How Chemical Drain Cleaners Work: A San Diego Plumbing Service Tells All
If you remember back to high school, biology class covered the wonder of living organisms and their habitats. Rabbit babies . . . flowers . . . the sunshine.
Chemistry focused on how to blow stuff up.
While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, we want to make a point that chemical drain cleaners change — sometimes drastically — all materials they come into contact with. Chemistry class was about chemical reactions: one molecule taking electrons from or adding electrons to another molecule. All this moving and shifting creates heat, which melts plastic (pvc) pipe and corrodes metal pipe. Understanding how chemical drain cleaners work helps you keep pipes in good shape long term. A tested San Diego plumbing service typically has several non-chemical, even organic solutions for clearing clogs .
How Chemical Drain Cleaners Work Depends upon Type
Caustic drain cleaners contain alkaline or “basic” chemicals that give electrons to the molecules of the hair or grease causing the clog. The extra electrons discombobulate the grease or hair molecules, breaking them apart. Filled with chemicals lye and potash, they move through the water to the clog, where they begin their work.
Oxidizing drain cleaners, on the other hand, pull electrons from the molecules of hair, grease and food, destabilizing the material and breaking it apart. Like caustic drain cleaners, oxidizing cleaners are heavier than water and so can go right to the clog. Filled with bleach, peroxides and nitrates these mainstream drain cleaners are often combined with caustic ones in the commercial drain cleaners like Liquid Plumber, Red Devil and others.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Chemical Drain Cleaners
Long story short, the Environmental Protection Agency classifies chemical drain cleaners as “toxic household poison.”
Specifically, the EPA explains that household chemical drain cleaners:
- Corrode pipes and septic systems
- Damage skin and internal organs (when children drink it)
- Put pit marks in sink basins, tarnish drain coverings and faucets
- Create deadly chlorine gas when they combine with household bleach (also kept under sink with chemical drain cleaner)
Can we give ourselves a little credit for a second? In San Diego, plumbing service professionals Perry Plumbing has been using green technology for decades. How?
- We blow out clogs with high pressure water jetters. Last we checked, water was good for the environment.
- Cut through roots and gunk with our low-tech but fearless scorpion cutters. Who needs toxic, heat-creating chemical reactions when our blades are razor-sharp? Low-tech, simple cutting and flushing is as green as it gets.
- Use bio-clean green products, otherwise known as enzymes. Like water, enzymes are natural and fit well into the environment. Where chemicals destabilize molecules, creating heat, enzymes are tiny bacteria that actually ingest and digest material. Their digestion process breaks molecules apart without heat and render plant food (you read it right: plant food) rather than volatile, toxic compounds.
We’ll Admit It: We Don’t Like Chemical Drain Cleaners
Respectfully, with over 30 years experience as San Diego’s drain clog experts, Perry Plumbing has been utilizing green technology decades before green became “the new black.”
Our profession has brought us to homes that have obviously depended far too long on commercial chemical drain cleaners. These homes end up with pitted sinks, rotted pipes and eaten through pvc pipes. Repeated use of inexpensive, commercial, chemical drain cleaner suddenly gets expensive when much of a plumbing system must be re-piped.
If you’re ready to provide a long-term, green plumbing solution to your slow drains, call Perry Plumbing at 619-472-2112. We’re one of the few San Diego plumbing services that guarantees its plumbing work for 2 years. Visit our website www.perryplumbing.com for your discount specials.