Clogged drains are very problematic and homeowners will get to experience this plumbing problem at one point in their lifetime. Home owners often deal with clogged drains by pouring an entire bottle of commercial drain cleaners down the drain, but they don’t really know what kind of damage they’re doing.
How do these drain cleaners work in the first place? Why do we need to know about commercial drain cleaners?
First, we classify them into three types: Caustic, oxidising, and acid.
Caustic drain cleaners are made up of lye and caustic potash and due to their nature of being bases, they are able to clear substances with the help of electrons. Heat is then released by the other chemical ingredients and therefore, the substance that’s causing the blockage is slowly removed from the drain. How are they removed? The substance is turned into a soap-like substance that’s easily dissolved and can be washed away by water.
Oxidising drain cleaners are made up of peroxides, nitrates, and bleach – hence the name OXIDISING. These are the very same substances that are responsible for causing the organic component of any clog to lose electrons. When this happens, clogs become oxidised (like caustic drain cleaners) and they are easier to clear out.
Acid drain cleaners are true to their name – they are made up of considerable amounts of sulphuric and hydrochloric acid. They work by increasing hydronium ions, which will remove the electrons away from a clog and these ions will then react with the clog material that will release heat to soften or melt the clog.
What’s the problem with commercial drain cleaners?
Due to their strong chemical nature, commercial drain cleaners are very damaging to the pipes and to the environment. They even pose as health hazards at home. You can burn your skin and sensitive membranes with the slightest contact. They are also very toxic.
What can you do?
When it comes to clogs, it’s often a good idea to hire an expert or any plumber from your location to do the removal for you, rather than relying on these commercial drain cleaners.