While many chemical drain cleaners do a great job of removing difficult clogs, these same cleaners are known to have an adverse reaction on pipes, humans, and the environment.
Chemical drain cleaners may produce heat, causing plastic pipes to warp or soften. Steel pipes or corroded iron can also be damaged by heat, causing chemical reactions between the cleaner and the clog particles. Sometimes this chemical reaction can force hot drain cleaner to back up from the drain and damage fixtures.
There are four main groups for cleaning drains. These include acids, oxidizers, caustics and enzymatic cleaners. Acid is a common ingredient found in drain cleaners, used to dissolve difficult clogs. Caution should be exercised when using acidic ingredients, taking care to never touch or splash the liquid onto skin or into eyes. These dangerous chemicals can cause burns and/or vision damage. If skin or eyes should happen to come into contact with drain cleaner, the chemicals must be washed off immediately.
Foam cleaners may seem less harmful, but most contain a form of lye. Lye has been known to be corrosive on pipes and is very toxic, burning skin on contact. Oxidizing cleaners and caustic soda contain a combination of chemicals which are designed to break up organic materials (hair, dirt, soap scum, etc.) and can also damage pipes.
Enzymatic cleaners use biological methods to clean and open slow-moving drains. These natural plant and botanical extracts are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Enzymatic cleaners are gaining in popularity because they are less harmful to pipes, humans, and the environment.
For septic systems, chemical drain cleaners are not the best choice. Chemicals destroy the bacteria that break down waste inside of the tank, which can cause it to slow or stop working entirely. Enzymatic drain cleaners are the more acceptable choice for homes with a septic system. These cleaners are not likely to damage the bacteria population in the septic tank. However, these environmentally friendly cleaners work more slowly than their more powerful counterparts.
Most chemical drain cleaners are strong enough to clear a clogged drain, but it’s important to note that these same cleaners can be hard on pipes, humans, and the environment. For Professional drain cleaning in Houston contact Pickett Plumbing today at (713) 896-9700!