Whenever there is a clogged drain, people tend to do one of two things:
Either reach for a phone to call a plumber, or a scathing industrial chemical clog remover/drain cleaner.
A lot of people are eager to know what the best drain cleaner is, as well as how to make use of them.
Although we usually support DIY solutions, there are many reasons we do not support the use of any industrial clog remover/drain cleaner.
Industrial drain cleaners are hazardous!
If you were to get some in your eyes or on your skin, or even inhale too much, it could result in severe injury.
And there is also the possibility of leaving cleaners to the reach of kids or pets, and risking unintended exposure or ingestion which can be fatal.
Whatever goes down your drain somehow ends up in the environment eventually, be it in groundwater, rivers, oceans, soil or atmosphere.
And these industrial products are no safer for the environment either.
It is often too late when we learn the disastrous effects which our altered chemicals can have on the ecosystem.
The work of the best drain cleaner is to eat away whatever the cause of the clog is.
There is a high chance that anything that disastrous will affect your drains and pipes.
Although materials such as galvanized steel or PVC might have greater resistance than copper, every pipe exposed to these disastrous chemicals will ultimately begin to give way.
In the end, you’ll be faced with leaks which could require widespread, expensive repairs – or even a total home re-plumbing.
What about organic drain cleaners?
Yes, these are naturally safer than industrial drain cleaners which consist of harsher chemicals, so their use in plumbing systems is quite alright.
However, they are best used regularly to avoid clogs – they have limited efficiency as clog removers.
Are there any alternatives?
Before calling a plumber, we advise you grab a good strong drain snake or plunger and try to remove the clog physically yourself.
If these do not work, try using a 50:50 mixture of vinegar and baking soda.
Allow it to soak through the night, and then flush with hot water.
If that still does not work, then it is time for the experts.
Routine maintenance for every home should have regular drain cleaning.
Luckily, it’s cheap and easy!
For a short tutorial on cleaning your drains, take a look at our Guide to Easy Drain Maintenance.
This will help you guard your plumbing, your environment, and your health.
Q. "What is the best drain cleaner online?"
A. We strongly advise against pouring more caustic drain cleaning products into your drain which may be dangerous.
Not only to your health but the environment, and sometimes also the pipes.
Instead, we recommend bacterial drain cleaners.
Although they might not give you what you expect as they do not work straight away, they are however the best drain cleaner for routine drain maintenance.
Q. "Do you suggest any sort of root killer?"
A. We strongly advise against the use of root killers, as they are a “band-aid” solution – which is the reason we don’t recommend root killer products.
Sewer and drains lines provide a source of food/water for roots, and plants will certainly push through pipes in the same way as they do through concrete in order to get the nutrients needed from your sewer/drain line.
If you have roots present in your sewer or drain, then there is a break in your line, either caused by the plant finding its way through or some other thing allowing the plant to enter.
It simply needs to be repaired.
Please note that the effectiveness of any root killer depends on the roots being at the base of the pipe with high rate of water flow to feed the roots with the chemicals, but just slow enough for it to remain there in time to be absorbed by the roots.
The roots must then be chopped up or pulled out and disposed of. Nonetheless, if the tree or shrub remains in the area while the pipe is repaired, the problem will persist.
In addition, take note that it is illegal in many parts of the country to utilize most root killer ingredients (like copper sulfate) in your drains, whether or not you have a septic system or sewer lines.
For these reasons, we discourage the use of root killers because we doubt their effectiveness in tacking the actual problem and also their potentially negative impact on the environment.
Q. "What is a sewer snake?"
A. Do not confuse a sewer snake for a urinal or toilet snake, jet drain cleaner, or camera inspection unit.
It is a long cable which can go down the drain to clear up clogs.
Various attachments can be utilized (subject to the kind of clog). These range from:
- A simple auger
- A side cutting blade
- A grease cutting blade
- A spear-type blade
If you plan to use a mechanical snake, you’ll need to choose between a “drum auger” and a handheld model.
The drum auger is a heavy-duty equipment which is really meant for an expert plumber rather than typical homeowners.
For household use, you can also purchase a hand snake or closet auger.
This tool is manually operated and especially designed to clear up clogs and blockades from your toilet plumbing.
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