How Drain Cleaners Work

When you’re stuck dealing with stubborn clogs, you’ll turn anywhere for help. One of the most common ways people clear clogs is with drain cleaners. 

Drain cleaners are solutions made of acids and bases that melt away clogs, clearing your pipes. To use one, you’ll remove the cap and pour the recommended amount into your drain. If it works, you’ll have a clear drain without any hard work.

Still, things aren’t always so straightforward. There are different types of drain cleaners, each with its own uses and advantages. Read on to learn more about how drain cleaners work, the various types available, and more:

Different Types of Drain Cleaners and How They Work

Though it may be easy to believe drain cleaners are all the same, they aren’t. Here are some of the most common types of drain cleaners and how they work:

Acidic Drain Cleaners

Acidic drain cleaners effectively tackle tough clogs but come with some serious risks. Though they can dissolve blockages, they may damage your pipes. We recommend using them sparingly and following the packaging instructions.

Caustic Drain Cleaners

If acidic drain cleaners aren’t a good fit for you, caustic drain cleaners may be a viable alternative. These cleaners break down organic materials, which makes them good for general blockages. However, their corrosive properties make them dangerous to handle. Be careful when using these drain cleaners, and always wear gloves when pouring them down the drain.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners offer a broad range of options for unclogging drains. They can dissolve hair, grease, or other substances that cause blockages. You need to fully understand their effects to choose the right one for your needs.

Enzyme Drain Cleaners

Enzyme drain cleaners harness the power of fermenting bacteria to break down organic matter. This natural alternative can be effective and is environmentally friendly, making it a preferred choice for many homeowners.

Non-toxic Drain Cleaners

For those seeking safer options, non-toxic drain cleaners can provide peace of mind. They are formulated to tackle blockages without harsh chemicals. Because of this, they’re commonly used for plastic pipes, which can be easily damaged by caustic drain cleaners.

The Drawbacks of Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaners come with their fair share of disadvantages. Though they’re widely available and convenient to use, they can damage your pipes and cause environmental problems. Here are some of the main drawbacks of chemical drain cleaners:

  • Pipe damage: Chemical drain cleaners are extremely caustic, which helps them break up clogs of all kinds. Unfortunately, after they clear the clog, these chemicals don’t just go away; they hang around in your pipes. If your plumbing system is old, this can lead to severe pipe damage.
  • Environmental concerns: Drain cleaner is both poisonous and caustic. It can harm wildlife when it makes it out of your pipes and into the environment.
  • Damage to septic systems: If you have a septic tank, drain cleaner may not be the solution for your clogs. The chemicals in drain cleaner can disrupt the fragile microbial ecosystem that supports septic tank function.
  • Potential for injury: If you’re not careful when using drain cleaner to clear a clog, you could be at risk of injury. Drain cleaner can cause severe chemical burns if it touches your skin. We recommend wearing gloves if you plan to use drain cleaner.

Drain Cleaner FAQ

Do drain cleaners permanently fix clogs?

Drain cleaners are only a temporary solution for clogs. They can break up a clog for a while but don’t clean deeply enough to stop the buildup from reforming in the same spot. At best, you’ll go a few months before a new clog forms in that same place.

Chemical drain cleaners only fix clogs temporarily because they don’t eliminate the entire clog. Drain cleaners tend to coat the inside of your pipes, dissolving away the sides of the clog rather than its central mass. When this happens, most of the clog falls further into the drain. This can cause it to reform deeper in your pipes.

If you want to clear a clog permanently, chemical drain cleaners aren’t your best bet. Instead, turn to a professional like Mr. Rooter Plumbing to carry out drain jetting and clog-clearing services to eliminate your clog for good.

Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing for Effective Drain Cleaning Services

Are you tired of dealing with constant clogs that drain cleaners can’t fix? If so, it’s time to turn to Mr. Rooter Plumbing for a more permanent solution. Our plumbers offer effective drain jetting and clog-clearing services that can clean your pipes and keep them clear for years.

Don’t let a clogged drain ruin your day. Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing or click the button below to schedule an appointment.