Are Chemical Cleaners Bad for Commercial Drains?

Are Chemical Cleaners Bad for Commercial Drains?

A clogged drain is a major headache, not to mention unhygienic. Maintaining clear drains, waste lines, and product conveyance lines are challenging for maintenance personnel. Among these are sink, shower, tub, toilet, floor drains, main waste lines, and sewer lines. These tasks can be accomplished by maintenance professionals using various drain cleaners. They are force cups, plungers, dual-action force pumps, closet augers, drain augers, kinetic water rams, power jetters, and electromechanical cable drain cleaners.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners use extremely corrosive chemicals to clean drains. These chemicals “eat” through materials such as hair, soap, grease, etc. These drain cleaners can be harmful and require careful handling and storage. Some ingredients commonly found in these drain cleaners include sulfuric acid and lye. The chemical reaction caused by these chemical drain cleaners dissolves the materials that clog pipes and hinder proper drainage. These chemicals can be dangerous as they are generally skin irritants and can cause severe burns or blindness. The toxic vapors from some chemical drain cleaners can also be harmful.

Chemical drain cleaners, when used regularly, can corrode or damage the plumbing connected to the drains. Additionally, chemical drain cleaners in high enough concentrations can harm the microbial bacteria necessary to maintain septic systems.

Further, chemical drain cleaners can be harmful to the environment as these toxic chemicals are flushed through the drainage system and eventually into the ground or healthy water.

Chemical Precautions

If used without caution, a chemical drain cleaner can be hazardous to the operator. Handling a chemical drain cleaner with safety in mind will guarantee you can complete your task without getting hurt.

When using the drain cleaner, make sure you never come in physical contact with the chemicals. It is highly suggested that the user wear a pair of rubber gloves and protective goggles if any chemicals splash out of the drain. After the operation, be sure to avoid the drain area as chemicals are likely to bubble up, releasing harmful fumes and liquids.

It would be best to never use a chemical drain cleaner on the garbage disposal. The chemicals can linger in the garbage disposal after the work is done on the drain. If someone decided to turn on the disposal, chemicals could slash and cause bodily harm.

While operating with chemical drain cleaners, be sure to avoid using a plunger. Plungers have the potential to pull up the used chemicals, which could spill on the operator. This applies both during and after using a chemical drain cleaner.

It is essential not to mix different types of drain cleaners. Mixing chemicals can be a dangerous concoction, especially if mixing an alkali cleaner and an acid cleaner. The mixture has the potential to be explosive.

Do not use chemical drain cleaner on a completely clogged drain. The chemicals will remain on top of the clog and further increase the difficulty of removing the clog.

Next Steps:

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