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Commercial Drain Cleaners: How Do They Work and Should You Use Them?

Overview: Chemically-infused commercial drain cleaners are available for use in restaurants, offices, and other businesses — and can even be used in homes. They promise to clear your clogs, but how exactly do they work? And did you know that they may cause damage if not used carefully? Learn before you pour!  

If you’ve ever experienced a clogged drain, you know how frustrating it can be. No one wants to deal with slow-draining water or annoying blockages in their pipes. But what do you do when you’re facing this problem? Well, one solution many people turn to is using commercial drain cleaners. But how do these cleaners work, and should you use them?

Let’s take a closer look.

 What Are Commercial Drain Cleaners? 

Commercial drain cleaners come in various forms, including liquids, powders, and even gels. Most of them contain chemicals that help to break down and dissolve the buildup in your pipes, including grease, hair, soap scum, and other organic matter. Some of the most common active ingredients in these cleaners include:

  • Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda)

  • Sulfuric acid

  • Sodium chloride (table salt)

When you pour a commercial drain cleaner down your clogged drain, the chemicals react with the clog and start to break it down. In some cases, this reaction can be quite sudden, causing the clog to break apart immediately and flow down the drain. In other cases, the reaction is more gradual, but eventually, the clog will dissolve, and the water will start flowing freely again.

>> Related Reading: Safety tips for using chemical drain cleaners

This, of course, is the result you’re looking for. But the question you might be asking is, “Is it really a good idea to use commercial drain cleaners?” Well, the answer to that question is a bit complicated. On the one hand, commercial drain cleaners can be very effective at removing clogs. They’re easy to use, and you don’t need any special tools or equipment.

On the other hand, these cleaners can be quite harsh and can cause damage to your pipes. In some cases, the chemicals can react with other materials in your pipes, such as metal, and cause corrosion. This corrosion can weaken your pipes and lead to leaks and other problems.

So what’s the bottom line? If you have a minor clog that you want to remove quickly and easily, a commercial drain cleaner might be a good option for occasional use. However, if you have a more serious clog, or if you’re worried about the health and safety implications of these cleaners, it’s best to call a professional plumber. A plumber can safely remove the clog and ensure that your pipes are not damaged in the process.

 How to Use Commercial Drain Cleaners 

Clogged drains are a headache for any homeowner, and sometimes, a plunger or a plumbing snake won’t do the job. In such cases, commercial drain cleaners can come in handy. However, it’s important to know how to use them properly to avoid any mishaps.

You might be interested in reading: Everything you need to know about plungers

Choose the Right Drain Cleaner: There are different types of commercial drain cleaners available, so it’s important to choose the right one based on the type of clog and the material of your pipes. Don’t just grab the first one you see: Read the label carefully to ensure that it’s safe to use on your plumbing.

Read the Instructions: Once you have the right drain cleaner, read the instructions on the label carefully. Pay attention to the recommended amount to use, how long to wait before flushing the drain with water, and any safety precautions.

Protect Yourself: Drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful if they come into contact with your skin, eyes, or lungs. Wear gloves, safety glasses, and a mask to protect yourself from splashes and fumes.

When it’s time to use the drainer cleaner on your clogs, the process will be similar for most products. Again, it’s essential that you read the instructions, but you can expect the process to go something like this:

Apply the Drain Cleaner: Carefully pour the recommended amount of drain cleaner into the drain. Avoid splashing or inhaling the fumes. Some cleaners may require dilution with water before use, so read the instructions carefully.

Wait and Flush: Most drain cleaners need time to work, so wait the recommended amount of time before flushing the drain with hot water. Avoid using cold water, as it can cause the chemicals to solidify and make the clog worse.

Repeat if Necessary: If the clog doesn’t clear after one application, wait at least 24 hours before trying again. Overusing drain cleaners can damage your pipes, so avoid using them more than a few times a year. And if your first attempt doesn’t work, consider bringing in a professional plumber. 

In Summary: 

The health of a commercial enterprise largely depends on how organized and healthy its drainage system is. Commercial drain cleaners can be a convenient and effective solution for removing clogs, but they come with their own set of risks and potential downsides. If you’re not comfortable using these cleaners or if you have a serious clog, it’s best to call a professional plumber for assistance.

And for all your plumbing needs in Southern California — from clogs to leaks to sewer line repairs — get in touch with NIR Plumbing, the best and most honest plumbers around!