combining other cleaning products with liquid drain cleaners, especially store-bought drain cleaners, can create a chemical reaction and create heat. Toxic fumes can seep through the sink if mixed with other cleaning products. The chemical reaction may damage your household’s health and well-being.
These factors must be considered before using harsh chemicals on the drain unblocker. There is an alternative if you need to unblock your kitchen or bathroom sink or garbage disposal.
What can I use instead of a chemical drain cleaner?
There are other methods of clearing a clogged drain or clogged sewer line. These steps could be better for the environment and your home.
These are simple ways to clear drains, unblock minor clogs and garbage disposals, and you can use household items.
Depending on what area you want to be cleared, you can effectively clear and remove a small obstruction with a good plunge.
A flat plunger can work on sinks and bathtub drains, while a more tapered one is ideal for toilets. The trick is how much pressure to use; you may need to plunge the drain a few times to work successfully.
Environmentally friendly cleaner
Baking soda and vinegar are a great combination to make a home cleaner. It would be best to have equal parts half a cup of baking soda, vinegar and hot tap water.
Pour these elements down the clogged drain and let it sit for a few minutes.
This method works on the same principle of reactively breaking down oils and fats, but the soda and vinegar are not harsh on the environment or your pipes. You can also opt for a biological drain cleaner. It’s a non-toxic blend of natural bacteria and powerful enzymes that eats away hair build-up, grease, food, soap scum, and other organic residues that have built up in your plumbing or septic systems.
You can call a licensed professional plumbing team to sort out your clogged drains and other plumbing problems. The plumber will have the necessary equipment, like a drain auger or a plumber’s snake. A snake is used down your sink to break up the obstruction in your pipes.
It is motorised, and it is best to use it by someone with experience working with a plumbing snake. Your trusted plumber also comes fully equipped for tough obstructions like tree roots.
Ways to prevent a blocked drain
They say prevention is better than a cure, which is true regarding the plumbing in your home. If you follow these helpful tips, you can save yourself from costly repairs.
- Water is the only liquid that should go down your sink. Be mindful of what you put down the sink when washing and cooking.
- When you are finished with cooking oil, bag it and bin it! Do not pour leftover cooking oil down the pipes.
- You can purchase a drain guard to catch small objects before washing them.
- Toilet paper, human waste and water are the only things that should go down your toilet.
- Regular maintenance and cleaning by a licensed plumbing team.
It is easy to prevent a clog from happening, and there is no need for chemical cleaners to cause more harm and damage.
You can have a well-maintained sink and drainage system. Keep an eye on what goes down your sink, and if you have a blockage, try the baking soda and vinegar method and a good plunge.