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unclog the drain of a sink using snake auger tool

Chemical Cleaners vs. Snake Augers: Assessing the Pros and Cons of Each

When you have a blocked or slow-moving tub, shower, or sink drain, you have multiple options for clearing it. Chemical drain cleaners and snake augers are readily available for reasonable prices at local hardware and home improvement stores. For a limited cost, you can use these tools to remove buildups of grease, soap scum, hair, body oils, and more. However, they aren’t guaranteed to work for every clog, and they may cause more problems than they solve. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each.

The Benefits of Chemical Drain Cleaners

their high levels of accessibility. In addition to home improvement and hardware stores, you can find them at most grocery and convenience stores. Some are offered as thick, viscous liquids, while others come as loose powders.

Liquid drain cleaners are corrosive. They eat through soft accumulations of hair and grime on contact. Powdered drain cleaners undergo a heat-generating chemical reaction when added to water. This heat breaks clogs down. Both product types are heavier than water and can sink through standing pools to reach the blockages they’re meant to treat.

The Drawbacks of Chemical Drain Cleaners

When chemical drain cleaners can’t clear plumbing blockages, they remain trapped in pipes indefinitely. While there, they eat through organic materials indiscriminately. They can even eat through pipe walls.

If using a chemical drain cleaner doesn’t cause an immediate pipe leak, it will still undermine the integrity of your plumbing system. The more that you use these products, the greater their cumulative effects become. Frequent use of chemical drain cleaners can significantly shorten the lifespans of your pipes.

These products can cause serious injuries if they come in contact with your eyes or skin. They can also cause respiratory damage if their fumes are breathed in. They must be used in well-ventilated spaces, and you should always wear safety goggles and durable work gloves when handling them.

The Benefits of Snake Augers

Unlike chemical drain cleaners that are effective only for breaking up small, soft blockages, snake augers can pierce harder and denser materials. These mechanical drain cleaning tools are inserted into drains and extended until they hit their targets. By piercing and grinding semi-solid waste into smaller pieces, they create room for wastewater to move through. In some instances, snake augers can even pierce and snag semi-solid obstructions for manual extraction.

The Drawbacks of Snake Augers

Snake augers can’t extract or break down hard, non-degradable items. If someone in your home dropped a toothbrush or toy down your drain, using a snake auger might wedge it more firmly in place or force it deeper into your plumbing system. If used in fixtures that are still under warranty, snake augers can also cause permanent aesthetic or functional damage and void the warranty.

Although both snake augers and chemical drain cleaners are sometimes effective, it’s best to hire plumbing professionals to handle tough, stubborn clogs.

For professional drain cleaning in Savannah, GA, contact TNT today!

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