As your house begins to deteriorate, you will encounter problems with your plumbing such as blocked drains and sewer pipes. Calling a plumber right away may be your first instinct, but you might want to unblock the drains on your own first. With the right drain clearing solutions and unblocking tools, you can save the money that you will spend on a plumber. Here are different kinds of products to unblock drains.
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Finding the right type of drain cleaner is not as easy as you might think. There are a lot of them to choose from, both online and offline. And they all claim that they are the best when it comes to clearing your drain.
To start, there are two most common types of drain cleaners: chemical and enzymatic. Most consumers use chemical drain cleaners. These contain caustic soda, also known as sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid. They are corrosive materials that can dissolve the debris that clogs the drain. However, they can also corrode your metal pipes and are harmful to your skin. It is advised that you only use them on a slow drain and not on a completely clogged drain. The latter lets the chemical stay on the pipe longer than it should.
On the other hand, enzymatic cleaners are natural and organic based, biodegradable and eco-friendly. It is composed on an enzyme mixture that breeds good bacteria inside the pipe to digest the organic materials. It may take time for it to clear the drain, around overnight, and are a bit more expensive than chemical cleaners. You may also need to repeat the use of the cleaner since flushing water down the drain will also remove the good bacteria. Using bleach or other disinfectants can also kill the bacteria, which is why it has to be used periodically.
If using a drain cleaner isn’t effective, it may be time to roll up your sleeves and do some manual repair. You can use a plunger to force the clog out through air pressure. You can also use a drain snake to push through the drain until it hits the obstruction, so you can pull it out. Lastly, using an adjustable wrench, you can unscrew the P trap under the sink and clean the blockage. Once it’s cleared, you can reattach the P trap and the sink will drain normally.
Choosing Between Products
There are many factors that can affect which product you should use: the type of type, the location of the blockage, cause of the blockage and the fixture that is affected. For example, you can’t use a drain cleaner to clear a toilet bowl because the solution can’t reach the blockage. The trap of the toilet is designed differently than that of a sink.
For sink drains and shower drain blockages, you can use a drain cleaner. The causes of these clogs are usually grease, food debris, hair and dirt. These are materials that can be dissolved with the use of a drain cleaner.
If the problem is with the septic tank, then chemical use can reduce its effectivity. You can opt for manual tools or you can contact a plumber.