Drain Cleaning Chemicals Vs Tools – Which Option Is Better

Got drain problems? Slow Moving water, water back up, leakage, bad odors, or clogged drain? What do you do? Pour chemical drain cleaners and let them do their work or unclog with tools? What do drain cleaning and jet/vac services recommend?

Confused right?

But after reading this article, surely your confusion will be cleared.

You would think that either you use chemical drain cleaners or use tools, they both serve the same purpose as long the problem is solved. But what you do not know is that there are some advantages and disadvantages associated with each method and that can even damage your internal drainage system.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are quick in their work. You pour them down your drains (take precautions as they are dangerous on the skin, for eyes, and have a dangerous odor) and close the room and you can use them afterward. They work by breaking down the clog. There are different types of chemical drain cleaners. They may be in the form of gel, liquid, or powder. There are 4 types of chemical drain cleaners available:

Caustic Drain Cleaners

They contain caustic soda, potash, lye, and sodium hydroxide. They work by breaking down the clogs by producing a chemical reaction and heat and work well on hair, grease, and FOGs.

Acidic Drain Cleaners

Probably the most dangerous of the drain cleaners and should be used on the mist stubborn if the clogs. They contain Sulfuric Acid or Hydrochloric acid. They work by having a chemical reaction with the clogs and dissolving the clogs, grease, hair, and even small objects.

Oxidizing Drain Cleaners

These contain nitrates, peroxides, and bleach. Also known as alkaline drain cleaners. They work by breaking down and oxidizing the organic side of the blockage such as food leftovers and debris.

Disadvantages Of Chemical Drain Cleaners

If we talk about the advantages, there are none for the chemical drain cleaners, apart from the quick ability to clear and break down the clog. But it does more harm than good. The disadvantages of this cleared clog are many and dangerous.

  • Read the labels on the pack of the commercial drain cleaners and you will wonder whether it can clear huge clogs or not? The answer is no it cannot. These cleaners can only clear minor clogs and tree root infiltration, big obstructions, and other debris are just left as it is.
  • It can damage your pipes and internal metal drainage system severely. Acids and bleach corrode and eat away pipes and if your pipes are old then you will need to get an expensive fixing done by professionals.
  • Your septic system also gets damaged. The septic system had good bacteria that break down clogs but this fluctuates the system and it could lead to expensive repairs and maintenance.
  • These aggressive and corrosive chemicals should be handled with care because if it comes in contact with skin, they can lead to injuries and inhalation can also lead to unhealthy infections.
  • They have a bad impact on the environment as well due to sleeping in the soil or ground and evaporating in the air. Also, they are drained into the community water bodies harming vegetation, plants, and small animals.

Drain Cleaning Tools

These drain cleaning tools are handy, easy to use, and do not cause damage as compared to chemical drain cleaners.

  • Plungers are the easiest to use the tool, also known as a force cup. They create air pressure which helps in pulling the obstructions. Affordable with zero damage.
  • Augers or drain snakes are tools with an inverted metal coil, in the end, to pull the clog out. Some are automated while some are manual. You insert it in your drain and pull out the clog.
  • These are the basic tools but if the problem persists then call in a professional who will check by inserting a video camera to inspect the clog and then clear through professional hydro jetting. The clearing of obstruction through water pressure.

Now you know that chemical cleaners are a strict no for your drain system and you should only go for the tools. It is important to get an expert to perform drain pipe inspection with camera annually so your drainage problems are solved.