Vancouver Drainage – How do Drain Cleaners Work?

How Drain Cleaners Work - Vancouver Plumbers

Vancouver Drain Cleaning

Who hasn’t experienced a clogged drain at least once? The usual first step in attempting to clear a clog is to reach for the plunger – yuck! After that fails, the next step is likely a trip to the local home improvement center or hardware store for a bottle/can of chemical drain cleaner. Never fear – even if the harsh chemicals in your drain cleaner of choice fail you – Vancouver Plumbing is ready, willing and able to clear any drain, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

With so many chemical drain cleaners on the market, it may be difficult to choose. A brief description of the chemical reaction of each of 3 types of drain cleaner may actually dissuade you from this solution. The safest, most environmentally friendly means of clearing a clogged drain is by calling Vancouver Plumbers.

  • Caustic Drain Cleaners – containing alkaline (basic) components like lye or caustic potash, caustic cleaners create a chemical reaction whereby the caustic compound transfers electrons to the clogging material. The heat created by the hydroxide ions melts any fats or greases into a soap-like substance which is more easily washed through the drain. Because the caustic substances are usually heavier than water, they can reach the clog through a sink full of water.
  • Oxidizing Drain Cleaners – containing bleach, nitrates and peroxides, the oxidizing drain cleaner receive (take) electrons from the clog substance. This chemical reaction is called oxidation and creates heat and gas that helps dissolve grease and remove the clog.
  • Acidic Drain Cleaners – containing high concentration of either sulfuric or hydrochloric acid, acidic drain cleaners are distributed only to licensed plumbers. The hydronium ions in the acidic solution transfers electrons to the clog and heats the substance for easier dissolution of grease and fats.

Aside from the fact that some types chemical drain cleaners are readily available, there are several disadvantages to using them to clear a clog:

  • The heat produced by the chemical reaction can be detrimental to PVC pipe.
  • The caustic chemicals are extremely dangerous and hazardous if accidentally swallowed.
  • The chemicals can burn eyes, mucous membranes and skin
  • The chemicals are harmful to septic systems because they kill bacteria required for a healthy septic system.

Should you decide to use a chemical drain cleaner to clear a clogged drain, NEVER mix products and never use a plunger with drain cleaner!  And when you need a professional Vancouver Drain Cleaning, call Highmark Plumbing!