Many of you may have already experienced this scenario. You get ready to take a shower before an evening out with friends only to find that you are in the shower for about five seconds when the water starts to build up. Or you are hosting a company Christmas party and you have a sink full of dirty dishes that need to be washed before your guests arrive. You start and you don’t even get past the first dish before the water starts to fill up and before you know it, your sink is half full of icky gray water.
You should always have a bottle of drain cleaner on hand for emergency situations. You never know when you will need it because it is a fact that drains do get clogged. We use drains in our homes everyday, sometimes several times a day. Drains are not meant to get clogged but if you put stuff in drains that aren’t meant to go in drains, they will eventually get clogged. For kitchen sinks, grease and food are the main culprits and in the bathtub it is all about the hair and soap scum.
The first thing you want to do is to see if you can locate the clog by trying to remove anything from the top of the drain. Then flush some hot water into the drain. Then use a plunger several times to see if you can bring up whatever is clogging the drain. If all else fails, a sewer snake may work to unclog the drain. If that does not work, then it is time to break out the drain cleaner.
There are several types of cleaner supplies. These come in liquid, gel and powder forms. Those that you buy in stores normally have powerful chemicals. There are three types of cleaner: caustic, oxidizing and acid.
Caustic contains lye and caustic potash. Oxidizing bleach, peroxides and nitrates and acid ones are not sold in stores and can only be bought by plumbers. They contain a heavy amount of sulfuric acid. These cleaners, when used as directed, work well on the PVC pipes found in most homes today but may damage the older homes that used metal pipes.
For those people who like to use environmentally friendly products, enzymatic cleaners work well and are safer than chemicals and better for the environment. There are a few disadvantages to these, however. They are not easy to find on the stores, they take several hours to work as opposed to chemicals that take just minutes and they have vey short shelf life.
There are ways to prevent drains from getting clogged. Do not dump anything in the drain that will clog it up such as food, grease and coffee grinds. Be sure to use a strainer in the kitchen sink. That will only let water down the drain and nothing else. The also sell bathroom strainers to use in the bathtub so hair wont end up in the drain.
Drain cleaners clean up life’s little and big messes. For more information, consult the internet for more resources.