There are many drain cleaning methods floating around on the internet. From quick DIY jobs done by mixing some household products to pouring boiling water down your drain and running to your local hardware store to pick up something with a kick. While some of these tricks work, they often don’t provide a long term solution. There are definitely things you can do on a daily basis to keep your drain clean and healthy, but we will now discuss a few popular drain cleaning methods, and establish which ones are the best!
Liquid Drain Cleaning
There are two types of liquid drain cleaners: chemical cleaners and enzyme-based cleaners. Chemical cleaners are the most common of the liquid drain cleaning products you’re likely to find on the shelves at your local supermarket or hardware store. They are often advertised as “quick” and “powerful” solutions for the worst clogs. Though this might be a tempting method, promising convenience and fast results on a budget, they are actually quite dangerous.
Chemical Drain Cleaners
The active ingredients in these “quick” and “powerful” chemical cleaners often include hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, lye and caustic soda. If not handled carefully and properly, these chemical components can be very destructive.
Chemical cleaners rely on these strong and dangerous acids that will basically destroy anything and everything they come into contact with. Though this yet again might sound like a great solution for all the gross buildup in your drain, this will not only eat up the hair and what not, that’s clogging your drains but it can also destroy the actual material of your pipes. This can compromise your pipes and lead to corrosion that can eventually cause a leak.
Enzyme Based Cleaners
Enzyme-based cleaners are much safer for both you and your drain pipes than chemical drain cleaners. This is not a quick and miraculous solution and will require time to work. For this reason it is not recommended in the case of a major clog and buildup overflowing into your home.
Enzyme-based chemicals consist of good bacteria that feeds on organic material, not metal, therefore it will not damage your pipes, like a chemical cleaner. The bacteria multiplies throughout your plumbing system on its own until there is no more organic material to feed on. This is a great option for light maintenance that will help prevent slow drains and clogs that can often occur in showers or tubs.
Snake Drain Cleaning
Plumbing snakes are usually the first tool people grab when encountering a clogged drain. Snaking is a rather easy and affordable solution to a drain clog. Drain snakes are gentle on your drains so this is the perfect solution for pipes that are older and more fragile. However, this is a temporary fix as it will rarely completely remove the entire consistency of any blockage.
Air Blast Drain Cleaning
High pressure air blasting is another form of clog removal. It is exactly what it sounds like – blasting high pressure air into your drain to push a clog through. This is usually done using an air compressor or a specialized air blaster gun. This method of drain cleaning may help with loosening small clogs however it is likely to fail if a clog is much more severe.
Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning
Hydro Jetting is a non-invasive and efficient method of cleaning out your drain pipes or sewer line. It effectively loosens sand, grease, scale and residue from the inside of your pipes and flushes them out completely. This not only clears any clogs in your drain but aids in the prevention of another clog forming in the future. The high pressure water can cut even through tree roots that invaded your pipe and cleans your entire drain line, not just one problem area. Because Hydro Jetting is an environmentally friendly solution, as it uses nothing but water and doesn’t rely on any harmful chemicals.
Suitable for commercial and residential properties alike, hydro jetting is the number one, most efficient and top recommended method of clearing clogs AND keeping your drains clean.
So what is the best drain cleaning method? For small to medium clogs a drain auger will help loosen blockage to encourage water flow. Avoid using harsh and harmful chemical cleaners and opt for enzyme based cleaners that will feed on organic material and aid in the maintenance of a clear drain. But for a full proof and most thorough clean, talk to a professional plumber about making hydro jetting a regular part of your annual plumbing maintenance plan.