Cooking oil, hair, scum, soap, slime, and sludge can block drains leading to water obstruction or blockage.
Summary: Oxidizing drain cleaners (with nitrate ions) utilize heat and gas to unclog drains while caustic drain cleaners generate hydroxide ions that clear the drain clog. It produces heat to break down the grease & oil.
How Drain Cleaners Work (Unclogging) Plumbing
Chemical drain clears produce heat and gas, which may melt the PVC pipes if not used according to label instructions. Further, you must keep the cleaners away from animals or children as they are dangerous if ingested.
The products may burn clothes or char mucous membranes, skin, and eyes. Precautions to take include don’t use a plunger, don’t mixing on the drain cleaners, wearing gas masks and rubber gloves, and ensuring that the room is ventilated.
(i). Chemical-Based Cleaners
Drain cleaners (powder, gel, or liquid) in your local store are mainly chemicals substances that function by giving or taking electrons to or from the drain clog, a process that also could produce heat.
1. Acidic drain cleaners: Mainly, you’ll not find these types of drain cleaners in your local store. However, they are mainly found with the plumbers due to their high acid (either hydrochloric or sulfuric acid) concentrations.
Their mechanism of action is by introducing hydronium ions (ion H3O+) to the clogged drain and thus attracts a majority of the electrons.
2. Oxidizing drain cleaners: Oxidizing drain cleaners have nitrates, peroxides, and bleach. This chemical class of cleaners will oxidize the drain clog by extracting electrons from it.
Notably, being heavy compared to water, the chemical drain cleaner will settle at the bottom of any standing water, producing gas and heat that clears the clog.
3. Caustic drain cleaners: These types of chemical drain cleaners have caustic potash and lye.
Being basic/ alkaline types of cleaners, they’ll release electrons to the drain clog, reacting with the hydroxide ions to allow the clog’s unblocking.
The chemical will produce gas and heat that’ll change the drain clog into a soapy and easily dissolvable solution.
(ii). Enzyme-Based Cleaners
Caution: don’t use enzymatic cleaners combined with chemical disinfectants or bleach since these products will lessen their effectiveness. These natural and effective products will work for you if you love green solutions or simply allergic to chemical cleaners.
The biofilm-eating enzyme cleaners will be great in unclogging drains in septic systems. They’ll work great with lukewarm water to allow the growth of different bacteria.
Green Gobbler Drain Opener