You have guests coming over at your place for a scrumptious dinner in just a few hours and your bathroom is blocked. You want everything to look perfect but this problem is not complimenting your efforts. You take out the dirty pots out from your bathroom but still, nothing happens. You check other things to see if something else is wrong and is not letting the water flow by blocking it but after looking over everything, you still cannot find the cause of the problem.
You also have a drain cleaner at home but you do not know how to use drain cleaners. What can be more depressing for you at that moment then not having any idea about how to use drain cleaners when you need it the most. It is alright and more importantly, there is no need to panic as you are not alone. Many of us do not know how to use drain cleaners.
With such a situation arises, you probably come to the realization that your bathroom lavatory and kitchen sink can encounter blockages at any time, especially when you really want them to function properly. This is why it is essential to know how to use drain cleaners. If you want to know how to use drain cleaners properly and want to how they work to unclog your messed up drains, then you have come to right place. Read the article in detail to explore how to use drain cleaners below.
What are Drain Cleaners?
If you are concerned about how to use drain cleaners, you should first understand what they really are. A drain cleaner is basically a chemical product that has the ability to prevent your drains from getting clogged, such as due to blocked sewerage pipes. Normally, this a product but at times, this term may also refer to the one who performs the cleaning activity with a chemical drain cleaning device. Broadly speaking, drain cleaners can be classified into 2 categories; chemical drain cleaners and enzymatic drain cleaners.
If you are trying to explore how to use drain cleaners, you should keep in mind that there are some sub-types under these 2 categories based on which clogged drains require cleaning. For instance, if a single toilet, sink, shower or tub drain is clogged, the first options that should be considered for such types of drain cleaning are chemical drain cleaners, handled drain cleaners, plungers, air burst drain cleaners and home remedy drain cleaners.
However, how to use drain cleaners is one of the most important questions you have to know the answer to if you want to clean the drains, no matter their type. So, you should also remember that such types of drain cleaners are always used for soft obstructions, such as grease, hair, etc., that can be easily extracted without any special efforts. On the other hand, if you want to know the core of the query, how to use drain cleaners, then you may be interested to know the types drain cleaners that are used for more than one plumbing.
In case of multiple clogged fixtures which require plumbing, the available choices for drain cleaners are sewer jetters and electric drain cleaners. Normally, such types of clogged drains have hard obstructions but people often try plungers and home remedy drain cleaners for this as the first option. When the obstructions do not come out, they use the electric ones.
What are the Types of Drain Cleaners?
To know how to use drain cleaners, you should first understand the types of drain cleaners. As mentioned above, drain cleaners fall under two categories. The first one is chemical drain cleaners and the other one is enzymatic drain cleaners. Read the types of drain cleaners below to fully understand how to use drain cleaners.
1. Chemical Drain Cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners normally come in 2 forms; liquid and solid form. To know how to use drain cleaners, you should also know that drain cleaners are readily available in several hardware stores but if you are looking for acidic ones, then you may not be able to get them because they are only intended for use by licensed plumbers.
So, you should keep in mind that you may not be easily able to get some drain cleaners in the market and you may need to call a professional plumber to buy and sort out your clogged drain issues. Before exploring how to use drain cleaners, you should remember that chemical drain cleaners cannot be used by every other person and you would require a professional for this as drain cleaners can even harm you. So, before using them, you should be cautious. Acidic drain cleaners come under the category of chemical drain cleaners.
Read the other types of chemical drain cleaners below.
- Caustic Drain Cleaners
To fully understand how to use drain cleaners, you should know what caustic drain cleaners are. Caustic drain cleaners are the types of drain cleaners that contain substances like caustic potash and lye. If you want to know how to use drainer cleaners, especially caustic drain cleaners, then keep in mind that these two substances actually work as hydroxide ions and have electrons to unclog and clear the drains.
These substances are basic chemicals that have the ability to turn grease into a soap-like substance by heating it so that it can be easily dissolved. In addition to this, such drain cleaners are even heavier than water, enabling them to reach the clog through the standing water.
- Oxidizing Drain Cleaners
Oxidizing drain cleaners are chemical cleaners that cause the organic material to lose its electrons and become oxidized. Normally, such oxidizing drain cleaners include household bleach, nitrates and peroxides. Also, this product is heavier than water, just like caustic drain cleaners, removing the standing water in the entire pipe. If you want to know how to use the drain cleaners, keep in mind that you just have to put the oxidizing drain cleaner in the blocked drain. It will release heat and gas that will automatically clear the blockage.
- Acid-Based Drain Cleaners
Acid-based drain cleaners are one of the most effective chemical drain cleaners. They have the ability to work better and efficiently than other chemical drain cleaners. Also, they should be used cautiously by individuals as they contain sulfuric acid that can harm humans. So, if you are trying to know how to use drain cleaners, you should keep in mind that you will not be able to find these drain cleaners in local stores very easily as they are only given to professional plumbers and licensed plumbers.
These drain cleaners also contain hydrochloric acid and various other substances that contain hydronium ions that have the ability to attract electrons from substances in the clogged drains. If you are wondering about how to use a drain cleaner, especially an acid-based drain cleaner, then all you need to do is put the acid-based drain cleaner inside the drain. The hydronium ions will chemically react with the material in the blocked drain and will release heat which will be able to melt the grease.
The purchase of acid-based drain cleaners should only be reserved for the occasion when a drain is severely blocked and cannot be opened by ordinary drain cleaning products. Therefore, it is better to call upon a professional and let them clean your clogged drain using acid-based drain cleaners.
Furthermore, these types of chemical drain cleaners generate heat to soften the grime inside and take it out. Also, some chemical drain cleaners damage the old polyvinyl chloride, or PVC pipes, found in homes nowadays. However, if these drain cleaners are used as directed, they will not get damaged. So, if you want to know how to use drain cleaners, you should keep in mind about the way you are using the drain cleaners.
2. Enzymatic Drain Cleaners
Enzymatic drain cleaners consist of bacteria and concentrated enzymes that respond to organic remains built on sewer pipes. The dissolved residue helps the prevention of slow running drains. These enzymatic drain cleaners are safer to use than the chemical drain cleaners and they are intended for usage to maintain proper flow and for general maintenance. They also do not fully clear the clogged pipes and drains. You can say that they are the best option for temporary fixing your plumbing problems but they cannot help you in the long run.
Moreover, if you want to know how to use drain cleaners, then you can take a sigh of relief that these enzymatic drain cleaners are easier to use and are good for the environment too. They basically use enzymes and bacteria that unclog the drain for soft obstructions like food waste, hair, etc. They have a septic system that helps in clearing away the grime in the clogged drains.
Besides, if you want to know how to use drain cleaners, especially the safer ones, then you should opt for enzymatic drain cleaners as they do not contain dangerous chemicals like the chemical drain cleaners do which cannot leak into the water supply and soil. Also, they are one of the best options for people who do not know how to use drain cleaners. Providing you relief from wearing safety and protection gear, one can use enzymatic drain cleaners without any professional plumber too. In addition to this, if you are in a hurry and do not have time to wait for plumbers, use enzymatic cleaners to temporary unclog your drain.
Home Remedy Plumbing Fixtures – DIY Plumbing
If you do not want to use chemical drain cleaners or are a do-it-yourself type of person, you can also try some simple and easy home remedy plumbing fixtures for your clogged drains, including the following ones;
- You can pour half a cup of baking soda in the drain and then, after a few minutes, pour a cup of vinegar. After doing this, wait for 15 minutes and then, put hot tap water down the drain. You will see that the clogged drain will no longer be blocked.
- Another home remedy fixture is to mix vinegar, salt and baking soda together. Then, pour the mixture down the drain. After an hour, put some hot tap water in the drain to clear it.
- You can also unclog your drain by mixing half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt. Pour it down the drain and simply flush it with hot water.
- Also, one of the simplest ways to unblock a drain is to pour hot water in a blocked drain. However, this remedy can only work sometimes.
How to Use Drain Cleaners – Precautions!
Clogged drains are common problems in many households. However, they can be resolved by drain cleaning chemicals or devices. Regardless of the type of drain cleaner you are using, chemical, enzymatic or homemade drain cleaners, you should always remember the important precautions before using drain cleaners. If you want to learn the core of how to use drain cleaners, read the precautions and safety measures below.
1. Go Through the Usage Instructions
A drain cleaning chemical is very corrosive and is a strong liquid which requires extreme caution while using it. Therefore, those who are worried about how to use drain cleaners should first go through the instructions carefully that are normally written on the back of the packaging. You should not do things in a hurry because a single mistake can result in you harming your body parts or burning them.
2. Be Cautious
If you are intoxicated, drowsy or in a tired state, never use drain cleaning products at all as they can be dangerous for you. You need to ensure that your mind is fully alert and you are fully active to do such technical tasks.
3. Wear Protective Gear
If you are pondering over how to use drain cleaners, you must keep in mind one of the most important precautionary measures to use the drain cleaner; wear protective gear. These are kinds of gloves that can help prevent any burns, especially if you accidentally spill some chemicals on your hand or your feet. Wearing protective gloves can keep you secure. Also, such strong chemicals can cause toxic air to emanate from the drain which can hurt your eyes. This is why wearing protective eyewear can also prevent you from hurting your eyes.
4. Ventilation and Good Lighting
Drain cleaners are very strong chemicals; therefore, you should keep in mind that they are not environmentally friendly. Also, they can emanate toxic gases, air and fumes, causing breathing problems among others. Before using drain cleaners, you should always remember to open all the windows to ensure good air circulation and have proper lighting to see the drain and reduce chances of mistakes from occurring.
5. Do Not Mix with Water or Other Products
One of the main things you should keep in mind if you are trying to understand how to use drain cleaners is that you should never mix drain cleaning chemicals with other cleaners, or even water. Drain cleaners are actually made up of strong chemical compounds that can lead to strange and harmful chemical reactions causing serious injuries to one’s health. So, to prevent dangerous reactions from occurring, you need to ensure separate usage of both homemade drain cleaners and chemical drain cleaners.
How to Prevent Clogged Drains?
Even though you now know how to unclog your drains, you may never want to have a blocked drain in the first place. The ultimate thing that all homeowners should keep in mind to prevent clogged drains is to make sure it’s properly maintained. In order to maintain them and to make sure you have a clean bathroom and kitchen drain, you need to follow a few tips which are listed below.
- You should avoid flushing the food scraps down the drain. To uphold this, you can use a drain strainer in your sink to keep the food out.
- You should always have the water running when washing utensils. This will let the waste carry away with the flow of water through the drainage system, not leaving you with a clogged drain.
- You should avoid putting cooking oil or grease in the drain. You can pour your grease in a sealable container and later, throw it away in a trash.
- To prevent clogged drains, you can also pour a bowl of boiling water down the drain once in a week to clear away all the grease or fat that may have collected inside your pipes. However, you need to slowly pour the water to avoid hot splashes that may burn your skin.
- For the bathroom, you can clean the drain stoppers on a regular basis while cleaning your bathroom. Soap residue, hair and other types of gunk can stick on the stoppers of your tub and sink.
- Flushing papers, tissues and other types of heavy paper products can also block the drain.
Now that you know how to use drain cleaners, you should ensure about the precautionary and safety measures to avoid any harmful effects. It is best to follow the tips to maintain the drain in the first place to avoid having a clogged drain in the first place.