With the myriad varieties of drain cleaners in the marketplace today, one can easily feel lost and overwhelmed. While selection of the best drain cleaner is not an easy task, a few simple tips and useful information about the options available to consumers will assist the latter in finding an effective, long-term, and environmentally-friendly solution to drains clogged as a result of grime, soap scum, toothpaste, hair or other foreign objects in tub, shower stall, kitchen, or bathroom sinks. Through proper drain cleaning, homeowners can ensure that their pipes are thoroughly cleaned and that their sinks function again as if brand new.
Function of a Drain Cleaner
This product is specifically designed to clear pipes by dissolving blockages or clogs in bathroom and kitchen plumbing that lead to standing water and prevent proper drainage. Consumers may choose between a liquid drain cleaner and one in powder form. Experts do not recommend the purchase of chemical drain cleaners since these are problematic in several respects:
- They are hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly, mishandled, or misused
- The caustic and toxic nature of their ingredients will chew up wood, certain types of pipes, skin, and rubber gloves
- Users who inhale their fumes can suffer damage to their mouth, nose, and lungs
- They can wreak havoc on pipes, groundwater, and septic systems
Mechanical Drain Cleaning
One proven, low-cost, and safe method of unclogging obstacles in pipes involves the use of mechanical drain cleaners. These are ecologically-friendly, highly-efficacious, safe, and fast-acting drain cleaning tools. One type of mechanical drain cleaner-the plunger- eliminates under-sink clogs much more effectively than conventional drain cleaners containing sodium hydroxide. The cost of an average plunger generally runs for $5 to $10. Another indispensable plumber’s tool is the cable auger or snake, which consists of a flexible cable made of steel that removes clogs that are lower in the drain line.
To quickly clear a stubborn stoppage or improve slow-draining tubs, consumers may also utilize a water ram. For lines clogged by ice, sand, or grease, high-pressure water jets are recommended as they flush away the obstacles rapidly and reach areas that cable machines may not be able to access. Homeowners who purchase a jet should choose one with a pulsation device which enables the hose to glide smoothly down the drain.
Optimal drain cleaning equipment
It is critical that homeowners select the right tool for the job. They should first determine which drain needs to be cleaned- bathroom sink, kitchen sink, etc. For single drain clogs, a small or hand-held drain cleaning tool can tackle the problem. For clogs involving multiple drains, a larger machine would be needed since the source of the blockage would likely be in the large line exiting the home.
An electric drain cleaner is easier to handle, is more powerful, and accomplishes the task much quicker than a hand tool. When purchasing an electric drain cleaner, consumers should place a premium on safety by ensuring that it has 1) air-activated foot pedals which clear the floor of any wiring, 2) a ground-fault circuit interrupter, and 3) a slip clutch which protects the cable and prevents harm to the operator’s fingers. On the other hand, a hand device is less likely to incur damage when used by a lay person.
To determine which drain equipment is needed; homeowners should identify the agent most likely responsible for their clogged sinks. For instance, if hair is the culprit, then a sink strainer or screen drain trap and a drain brush would rectify the issue.
Organic and Natural Drain Cleaners
Consumers should opt for drain cleaners that non-toxic, natural, pipe-friendly and environmentally-sound. Natural drain cleaners are economical, easy to use, and healthy alternatives to chemical drain cleaners containing sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and lye. They also act fast in clearing resistant clogged drains and boast the strength of industrial cleaners.
Biological drain cleaners eliminate clogs with the use of bacteria or enzymes and without damaging drain pipes or exposing homeowners to health risks. Consumers can use them in septic systems, garbage disposals, showers, bathtubs, kitchen sinks, and toilets. New bacterial cleaners are able to open and clear drains in less than an hour. Homeowners should not hesitate to ask their plumber for product recommendations.