Drain Cleaning removes food, hair, soap scum, grease and other debris that clogs household pipes. It is safe for all septic systems and pipes (including PVC) and does not contain bleach or sodium hydroxide.
To clean a drain, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of boiling water. This will cause a fizzing reaction that can dissolve some types of debris.
Hair is a major contributor to shower and bathtub drain clogs. It can be difficult to prevent because we all shed a certain amount of hair each day, but regularly cleaning out the visible hair from your bathroom and kitchen drains can help keep your pipes clear.
Try a hair-removal tool: A wire clothes hanger bent into a hook can be used to easily remove the clumps of hair that float up when you lift your shower curtain or drain cover. Alternatively, a pair of tweezers can also be very useful to grab clumps of hair before they wash down the drain.
If these home-based methods don’t work, a toilet plunger or drain snake can be used to physically break up and pull out hair clogs. If the clog is further down your pipe line, a professional plumber should be called. If you do choose to use a chemical drain cleaner, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear gloves and protective clothing.
F.O.G. Trio (Fats, Oils and Grease)
A slippery gang of kitchen byproducts, FOG can cause costly sewer backups. When these non-polar molecules enter sewer pipes, they cool and thicken, restricting flow until the clog becomes too large to break apart or dissolve in standing water. Yreka Public Works is working to reduce this problem by encouraging residents to use paper towels, garbage bags or a professional drain cleaning service to dispose of kitchen wastes.
Chemical drain cleaners come in a variety of forms, from caustic to oxidizing. Caustic solutions, such as lye and caustic potash, are bases that eat away at organic materials in a clogged drain or pipe. Oxidizing chemicals, such as household bleach and peroxides, rob organic material of electrons, breaking it down into smaller particles that are more easily dissolved by standing water.
Regardless of their type, most chemical drain cleaners must be handled with great care. Their corrosive properties can damage pipes and plumbing fixtures, while they also pose health risks to homeowners and plumbers who pour them down clogged drains. Some products have even been known to splash into the faces and eyes of users, burning their skin and eyes.
Occasionally, a blockage in your sewer line can be caused by tree roots. In search of water, oxygen and nutrients, the roots naturally gravitate towards your sewer pipes. A crack or loose joint in the pipe is a great vantage point for these roots, which can then penetrate the line and create an annoying clog.
Plumbers use a variety of methods for root removal from drain pipes and sewer lines. One of the most common is to spray a high-pressure water jet down the line. This removes the clog and cuts the roots.
You can also try using a chemical root killer. This can be purchased at most hardware stores and works by simply pouring it down the drain. It is important to note that these products are dangerous if they come into contact with your skin, eyes or mouth, so it is best to use them sparingly. Another natural alternative is rock salt, which can be purchased at most grocery stores.
Some chemical drain cleaners are so toxic that they can actually poison you if they come into contact with your skin or eyes. They can also create noxious fumes that are dangerous to breathe, and they can damage your pipes.
Caustic drain cleaners contain substances like lye and caustic potash. These are bases that erode hair and fats, turning them into water-soluble products that can be easily dissolved. Alkaline drain cleaners release heat to break up grease and other solids, and their reaction with water produces hydrogen gas that can help clear clogs.
One of the most effective ways to clean a drain is to flush it with boiling water. This can help loosen soap scum and other debris that accumulates in drains. It’s a good idea to pour the hot water down the drain in stages, and allow time between each pour. You may need to repeat this step several times before your sink is fully unclogged.