Clogged drains are a common problem in many households, and can mostly be remedied with the use of drain cleaning devices or chemicals. In most cases, the use of a plunger does the trick. Sewer snakes are the devices that are most commonly used to agitate the contents of a blocked drain. Drain cleaning chemicals are liquids that react with the contents in a clogged pipe, and break them down, thereby removing the blockage. Most commercial drain cleaning chemicals are highly toxic and corrosive; so you must follow adequate precautions when using them.
Read the Usage Instructions
A drain cleaning chemical is a very strong, corrosive liquid that must be used with extreme caution. Before attempting any cleaning, you must thoroughly read the usage instructions on the back of the package. Avoid doing anything in a hurry, as a mistake could result in serious burns.
Wear Protective Gear
Drain cleaning chemicals can react with the substances in a clogged toilet. This may result in fumes and toxic air emanating from the drain. Also, if you accidentally spill some chemical, it may land on your hands or feet and cause serious, painful burns. To prevent such situations, wear protective clothing such as a jacket and thick gloves and heavy, slip–resistant shoes. If any of the drain cleaning chemical comes into contact with your eyes, it can lead to blindness. Always wear protective eye-wear before working with drain cleaning chemicals.
Never use drain cleaning chemicals or other dangerous cleaning products if you are in an intoxicated, tired or drowsy state. Ensure that your mind is fully alert and active when you go about doing such tasks.
Keep Children and Pets Away
Never allow young children or pets in the vicinity if you are using drain cleaning chemicals. Any sudden movements or noise from them can be very distracting, not to mention the danger of toxic fumes or accidental spills.
Avoid Using Plungers or Sewer Snakes Immediately
After you pour in the drain cleaning liquid, never use a plunger or insert a sewer snake in the drain. This can cause volatile reactions and splashes that can harm you. Most drain cleaning chemicals require a time period of about 20 minutes to work. Following this, you must flush it down with warm water. If it does not work, you may have to follow up with a repeat performance.
Ensure Good Lighting, Ventilation and a Clutter Free Area
Commercial drain cleaning chemicals are not the most environmentally friendly alternative. They can emanate toxic fumes and gases, which can cause dizziness and respiratory problems. Open the windows before you start using the drain cleaning chemical, and ensure that there is a good flow of air. Also make sure that there is adequate lighting available, so you can reduce the chances of mistakes. A clutter free area also reduces the chances of slips or mistakes.
Never Mix Drain Cleaning Chemicals with Other Products or Water
To avoid dangerous chemical reactions, never mix chemical drain cleaners with water, or other cleaners. It can lead to volatile and harmful reactions, and cause serious injuries or burns.