Sewer Drain Cleaners: Advice You Can Trust
Sewer drain cleaners are devices that unclog sewer pipes. It may be a consumer product or a mechanical device that does sewer pipe cleaning.
Chemical Sewer Drain Cleaners
They can be either in liquid or solid form and are designed for licensed plumbers.
Alkaline drain openers are either in liquid or solid form and contain sodium hydroxide or may have potassium hydroxide. The solution reacts and releases a gas and create a dense foam and foaming action to coat the inside of the pipe. Solid formulations of corrosive line sewer drain cleaners provide a more concentrated solution that cause the mixture to boil and dissolved hair containing proteins and grease.
Acidic drain openers are concentrated sulfuric acid that dissolve proteins, grease and also does all tissue paper as well. This solution should slowly be added to the clogged sewer pipe in order to ensure a safe reaction.
Handheld Rodding Machine
A sewer jetter uses high pressure water to clean sewer pipes. A selection of sewer nozzles can be attached to a jetter hose that self propels itself with reverse angle water pressure through the sewer line, while cleaning pipe walls and flushing out debris.
A portable sewer jetter can be used by homeowners to clear sewer drains and to provide maintenance by sewer pipe cleaning.
Truck or trailer mounted sewer jetters are used by municipalities and vacuum truck service contractors who require powerful displacement pumps to cut and remove roots in the sewer line, catch basin cleaning, and other solid blocked sewer lines. Proper operator training is required to safely and effectively use these powerful machines.
For hard blockages such as roots, rags, etc a rodding cable is often the best way to the clear the sewer line. A water jetter works well for soft blockages such as oil, grease, or soap build up.
The smaller jetters cannot cut through a tangle of roots if the infiltration is severe. In rare instances, they can actually get stuck behind a network of roots. They can clear the sediment around roots in sewer liness that are contributing to the blocked sewer.
Vacuum truck or trailer-mounted jetters with special cutting nozzles, or mechanical drain snakes with cutting blades are used to remove roots in sewer lines.
Rodding cables with sectionals for additional inner core strength are good for long runs and heavy root infiltration. The sectionals are good because if one section breaks, the bad section is simply removed and you can continue rodding.
The drum style sewer drain cleaners work well in basements because the drum keeps the cable close to the work. However, if the end of the cable breaks, the unit can’t be used until a new end is attached or welded on.
Gas jetters work well for normal storm drain cleaning. Electric jetters with a flow rate around 2 GPM and 1,500 PSI are great for indoor work.
The average homeowner should avoid using chemicals as cleaners in sewer lines because these harsh acids and chemicals can lead to more problems for the drain line in the long run. Chemical products that are commercially sold are usually a temporary fix.
If the chemicals do not clear the line or break down the clog they can get trapped and cause acid erosion of the sewer line itself. This can increase the cost of professionally cleaning the line because the technicians may need to make further repairs and take extra safety precautions when cleaning the line.
Let the professional sewer drain cleaners do the work and maintain the long term health and functioning of a sewer line by regularly scheduling a routine sewer line inspection and cleaning. The upfront cost of regular maintenance, is a small price to pay to avoid paying thousands of dollars in pipeline repairs.