Drain Cleaning

The Safest Way to Clean Drains for Homeowners…

Basic Drain CleaningThe Safest Way to Clean Drains for Homeowners

There are few ways to clean a drain and maintain it today. One such way is to use a mechanical auger or machine such as a “snake” or a plunger. These types of systems require a knowledge of plumbing and physical strength. When was the last time you used a plunger and were not exhausted after fighting with the drain. Hmmm… Another way is to use a chemical cleaner such as Drano. This and other conventional drain cleaners have an active ingredient known as sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic soda or lye. It is a man-made chemical used for its corrosive properties.

According to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the substance is not considered a pollutant per se, as it separates into relatively harmless component elements once released into water or moist soil. But sodium hydroxide is an irritant that can burn skin and aggravate nose, throat and respiratory airways, so contact with it is best avoided. If ingested outright it will likely induce vomiting, as well as cause chest or abdominal pain and make swallowing difficult–so keep it well out of the reach of children.

1lb Jar of Enzyme Treatment

The safest way to clean drains for homeowners is with environmentally friendly drain cleaners commonly called Enzymatic Cleaners. Bacterial cultures and concentrated enzymes make up Enzymatic drain cleaners that interact with organic residue that accumulates on sewer pipes.  The enzymes will eat anything in your pipes that was once a living organism e.g. food, grease, hair etc. The enzyme will not eat anything that has never lived e.g. plastic. metal, jewelry, etc.

Benefits of enzymatic drain cleansers are relatively safe when used in an array of plumbing fittings, low environment impact, inexpensive and simplicity of use. The downside on most enzymatic drain cleansers include longer cleaning occasions in comparison to many other drain cleansers.

Chemicals vs. Environment and Family Safety

I strongly recommend the use of enzyme drain cleaner for maintaining your drains.   There are a number of enzymatic biological drain cleaners on the market today. These take advantage of the natural microbial and enzyme mixture to open and keep drains clear, the complete opposite of sodium hydroxide, they’re non-caustic and won’t facilitate combustion. There are several harsh chemical products advertised as safe, but that is not the case.

Maintenance Routine Using An Enzymatic Biological Drain Cleaner

Before going to work or before bedtime pour the enzyme into your drain, run warm water into your drain for approximately 10 seconds and let sit for several hours.

  • Do this every day for the first week.
  • Then once a week for the next four weeks.
  • Then once a month.

FYI: Everything from our drains eventually ends up in our aquifers, rivers, streams, water supply, and oceans, being environmentally friendly keep us and our families healthier.

Do this on a regular maintenance basis and you should minimize your seeing of Quinn’s Plumbers for a clogged drain, unless of course, you lost your ring, earrings, etc.




Author: john

John Quinn is the Operations Manager of Quinn’s Plumbing Heating Cooling LLC of Reading PA. He has over 30 years experience in the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, water treatment and electrical fields, in particular with residential mechanical systems for small businesses and individual home owners. The reason Quinn decided to concentrate on his own business was because he loves what he does and it allows him to meet people and he enjoys a challenge, it’s a great chance to mix business with pleasure. Quinn earned his engineering degrees from The Pennsylvania State University in mechanical engineering through the VA higher education program. He is a 5 year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps and also a graduate of the Murrell T. Dobbins Technical High School Plumbing and Heating Apprentice Program in Philadelphia and is also certified a Master Plumber, Master HVAC Mechanic and Electrician. He lives in Reading with his wife Mary Quinn who is also his business partner. They have 2 adult daughters and 3 grandchildren. When he is not working, Quinn likes to scuba dive or work on his model train collection. John Quinn can be reached at www.quinnsphc.com , john@quinnsphc.com or by calling (610) 376-6001 or (215) 242-6329.

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