Use a Drain Snake to Get Rid of Clogged Drains and Pipes

Clogged drains can throw off your entire schedule. Dealing with them takes time away from other important tasks like caring for kids or preparing meals.

drain cleaning

Regular Drain Cleaning Delaware County can help keep clogs at bay. However, serious clogs may require professional assistance. Here are some options to consider:

The chemical drain cleaners you see at grocery stores and hardware stores are filled with toxic chemicals that can be dangerous to both people and pets. They typically work by creating a chemical reaction that generates heat, melting away hair, grease, and soap scum in the drain. While these products can be effective, they should only be used when there is a significant blockage that cannot be easily removed by other methods.

The vast majority of liquid drain cleaners use hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, which can be dangerous if not handled properly. These chemicals can damage metal pipes and cause severe burns if they come into contact with skin or eyes. They also pose a risk to septic systems, as they can kill the bacteria that break down waste in the tank.

These cleaners usually come in gel or liquid form and are poured down the drain to create a chemical reaction. Most manufacturers recommend ventilating the area while using them, as they can produce strong odors that are difficult to mask. They may take 15 to 30 minutes to dissolve large clogs, after which you should run hot water down the drain to flush away any remaining residue.

While some liquid drain cleaners are intended for specific types of clogs, most are able to remove hair, food, grease, and toilet paper debris. However, they are not able to break down larger blockages that involve sludge or tree roots.

Another option for cleaning a slow-draining drain is an enzyme-based drain cleaner. These cleaners are safe for most pipes, but they are not effective for sludge or tree root growth.

Enzyme-based cleaners work by breaking down organic materials into smaller molecules that can be easily absorbed through the drain opening. They are not as effective as caustic drain cleaners for hair and grease, but they are much safer for pipes.

One example of a safe and effective liquid drain cleaner is the 4.3-star Drano formula. This product is safe for most pipes and works by combining an acidic solution with an oxidizing agent. Simply pour the cleaner down the drain, wait 15 to 30 minutes, and then rinse with hot water.

Liquid Sewer Drain Cleaners

While a clogged drain or pipe might seem like a major problem, it’s often possible to fix with just a little household cleaner and a few tools. Fortunately, there are liquid drain cleaners that can help break apart food or hair buildup and dissolve minor blockages. But it’s important to remember that these chemicals are dangerous if not used properly, and repeated use can cause severe damage to pipes.

Chemical drain cleaners usually work by creating a chemical reaction inside the pipes. They release harsh chemical fumes that are unpleasant for anyone near them, and can be damaging to your health if the fumes get into your body. These cleaners also typically contain hydrochloric acid, which can eat away at the rubber gaskets and metal of your pipes. They can also discolor your fixtures and are especially harmful to septic systems.

Oxidizing drain cleaners contain bleach, nitrates, or peroxides, which are heavier than water and can move through standing water to reach the site of a clog. When they reach the clog, they oxidize, or absorb electrons from the organic material that’s causing the blockage, which helps break it down and dissolve it. Caustic drain cleaners have a high pH level and can melt through grease, soap scum, and other materials. They’re also effective at breaking apart hair clumps and other debris.

If you do decide to use liquid drain cleaner, follow the instructions on the label carefully. Most cleaners require you to wait a certain amount of time before flushing the drain with hot water. After you’ve completed the recommended steps, it’s a good idea to call a plumber for more serious clogs that are beyond your DIY abilities.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while these bottled solutions might temporarily fix your clogged drain, they won’t last long. Overuse can cause serious, lasting damage to your pipes, and even one-time use can be too much for some older plumbing systems. It’s best to try using natural, homemade drain cleaners before turning to chemical products for stubborn clogs. You can make a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, or try boiling water to clear most minor clogs.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners work by generating heat to melt or dissolve clogged materials such as hair, soap scum, food residue, and grease. However, they can be harmful to your pipes and plumbing system as a whole, not to mention your health and the environment. They often contain caustic agents or acids that can damage your pipes and create toxic fumes that are hard on the respiratory system. Moreover, they can actually hide underlying issues like broken pipe connections or a backed up sewer line.

Most chemical drain cleaners are caustic in nature, which means they can cause severe burns if they come into contact with your skin or eyes. Inhaling these chemicals can also be dangerous, especially if the area is not well ventilated. Repeated exposure can even cause brain damage over time.

Additionally, chemical drain cleaners can contaminate the environment by seeping into groundwater sources such as rivers and lakes. This can have a devastating effect on wildlife and the ecosystem at large. If your home is connected to a septic tank, using chemical drain cleaners can be even more detrimental as these cleaners can kill the bacteria that break down organic waste.

While you may be tempted to use a liquid drain cleaner for a stubborn clog, it is best not to. Instead, call a plumber for a drain inspection and cleaning to make sure the problem is not a backed up sewer line or other major issue. If you must use a chemical drain cleaner, only pour a small amount and follow the product’s instructions closely. You should also wear gloves, a face mask, and goggles to protect yourself from any accidental spills or splashes.

If you are looking for a safe and effective alternative to chemical drain cleaners, try boiling water or baking soda and vinegar. These natural drain cleaners are just as effective, but much safer for your pipes and the environment. Plus, they are cheaper than most liquid drain cleaners. Just be sure to pour the hot water down the drain first to loosen up any clog material.

Drain Snakes

A drain snake is the ideal tool for dislodging hard, clogged household drains. Also known as plumber’s augers, these long, flexible steel cables provide the leverage needed to mechanically power through and dislodge most drain blockages. They come in a wide range of cable lengths to handle most residential plumbing networks, with specialty types available for sinks, toilets, and sewer drains.

Unlike chemical drain cleaners, which depend on air bursts and a physical reaction to work, a mechanical auger mechanism directly latches onto the source of a clog and cuts through or dislodges it. A proper snaking technique requires patience and time, but it’s the only way to thoroughly unclog drains.

For the best results, a drain snake should be fed into a clean pipe opening. Uncoil the snake from its drum and feed it into the drain opening until you feel resistance or touch the clog. Slowly rotate the snake’s head as you work to break up or entangle the obstruction, and always apply minimal force.

Once the clog has been broken up or hooked, withdraw the snake and flush out the pipes with water. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection during this process, as the entangled debris can be messy. If necessary, repeat the snaking process on stubborn, deep clogs.

While chemical drain cleaners can be harsh on pipes, a drain snake provides a mechanical approach that’s safer for most pipes and a preferred option for environmentally conscious homeowners. Just be sure to use the right type and size of snake for the job, as improperly-matched tools run the risk of getting stuck or causing pipe damage.

By using the correct methods to prevent clogs, you can keep your home’s plumbing system working like new and avoid costly professional repairs. For example, avoid pouring grease down the kitchen sink and regularly clean your drains with a drain snake. And if you must use a chemical drain cleaner, do so sparingly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, regularly inspect your home’s plumbing for leaks and loose connections to ensure everything is in good shape.