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As everyone knows, clogged drains in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room are a real pain. Washing the family dog, long-haired family members washing their tresses every day and kitchen waste combined with grease are the main culprits that lead to stubborn clogged drains and the disgusting task that ensues –drain cleaning.
Word of Caution about Drain Cleaning
Before we get into the different types of Drain Cleaning products, it’s important to point out that they can prove hazardous and harmful to YOU and your pipes. Caustic and acidic drain cleaners should never be used in combination. They would neutralize each another and may generate large quantities of heat and gas. This may cause a potentially harmful, violent eruption from the drain. The combination can also cause severe injury to eyes and other tissues and may damage tubs and toilets. Unmitigated chemicals can cause holes in pipes and damage significant plumbing fixtures that could cost thousands of dollars to replace, so it’s probably not the Drain Cleaning solution you’re looking for.
Drain Cleaning Solutions
- Drain Cleaning Caustic liquids - the most common types contain bleach, lye or caustic potash and are used to dissolve grease and hair clogs. Other caustic solutions come as two-part cleaners that are mixed as they are poured in the drain opening. These two solutions form a gas that turns into a dense foam. This foam coats the inner walls of the clogged pipe thus removing more of whatever substances might be forming the clog.
- Drain Cleaning Caustic solids – these concentrated drain clearers consist of solid granules of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide and are also used to dissolve hair and grease clogs. Some patented cleaners have aluminum turnings that react with water in the drain, heating the caustic mixture to the boiling point to aid in clog removal.
- Drain Cleaning Enzymatic cleaners - another type of drain cleaner is a liquid containing bacteria cultures and enzymes that gradually erode organic material on pipes that can cause slow drains. These are normally used as routine maintenance for proper flow, as they are incapable of clearing a completely clogged drainpipe. These products are also completely safe and effective for use in toilets, bathtubs, garbage disposals and septic systems.
- Drain Cleaning Acid liquids - a different type of drain cleaner is a liquid containing sulfuric acid. These can be very corrosive and hazardous if misused and can create intense heat that can cause the water in the drain to boil, creating a violent eruption from the drain. These acidic cleaners are often the only products that will effectively dissolve paper, rags and sanitary napkins. Many of these products are intended for professional use by plumbers and janitors, but are legal to sell to the general public.
Bio-Friendly Drain Cleaning Solutions
- Mechanical drain cleaners – These are machine-drive cables with specialized heads that are inserted into the affected pipe. The spinning action of the cable and head can cut through roots or retrieve items that have clogged drains (wash cloths for example).
- High-pressure water jetting - Trained, licensed plumbers should only use this technique since water jets can reach up to 4000 psi; this method cleans the pipe with water so blockage is less likely to reoccur. A high-pressure hose with a specialized head is inserted into the affected pipe to assist with this form of Drain Cleaning.
- With modern sewer cameras, like those used by Superior Plumbing, the inside of the pipe can be thoroughly inspected and if a problem is located an electronic signal is emitted by the camera head which can be detected from outside the pipe allowing the plumber to pinpoint exactly where the repair must be made.
Superior Plumbing – Drain Cleaning in Georgia
To speak with a real live Superior Plumbing representative, please call 770-422-PLUM (7586). We will schedule an appointment with one of our licensed plumbers who will give you expert, honest and courteous plumbing advice.