Drain Cleaners

The kitchen and bathroom sinks play a key role in ensuring that your day-to day chores run smoothly. A good deal of time in the kitchen is spent before the sink in washing your vegetables and fruit before readying them from cooking. Therefore the moment you encounter slow moving drain, it irritates you to the core. Clogged drains are caused by debris that is flushed down the kitchen of bathroom sinks. Unable to move with the water, these accumulate in the cross-section of the pipes casing a bottleneck. Debris in the pipes is made up of crumbs, hair, dirt, or grease and many more. Often we buy drain cleaners from stores. Drain cleaners are found in various forms such as liquid, gel or powder. These are basically strong chemicals that are designed to dissolve the debris that is stuck in your pipe. A drain cleaner is composed of compounds that usually give electron, or cause the debris to lose electron, or generate heat to remove the clog. Broadly, drain cleaners can be divided in to three categories -
• Caustic drain cleaners

These are composed of substances such as lye and caustic potash. These are alkaline by nature. Therefore they react by giving electrons to the clogging substance. The hydroxide ions present in them generate a reaction that removes the clog. These basic chemicals also release heat during the chemical reaction that converts the grease into a soap-like substance which is easily dissolved. These substances are also heavier than water as a result they can easily sink down the standing water to reach the clog.
• Oxidizing drain

These are commonly available in houses in form of household bleach, peroxides and nitrates. These substances react by causing the clog to lose an electron and therefore become oxidized. These are also heavier than water and therefore move through standing water. They give out heat and gas to help clear the obstruction.

• Acid drain cleaners

These are not easily found in stores. They ae usually kept by professional plumbers. They are made up of high concentrations of sulfuric acid or hydroelectric acid. These substances increase hydroponic ions in a solution and attract electrons from the clog. The hydroponic ions react with the ingredients in the clog. The reaction releases heat which melts the impasse.

When using drain cleaners, you should wait for 15 minutes or more after pouring the product into the drain. Flush hot water thereafter. If the clog is not removed repeat the process.
Are drain cleaners safe?

• If you are going to use a drain cleaner to remove clog, buy an expensive variety. The off-brand and inexpensive ones usually have a high toxicity level. They are not safe to inhale. They can irritate your nose and eyes. The gases that come out from them hang long after the power or gel goes down your drain.

• These products can also kill the helpful bacteria in your septic system that work to decompose your waste.
• The hydroelectric acid in drain cleaners can gnaw the pipes and also mar the enamel and other expensive finishes in your kitchen or bathroom.

• The used bottles of drain cleaners end up in the landfills. These may contain a residue of the chemical which can contaminate the water bodies and kill fishes and other aquatic lives.

• Some drain cleaners if used improperly can cause explosion.

When you use a drain cleaner, read the instructions on the label carefully and abide by them. Always use it in a well-ventilated area. Wear rubber gloves when using it. Keep children and pets away from the area where you are using the cleaner. Never mix different brands of drain cleaners nor use them in conjunction with drain cleaners.
A home-made remedy to drain cleaning

There is some home-made concoction of drain cleaners as well. Using them will allow you to avoid the ill-effects of a commercial drain cleaner on your plumbing system as well as health and environment. Here we will a look at a simple one.

You can begin by removing the drain trap and clean it with a paper towel. Remove bits of food or hair that have accumulated there.
Now mix 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of salt, and 1/4 cup cream of tartar. This mixture will act as a scrub on your pipes and break up build-up. The tartar is a natural metal cleaner. Pour the mixture in your drain. Pour the boiling water to allow the busting effect to start. Wait for an hour and rinse with cool water.
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