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Should I go for chemical drain cleaners?

Imagine getting stuck with a sink full of murky water, but there is no reason to panic. Sometimes following simple measures can solve the problem. There are many commercial drain cleaning products available in the market these days. Some of these drain cleaning products are a household name, so all you have to do is pour it down a clogged drain. However, this may not be suitable all the time and may prove to be a health risk.

Commercial drain cleaning products

Whether it is liquid, gel or powder, most of these drain cleaners available in the supermarket use strong chemicals. These chemicals include electrons and drain cleaners work when these electrons come in contact with the clogged material and generate heat in the process. The three chemical drain cleaners are:

Caustic Drain Cleaners: Such drain cleaners include bases like lye and caustic potash that give electrons to the clogged material, and the hydroxide ions create a reaction to remove the clog. The alkaline or chemicals release heat and convert grease into a soap-like substance that is readily dissolved. Caustic drain cleaners are heavier than water allowing them to penetrate the clog through stagnant water.

Oxidizing Drain Cleaners: Household bleach, peroxides and nitrate come under oxidizing drain cleaners. The chemicals in these cleaners cause the clogged substance to lose electrons and result in oxidation. It is also heavier than water, and therefore, can easily pass through stagnant water, releasing heat and gas to remove the block.

Acid Drain Cleaners: These drain cleaners are sold only to certified plumbers as it contains a high concentration of sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. The high concentration of acid increases the hydronium ions and attract electrons from the clogged substance. These ions chemically react with the clogged material, release heat to remove the grease.

Drain cleaning

The drawback is that since it generates heat, it can soften the PVC pipes. However, if used as directed, the damage is rare, but if the pipes are old or are metal pipes, then damage is irreversible. The other disadvantages include:

  • It is extremely toxic if inhaled or swallowed.
  • It can burn eyes, skin and mucous membrane.
  • It can damage the septic tank by eliminating useful bacteria.
  • It can destroy the bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
  • It releases harmful fumes, and if not used properly, it can lead to explosions.

Always wear rubber gloves before using chemical drain cleaners, open it in a well-lit area, and keep it away from children and pets. Never mix different drain cleaners. Read the instructions carefully before using.

Categories:   Home & Garden

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