In almost any building, from the most modest home to the grandest hotel, from a simple restaurant to a high rise office block, getting rid of water and water based waste is an important task. Waste can be removed in one of two ways: a drain system or carrying it out.
There was a time when each bedroom was equipped with a small bucket. The bucket was used in the wee hours of the morning instead of walking to an outhouse in the dark. After all, it can be scary and cold outside at night. In addition, another bucket was kept under the sink.
Installation of the technology we know as modern plumbing solved the problem. Sinks were connected to drain pipes that took the wastewater from the home to a central city drain or, if there were no central drain available, to a system known as the septic tank, which allowed solids to decompose and liquids to leach into the drain field to be distributed safely into the earth.
The problem with drains is that they can plug, requiring cleaning of the system so that they will drain once again. The clogged line may be a minor problem is the sink is seldom used. However, if the main line becomes clogged, the drain may cause a major problem.
Chemical and enzymatic drain cleaners, often found lining the shelves of stores, may be used to help to clear these drains. These products are sold in liquids, gels or solids. In each case, the products create a chemical reaction that results in clearing the clog. Most of the time, the user may note that the process of clearing the drain with these products results in heat being generated.
Before you pour a commercial drain cleaner into the pipes, it pays to know what is inside the bottle. There are two different types of these cleaners: chemical and enzymatic.
The chemical cleaners for drains are corrosive. They can cause damage to PVC plastic, galvanized steel, copper and steel pipes. While the chemical works through the clog, it can also work to destroy the fixtures and pipes as well. Avoid getting these chemicals on the skin as they can eat away skin as well as the clog.
On the other hand, enzymatic cleaners may take longer to work, as they live in the pipe and eat through the clog. They are safe and natural and do not cause damage to the plumbing fixtures.
Never mix chemical drain cleaners as dangerous accidents may result.
Pressure and Mechanical Drain Cleaners
Drain augers provide the simplest method of cleaning a clog. These manual turn devices are placed in the pipe and turned. The action serves to loosen the clog and to open the drain once again.
Electric drain cleaners work in essentially the same manner as the manual drain auger, except they are operated using an electric motor. These augers are better tools for larger jobs, including clogged main lines.
Air burst drain cleaners free the clogs in the pipes with a burst of compressed air or other gases such as CO2. When these devices are triggered, the gas bursts through the pipe to loosen the clog. Air burst cleaners, including the Kleer Drain Opener work best with clogs that are near the drain opening. When drains are located down line, the force may not be powerful enough to remove the clog.
Jetter Drain Cleaners use water pressure to clear the clog. These devices use water to cut through and clean the drain. The pressure can clean the drain as a pressure washer cleans dirt from the outside of a vehicle.
Each method has its own distinct advantages and drawbacks, and many people often prefer to start simple before escalating to a more complicated solution. After all, a few minutes with a plunger is far less likely to cause a mess and take time than dismantling the drain and using expensive equipment down there. Just work safely and sensibly as you remove your blockages.