It's Getting Watery In Here

4 Tips For Using Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners make for effective tools when you need to unclog a drain. The cleaner dissolves the clog at the source until water can flow freely. However, chemical drain cleaners can also create a hazard when not used properly. When you need to use a chemical drain cleaner, consider these four tips for using chemical drain cleaners. 

Understand the Ingredients 

Drain cleaners use a variety of different ingredients. 

Some of the most common drain cleaner ingredients include: 

  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Potassium hydroxide 
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Sodium nitrate
  • Sulfuric acid 
  • Trichlorobenzene
  • Trichloroethane 

Certain chemicals work better than others, but some are more hazardous. Furthermore, some can create a toxic mixture when combined with other chemicals, so it's important to know the chemicals in the product you buy to prevent a potentially hazardous situation. 

Use As Directed 

All homeowners should read instructions carefully before using a chemical drain cleaner. Start by ensuring that the cleaner is the right cleaner for your situation. For example, some chemical drain cleaners won't work in standing water. Other chemical drain cleaners aren't made for homes with a septic system. 

With the right product, use it as instructed. Pay close attention to the amount of cleaner to pour down the drain and how long before you flush it out with water. If you use too much of the product, even if it claims to be safe for pipes, you can create corrosion in your tubing that will require expensive repairs. 

Keep Up On Natural Drain Cleaning In Between Clogs

Homeowners should perform drain cleaning as part of their regular plumbing maintenance at least once a season (if not once a month). 

Regular drain cleaning involves using a natural drain cleaner. You can make a homemade natural drain cleaner out of vinegar and baking soda. Alternatively, you can buy a natural drain cleaner that works using enzymes and bacteria. Keep in mind that enzymes and bacteria may break up organic clogs, but they won't have as big of an effect on other items stuck in your drains.

Keep Away From Children and Pets 

Chemical drain cleaners are highly toxic. If ingested, it can lead to a painful death. Adults know not to consume drain cleaners, but pets and children may not have the same instinct. It's important for all homeowners to keep drain cleaners in a safe place when in storage. 

Chemical drain cleaners make a great solution for deep drain clogs that snake drains can't reach as long as you use them wisely. 

Contact a plumber near you to learn more about residential drain cleaning.