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How Do Drain Cleaners Work?

Drain cleaners are chemical products that are used to unblock clogged drains and pipes. Most people believe that you don’t need a professional plumber to resolve the issue if you have a minor residential plumbing blockage. Chemical drain cleaners can be found at your nearby hardware shop or grocery store, advertised as a simple and effective way to eliminate a blockage in your plumbing drain and save you on plumber expenses.


Do chemical drain cleaners work? Drain cleaners react with organic matter to dissolve them and clear away the clog. While many store-bought cleaners can remove clogs from your drains, some do more harm than good. While you may want to get rid of clogged drains as quickly as possible, there are some essential things you need to know before you pour a chemical drain cleaner into your drain. Let’s discuss.


How Does a Drain Cleaner Work?


When a chemical drain cleaner is added to your drains, it reacts to your blockage.  The combination of acid and bases in a drain cleaner creates a heated reaction in blocked substances that clears them away.


Types of Chemical Drain Cleaner


There are many types of chemical drain cleaners available on the market for different situations. Most are advertised based on the severity of your blockage.  A minor clog will only require a caustic or oxidizing drain cleaner, whereas major clogs require an acidic cleaner. So, what is the difference?


Caustic Drain Cleaners


Most drain clogs occur due to the buildup of grease and dirt inside your drain. Caustic drain cleaners are made up of ingredients such as lye that connect electrons to the material, causing the clog. This creates a chemical reaction inside the drain that produces heat. Ultimately, it breaks down the blockage, dissolving it and clearing your drain.  Caustic drain cleaners can remove different types of clogs, but they are most helpful in cleaning drains that have been clogged with grease.


Oxidizing Drain Cleaners


Oxidizing drain cleaners are similar to caustic drain cleaners, but there is a slight difference. As evident from the name, oxidizing drain cleaners use the process of oxidation to remove your blockage. Instead of adding electrons to your drains through chemicals, they take electrons from organic matter.


These drain cleaners are made up of bleach and nitrates, which combine with water to produce heat energy that dissolves the clogged substance and clears the blockage. These drain cleaners work well on organic matter, and they can be beneficial in cleaning your shower drains or bathroom sinks from soap scum and hair buildup.


Acidic Drain Cleaners


Acidic drain cleaners are the harshest and most potent type of drain cleaners.  They should be avoided because they can create more harm than damage. These are made up of ingredients like sulphuric or hydrochloric acid. An acidic drain cleaner creates a chemical reaction with hydronium ions that dislodges the clog and dissolves organic matter.


Acidic drain cleaners are so strong that they can even dissolve tissue papers. These types of drain cleaners can be very harmful to your plumbing system and your health. It is advised only to use them in critical situations. Still, your best option is to call a professional plumber before using these types of drain cleaners.


Contact Antelope Valley Plumbing for Your Needs


If you need professional drain cleaning in Palmdale, we’re here to help. Contact Antelope Valley Plumbing to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers.

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