Do Drain Cleaners Damage Pipes
Plastic and old pipes are particularly vulnerable to damage, so it’s imperative to know the material of your pipes before choosing a chemical cleaner. Enzymatic cleaners, however, will not eat through or damage inorganic material like pipes.
“If the chemicals used for the manufacturing of the drain cleaner are too strong for the pipe material to handle, then yes, they can damage pipes,” says Johnson. “The brand label will almost always mention where the drain cleaner should be used.”
Using drain cleaner too frequently can lead to potential pipe damage, and one sign of damage is if it doesn’t flush thoroughly after using the product.
How To Use A Drain Cleaner
Now that you have a general idea as to what drain cleaners are, and how they work, next is understanding how to use them. First, you will need to select the right drain cleaner, and pour it down the drain. Keep in mind that some drain cleaners are specifically designed for one type of drain, but not for all.
For example, some are only effective and safe to use in sinks, tubs, and showers, but not in toilets, urinals, or garbage disposals. While others can be used on all types of drains. So, the first step is choosing the right drain cleaner. Once youve decided on the type of cleaner you need, simply pour it down the drain. Just make sure to remove the drain stopper beforehand so that you dont damage it or cause it to corrode.
Next, let the drain cleaner work its magic, as the chemicals should work to break up the debris in about 10-15 minutes. After youve let the chemicals settle, flush it down with warm water, and then repeat the process until it starts to drain properly again. Sometimes if there is a major blockage, it can take a few applications to really break through, and restore your pipes. But if you repeat this process a few times, you should be able to cut through any blockage in your pipes.
Top 13 List Of Best Drain Cleaner For Pvc Pipes Is Given Below
Finding the best budget drain cleaner for pvc pipes is no question important for them to get fit. To put occurring to you locate the right one, we analyzed the best-selling products on Amazon and additional online retailers. We took into consideration several factors, which augment ease of use, durability, weight capacity, and how much freshen is nearby in your home.
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Why Do Cast Iron Pipes Need Specific Drain Cleaners
Many municipalities used cast iron pipes thanks to their numerous benefits but eventually found alternative options. These were largely phased out around 1980. However, many homes still have cast iron, especially when it comes to the septic tank and main sewer line laterals.
Cast iron pipes usually last 60 years. However, that varies based on usage and plumbing maintenance, especially use of chemical drain cleaners.
Cast iron plumbing tends to experience corrosion more often than other types of pipes. This means that its especially important to use a drain cleaner that wont expedite the process, considering many drain cleaners come in the form of a liquid.
Can Baking Soda And Vinegar Damage Pipes
Baking soda and vinegar together produce an explosive impact that, on the surface, appears to break apart and eliminate impediments and clogs. Nevertheless, this explosive reaction continues within your pipes, which has the potential to rapidly break protective coatings on your pipelines and eliminates any prospects of the clog spontaneously disturbing itself.
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Are Drain Cleaners Safe
Drain cleaners are generally not safe for humans to come in contact with. They can be extremely irritating to the skin, eyes, mouth, and digestive system if they are interacted with and, due to this, you should treat them very carefully to ensure you are safe while using them.
Safe drain cleaner alternatives include baking soda and hot water blends and other household mixes, but these are not usually as effective as a corrosive drain solution that will melt the clog away. Due to this, it is generally recommended you opt for the drain cleaning solution to ensure your pipes are stable and functioning properly.
Always keep drain cleaners away from children and pets. It is recommended you actually lock these on a high shelf, as they are incredibly dangerous, especially to a young child who does not understand the outcome of drinking such a thing or an animal who has no way of knowing better. It is always better to play it safe and err on the side of caution in situations like these.
How To Choose The Right Drain Cleaner
Here are some essential things to consider while selecting the best drain cleaner for your shower, kitchen sink, or toilet unclogging.
- Reason for drain clog: Blockages could be tough-to-remove grime or gunk, hair clogs, soap scum, grease, plastic, food, and more. Different cleaners can help dissolve different blockages. Read the manufacturers instructions to determine the suitability of your selected drain cleaner.
- Time taken to unclog: Unclogging time of a drain cleaning formulation indicates its efficiency in cleaning. Choose a cleaner that provides results within a few hours of use.
- Type of drain cleaner: Drain cleaning solutions can be segregated based on their state, ingredients, and effectiveness. You can select between environmentally-friendly cleaners and chemical-based formulations, and between liquid and powdered options.
- Type of plumbing system: If a drainage system is made of PVCs or metallic pipes, go for non-corrosive cleaners. Contrarily, you can go for chemical-based acidic cleaners when such corrosive risks do not apply.
- Accompanying hazard level: Depending on their compositions, drain cleaning solutions can be toxic, non-toxic, or environmentally friendly. For houses with children, it is best to choose mild and eco-friendly drain unclogging solutions.
- Budget and pricing: Go through the price of the clog removing formulations before deciding. Make sure to check the number of uses alongside the bottled capacity to make an informed buying decision.
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Best Drain Cleaner For Clogged Drainsgreen Gobbler Drain Cleaners
For heavily clogged drains, this Green Gobbler liquid cleaner works to get rid of hair, organic matter, and other things from drains. Depending on the type of clog, you may have to leave the liquid to sit for an hour or more to open pipes completely. This industrial-strength cleaner can be used at home or in the workplace.
I slowly poured in half the bottle, then waited 45 minutes, then poured a full kettle of boiling water slowly down the drain, wrote one shopper. I went to bed. When I woke up, the drain was completely clear. Not just better than it was, but good as new.
Instant Power Main Line Cleaner
Grease is another common culprit when it comes to stubborn drain clogs. To get rid of your grease-induced or smelly plumbing problems, you’ll need a product like the Instant Power Main Line Cleaner.
This highly-rated product comes in one-gallon jugs, and it uses a powerful formula to dissolve hair, grease, and other gunk that accumulates in drains. It’s safe for use on all types of pipes and with septic systems, and many people use it to open both main sewer and lateral lines. Numerous reviewers say this product was recommended to them by a plumber, and several note that it is incredibly effective on grease clogs.
Price at time of publish:$14
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Can I Snake My Own Drain
Absolutely, you can snake your own drain. With the right tool, a little know-how, and a lot of patience, anyone be their own plumber. Just remember the plumber’s number one golden rule: don’t bite your fingernails.
Drain snakes are meant for light jobs with minor obstructions. You know: hair, soap, food, and gunk. These things typically collect in the trap direction below the sink or down the line a little bit.
Remember to be patient as you’re feeding the snake down the drain. Your progress is measured in inches, not feet, when it comes to plumbing. Bends are small and clearance is tight. Plus, you can’t see what’s going on down there unless you have a spare pipe camera laying around.
Also, keep in mind that your time spent on the job will depend on how large the clog is. Big masses of garbage down the line may require you to go through these steps a few times to take care of the issue.
Best Enzyme Drain Cleanerflo
Maintaining open and clear drains is essential in busy commercial workspaces. This Flo-Kem enzyme pipe opener is a safer alternative to heavy chemicals and is a popular choice for home use, too. The one-gallon bottle contains 250 billion bacteria to help dissolve clogs in several hours.
This product will work best if left for over 12 hours without adding water. One consumer suggested, Once you take care of your clog, start using this once a month on all your drains, sinks, toilets, and floor drains as a monthly maintenance to keep your pipes free and clear so you don’t get another clog.
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Liquid Fire Customer Service
Liquid Fire drain opener is sold by a company called Amazing Products, Inc based in Louisville, KY.
Some have reported damages to fixtures, faucets, or finishes. We are not sure how they respond to complaints like these, especially if you donât use the product as instructed. We do not represent the company, or speak on their behalf.
How Do You Contact Liquid Fire Customer Service?
If you do run into an issue or have a question, feel free to reach out to the companyâs customer service line during regular business hours at 502-361-3655. Here is a link to their BBB listing. At the time of this writing, they maintain an A+ rating at the BBB.
How Drain Cleaners Work
Drain cleaners are typically powders or liquids that contain chemicals that react with the obstructing material to dissolve it. Depending on the active ingredients in a drain cleaner, these products work to remove blockages using either one or more of the following mechanisms:
Alkaline-based or caustic drain cleaners achieve their objective by elevating the temperature of the area surrounding the blockage. The idea is to make the obstruction to break down or melt, thereby dispersing it. They typically contain ingredients such as potassium hydroxide and lye.
When you combine certain acids with water, a chemical reaction known as acid hydrolysis usually ensues. Acid hydrolysis yields a potent compound that is capable of dissolving most things. Nonetheless, due to the dangerous, corrosive nature of these products, they are best left to professionals to handle.
Oxidization is a process that involves breaking down a substance at a fundamental level by making it release electrons from its chemical structure. This usually involves a highly oxidative substance acting on the material, such as hypochlorites, nitrates, perchlorates, and peroxides. Doing this reduces the mass of the obtrusive material, thereby encouraging it to disperse.
Performance vs. Safety
Using the most powerful drain cleaner to unclog your toilet will be pointless if the consequences of its actions are damaged pipes and injuries.
Old Plumbing and Aluminum
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Professor Amos’ Superfast Drain Cleaner
If youre looking for an option thats safe for all types of plumbing and not just PVC, you cant go wrong with Professor Amos SuperFast Drain cleaner. You can use it to get rid of clogs and any build-up that cause slow draining. It works in all areas of the home ranging from bathtubs, showers , bathrooms, and sinks. If you have any pungent odors coming from your pipes, this cleaner also eliminates it and gets rid of drain flies. Overall its a cost-effective drain cleaner that can get rid of any clogged drain in a matter of hours. For maximum effect, leave it on overnight, and in the morning, observe how your PVC pipe runs like new.
- Works for most home applications.
- Recognized worldwide due to its effectiveness in clearing clogs.
- Helps keep drains clean from build-up.
- Cant be used for garbage disposals.
How Do You Keep A Drain Clean Without Damaging Pipes
If you want to maintain the pipes free of blockages, make it a daily habit to pour thirty seconds worth of boiling water down the drain. For reasons of safety, it is important to keep drain cleaners and any other potentially harmful chemicals out of the reach and sight of youngsters. Immediately clean up any drain cleaner that has been spilled.
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Safer Option: Enzymatic Cleaners
Enzymatic drain cleaners offer a gentler alternative to the harsh chemicals found in many drain cleaning products. Essentially, bio-enzymatic products break down stuck material into smaller particles, which beneficial bacteria then digest. For the best results, look for a product that targets the type of clog you havehair, soap scum, food, and/or grease.
Enzymatic CleanersSuch as Green Gobbler or Bio-Clean Cost: From about $12 to $70These cleaners arent as fast-acting or as effective at dissolving clogs as the others, Abrams says. They need to be left in a drain for several hours or even overnight, and you may have to apply them more than once to fully clear an obstruction. But theyre safer for your pipes than chemical drain cleaners. And if you have a septic system, these products are not only safe, they can be beneficial, helping replace lost essential bacteria that aid in breaking down wastesometimes from the use of other types of drain cleaners, Frame says. In fact, they can be used preventively to keep a septic system healthy.
Thanks to their safer ingredients, these cleaners are also more eco-friendly. Although water treatment facilities act as a barrier in removing household chemicals before they enter the environment, the process isnt completely effective and some do get through, potentially posing a risk to fish and wildlife.
If youve tried mechanical methods and a drain cleaner to no avail, your next step should be to call a plumber.
The Best Drain Openerssummary
For a biodegradable and fast-acting opener, the Flo-Kem commercial bio-enzyme opener , which is safe for almost all applications, received consistently high reviews from happy users. To clear out other clogs, most reviewers recommend the Green Gobbler for its speed and ease of use.
We hope our review of the best drain openers has been helpful and you found our research-based findings useful. For more suppliers of related products, including pipe cleaners, enzyme cleaning products, sewer treatments, and soot removers, consult our additional guides, or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform.
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Green Gobbler Dissolve Hair & Grease Clog Remover
Green Gobbler DISSOLVE Liquid Hair & Grease Clog RemoverAs a universal clog treatment, the Green Gobbler Dissolve product works to chemically dissolve the clog, allowing it to be washed down the drain. With a substantial four-star rating, this product fluxes grease, soap scum, hair, paper, and everything organic that may be jamming up your pipes, making it easier to rinse out. In addition, it improves your sink, tub, or toilet drain rate, following in a cleaner, more pleasant expertise. Finally, the brand remarks that the formula is more reliable than using other brands based on sodium hydroxide, which is highly corrosive and acidic. All in all, this compact formula is a great, low-cost choice that is definitely worth giving a chance. As a PVC-safe drain cleaner, you cannot go astray here.
Do You Need A Specific Drain Cleaner For Pvc Pipes
Even though PVC pipes are one of the most durable pipes for plumbing, since they are made from plastic and vinyl, they cannot hold up to harsh chemicals. Especially compared to heavy-duty cast iron pipes that are made from metal. Which is why it is so important that you carefully choose a specialized cleaner that can get the job done, without damaging the plastic. The most common chemicals used in drain cleaners for PVC pipes include caustic, oxidizing, and acidic, each with varying levels of efficiency.
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Is Drain Cleaner Safe For Pipes
For this, Kevin Busch, vice president of operations for Mr. Handyman, strongly suggests taking a proactive approach, telling us to stay ahead of clogs and use cleaners as directed.
Drain cleaner products vary but can be corrosive and have the potential to cause damage to your plumbing system if not used properly, Busch says. Your best bet is to never use drain cleaners but instead maintain your pipes to prevent clogs in the first place.
If a drain cleaner is necessary, make sure to start integrating preventative clog maintenance into your routine after clearing the blocked drain.