A slow-draining, smelly or blocked sink or drain can become a problem in any household. When faced with a blocked drain, many homeowners turn to chemical drain cleaners to provide a solution to their plumbing trouble. If you are debating the pros and cons of chemical drain cleaners, read on for helpful information.
What are chemical drain cleaners made of?
Chemical drain cleaners are commonly made of acidic or caustic substances.
- Acidic drain cleaners: These liquid cleaners tend to include sulphuric or hydrochloric acid. They break down and easily unclog organic material such as food, hair and grease.
- Caustic drain cleaners: These cleaners often include sodium hypochloride, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide or sodium bicarbonate. They can be made as solid pellets/grains or come as liquid cleaners.
- Biological drain cleaners: These cleaners are fairly new on the market. They’re made of enzymes that help to effectively dissolve waste, without posing a hazard or using harsh chemicals.
Pros and cons of chemical drain cleaners
- You don’t need special training to use them.
- Most clogs will be cleared in under 15 minutes.
- They’re affordable and convenient.
- They work well on hair, food and grease clogs commonly found in the home.
- They can’t clear solids or mineral build-up.
- The pollutants in cleaners can penetrate soil and groundwater if you have a pipe leak.
- The heat of chemical reactions can soften or corrode pipes.
- Repeated use leaves a residue which can build up in the pipe.
- They’re heavier than water, so won’t reach clogs in your toilet system.
- They create chemical reactions and can irritate your skin and eyes if you come into contact with them.
- They also give off strong fumes, so you need good ventilation.
When you use a drain cleaner, it’s important to:
- Never pour the cleaner into a garbage disposal, as you’ll cause damage and potentially harm your skin.
- Ensure the drain isn’t completely blocked, as this will cover the clog in chemicals and create a hazard for a plumber to conduct repairs.
- Never use a chemical cleaner with a septic system, as it can damage your tank.
If you don’t want to use a chemical drain cleaner due to the negative impact they can have on the environment, there are other options:
- Smaller plungers work very well on sinks and showers, and can effectively break up clogs.
- A natural drain cleaning solution of ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda, ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of boiling water poured down the drain can dissolve clogs. Cover your drain and leave it to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with boiling water.
- Alternatively, you can hire blocked drain specialists to help take care of the problem for you. This is especially recommended for badly clocked drains that drain cleaners can’t fix or when toiletries or foreign objects are causing the blockage. In this case, you’ll need special equipment that only a plumber can offer.
Call our blocked drain specialists
If you’ve got a badly blocked drain, contact the professionals at Oceanside Services. We proudly deliver high-standard and efficient services to our valued clients across the Gold Coast, Tweed and Brisbane.
Call us for professional blocked drain cleaning of toilets, sinks, bath tubs or showers, septic systems and sewer & storm-water blockages. We’re equipped with high pressure water jetters, electric eels/plumber’s snakes and CCTV pipe cameras.
With our 1-hour emergency response and 24/7 service, you’ll be sure we’ll be on hand as soon as you need. Call us today on 07 5520 7100.