2 Powerful Ways to Make Commercial Drain Cleaners Work For You?

2 Powerful Ways to Make Commercial Drain Cleaners Work For You?

The most widely used “over-the-counter,” of the Commercial Drain Cleaners are “caustic” and “oxidizing.” They work on different kinds of clogs:

Commercial Drain Cleaners

  • Oxidizing drain cleaner: These drain cleaners come in a liquid form that’s heavier than water so it moves down through any standing water in the drain to the source of the clog. These drain cleaners are made of things like bleach, peroxides, and nitrates, and they work by sucking electrons out of the clog and oxidizing it, essentially causing it to break up and dissolve by converting the solids to liquids. These are best for bathroom clogs, where the culprit tends to be soap scum and hair.
  • Caustic drain cleaners: These cleaners can come in either solid or liquid form; in liquid form, they are also heavier than standing water, so they move through the standing water to settle on the clog to go to work. If they are in solid form, they also move through standing water to reach the clog. These cleaners are made up of caustic substances like potash and/or lye. These chemicals they release create heat, which melts the clog. They’re best for kitchen clogs, which are generally made up of grease and food particles.

There is a third category of drain cleaner which homeowners sometimes use, and this is an acid drain cleaner. This kind of drain cleaner is generally sold only to professionals, however, because they’re even more toxic than the others are. Still, we find that some of our clients do find a way to get it, and do use it.

More toxicity also means that these are more powerful, of course, but keep in mind that this makes them more dangerous as well. Made of sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide – an acid drain cleaner will also heat up, but the chemical reaction is more intense. This means that an acid drain cleaner can cut through just about anything, from grease to hair to food to paper products like sanitary napkins, etc. When we use it, we use it very, very carefully – and you should too.

The bottom line, however, is that if you’ve used a couple of kinds of these over-the-counter drain cleaners and they didn’t work, it’s time to give us a call or contact us. We’ll have you up and running – safely – in no time!

My Drain is Clogged – Will a Commercial Drain Cleaner Work?

My Drain is Clogged – Will a Commercial Drain Cleaner Work?

Many of our customers want to know if those commercial drain cleaners you can buy in a store will really work, and I can truthfully answer – yes and no, and it depends. And we’re not trying to get you to call us out either – this is our expert opinion and proven by a lot of people who do tests on things like this for a living.

commercial Drain Cleaner

Drain cleaners work by creating a chemical reaction that moves electrons around, and they clear a drain by either taking electrons away from a clog, or adding electrons to the clog. This is a scientific way to say, basically – one dissolves it, and one melts it.

This means that whether an over-the-counter drain cleaner will work really does depend on what kind of clog you have, as well as what kind of pipes you have, and sometimes that’s not as straightforward as you would think. They often work just fine. However – sometimes they don’t. There is one thing we know for sure, though, and that is – if you even suspect that a clog is a result of some object going down a drain that shouldn’t be anywhere near a drain – like a piece of jewelry, or a stuffed animal – then you do need to call us. No chemical Commercial Drain Cleaner made will clear this kind of clog, but we’ll be happy to!

That said, the first thing you need to know is that using any chemical Commercial drain cleaner safely is critical. These cleaners are extremely toxic, both in terms of fumes and/or because they will corrode anything they may come in contact with. In addition, they can damage your pipes if not used carefully and according to directions. That includes older metal pipes, in addition to PVC pipes that are made of plastic and can soften or melt (many people believe that metal pipes are indestructible; they aren’t). In other words – use with extreme caution, and if you’re not sure what the clog is, or what kind of pipes you have, or whether the clog might be a diaper or not – try giving us a call first.

Why Does One Bathroom Shower Have Great Water Pressure – But The Other One Doesn’t?

If you’ve got good water pressure in one place even with a water restrictor, then you’ve got good water pressure in general, so this means it may be a different problem.

The first culprit to check, of course – is still to see if your second shower has a water restrictor. It may be a different brand of showerhead, one of the kinds that have two water restrictors rather than one, so that’s a possibility.

If you’ve checked this, and it either wasn’t there or you removed it and the problem is still there, then you’ve got a different problem (yes, there are a lot of problems here). Something else is affecting the water pressure in your second shower, and here are some possible reasons, and possible fixes:

  • Start with your showerhead; check it to see if it has a great deal of lime or mineral deposits clogging the showerhead holes. While you’re at it, check the little screen and washer inside the showerhead fitting for the same thing. If either contain minerals, soak them in vinegar overnight, and scrub them out with a stiff brush.
  • Check all the supply water valves to that shower, see that they’re fully opened.
  • If all else fails, it could be a blockage in the pipes downstairs, and it may be time to call us in to diagnose and fix the problem.

If you’ve checked all of the above and none have fixed the problem, it may be time to change the way you’re taking a shower. You can do this by:

  • Installing a high flow (2.5+pm) hand-held showerhead that comes with a flexible hose; you can do this and still keep your regular showerhead; the hand-held can be used for the rinsing issues.
  • Change the showerhead to one designed to push the water out faster by pressurizing it; they’re often called “amplifying” or “pressurized” showerheads. Unfortunately, if you have one of the popular large “rain-shower” type showerheads, they have a great many holes that are generally larger as well. While they look wonderful and – with enough water pressure – are great, they also disperse so much water so quickly that they actually lower water pressure. You will be happier with one of the amplifying showerheads designed to capture water first, and build up pressure by funneling it through smaller holes so that the water comes out at a good steady pressure. These work well.

Why Is the Water Pressure in My Shower So Low?

Low Water Pressure

Why Is the Water Pressure in My Shower So Low?

While water conservation is an important topic these days, when it comes to showers – water conservation can become a catch-22. Most people don’t want to waste water, but most people don’t like shampoo in their hair either. If it’s taking upwards of 10 minutes to rinse it out, then you’re not saving anything.

Water Pressure

What many people don’t realize is that all showerhead manufacturers are now required by the National Energy Act to produce showerheads with water restrictors (also called flow restrictors). Not only this, but these restrictors have been required for a number of years, so the chances that you’ve got a water restrictor or two in your home is almost a given, so just assume that you do.

Water restrictors are designed to limit the water flow in a showerhead to 2.5 gallons a minute, which is supposed to conserve water and save money on your energy bills. In most areas, it does accomplish those goals, because the water pressure is good to begin with. However, if you happen to live in an area where the water pressure was already low, a water restrictor is going to be problematic. If the water flow is so low that you have to spend twice the time in the shower to get the job done, it doesn’t pencil out to a savings – of your time, your money, or our water supply. You can, however, remove the water restrictor from a showerhead, and that will take care of the problem.

How to remove a water restrictor from your showerhead, one method:

If you’re handy and you have the tools, removing a water restrictor is a straightforward and pretty easy job. You’ll need an adjustable wrench, a flat-head screwdriver, and some needle nosed pliers, or maybe just something that will “pry” something out of the showerhead – like a steak knife, etc. (not very technical, but if it’s good enough fro MacGyver…)

Different brands of showerheads put their flow restrictors in different places, generally where the pipe arm connects into the wall, or between the showerhead and the pipe arm. Sometimes you’ll find them in both places, so you’ll want to check both junctures. Here are the steps:

  • Take the entire shower apparatus off – not just the head – but where it connects to the wall.
  • Look inside; you’ll see a washer and a screen, take these out carefully, you need to put them back.
  • Under the washer and screen – if you see a plastic restrictor, take it out. They’re often white, but they also come in green, pink, red, etc. It may take some prying, but it will come out.
  • Replace the screen and washer.
  • Unscrew the showerhead from the pipe – do the same thing, the same way.
  • Wherever the restrictors are, you want to take them out, replace the washer and the screens, and put your showerhead and arm back together.

How to remove a water restrictor from a showerhead, a second method:

Give us a call; we’ll be happy to come out and take care of whatever you need us to do!