Over time and use, grease and organic particles, like food or hair, build up on in your drain and cause a blockage. Before you call a plumber you may first want to try to clear the blockage yourself by cleaning away debris by hand, pouring hot water down the drain or using a plunger. If this doesn’t work, then a powerful drain-cleaning product can sometimes be effective. There are two kinds, chemical or enzyme, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Please us caution when using and storing chemicals in your home.
Chemical drain cleaners melt the grease that blocks the drain by producing chemical reactions to generate heat. There are three types of chemical cleaners: caustic, oxidizing and acid. The advantage of using chemical drain cleaners is that they’re powerful and can be effective almost immediately. However, the fumes are toxic; they can burn your eyes and damage drain traps. If you decide to use a chemical drain cleaner, make sure to read the instructions, ventilate the area well, keep it away from children and pets and wear rubber gloves.
Enzymatic drain cleaners are safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical drain cleaners. They contain bacteria or enzymes that feed on organic material, unclogging the drain. However, they work slowly, requiring hours instead of minutes to accomplish the task. It can be harder to find these types of drain cleaners and they have a shorter shelf life. As always, we recommend calling your trusted plumber to help you with your drain issues.