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Drain Cleaners: What Works and What Doesn’t

by Your Local Plumber

Thick drain cleaners are way more effective than fluid solutions because they stick to your pipes and drains longer, allowing it to dissolve and soften the clog more extensively.

Liquid drain cleaners are usually made of regular household chlorine bleach. Although chlorine bleach is effective in loosening up clogs, it should not be used in its concentrated form as a septic system cleaner because chlorine kills the beneficial bacteria within the septic tank.

Liquid vs. foam cleaners

Biofilm is gunk that holds clogs together and builds up inside pipes. Liquid drain cleaners do a great job of dissolving bioflim, and once the solid particles trapped within this glue-type substance are softened, they can be easily flushed through the pipes.

Biofilm, however, can also build up on the entire area of the drain pipe. When you pour liquid cleaners down the drain, they will only attack the bioflim that the liquid can touch. A foaming drain cleaner is much more effective because it fills up the entire pipe and attacks all of the biofilm buildup.

Enzyme cleaners

Enzyme drain cleaners eat the biofilm so they are perfect for septic systems and for drain cleaning maintenance work. If your drain is completely clogged, enzyme cleaners are not the thing to use. You will need a powerful drain cleaner or a mechanical snake to penetrate right to the clog through the standing water.

Use enzyme cleaners on a regular basis in all plumbing systems to prevent a buildup of solid drain stopping clog. Enzymes work best in lukewarm water – perfect growth environment for bacteria – and when they are left untouched for long periods. If you plan to brush your teeth, do the dishes or laundry, or use the toilet, schedule your enzyme drain cleaning task at a later time or until everyone is asleep or out of the house.

What doesn’t work?

Forget about using liquid cleaners to unclog laundry drains. Most laundry drain clogs are caused by lint buildup from clothing fibers, and liquid drain cleaners are not capable of dissolving fiber. If your washing machine does not have a lint trap, attach an old panty hose to your washer to capture lint fibers and prevent them from clogging your laundry drain.

For plumbing issues, call Plumber Medford Oregon and get your problem estimate today!

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