Drain Cleaner and Drain Cleaning

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Drain Cleaning In Action

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Drain Cleaners in Industrial Facilities

One of the most common causes of clogged floor drains is mop water, which contains a substantial amount of contaminants. With weekly and even daily mopping of floors in some warehouses and storage facilities, sludge and solids can accumulate over time and eventually cause a drain clog. Manufacturing floors can also see a large build-up of discarded scraps and packaging material, much of which will eventually find its way down the floor drains. Consistent, periodic maintenance is recommended to keep drains in their optimal operating condition.

 

Drain Cleaners in Clothes Washing Operations

Livery cleaning services, dry cleaners and coin-operated laundries produce an extremely high volume of liquids that contain soaps, chemicals, hair and other random solids, all of which place high demands on a drainage system. The cost of a blockage, both in terms of financial costs and customer service, can be enormous. So proper preventative maintenance of these drainage systems is critical.

 

Drain Cleaners in Health Clubs and Recreational Facilities

Health and fitness clubs, campgrounds and day-use recreation areas require properly functioning sink and floor drains for dependable operation of showers, bathrooms, locker rooms and outdoor faucets. The combination of dirt, hair, sand, food, mop water and soap create ideal conditions for a drain clog. Also consider that urinals and toilets can back up and introduce human waste and unsanitary bacteria into the floor drain.

Drain Cleaners in Hospitals

Hospitals and many healthcare facilities require the professional use of a cable auger to ensure proper drain cleaning. Sterile conditions in hospitals are critical to the success of patient treatment and recovery. For this reason, drain cleaning is important in any hospital maintenance plan. Regular monitoring and remediation of drain problems is a necessity to head off any blockage problems. Drain cleaning ensures that stagnant water, a breeding ground for germs and water contamination, is minimized.

Drain cleaning will eliminate flushed materials, tree roots, and deposit buildup from the drainage system. These blockages often lead to slow-draining drains, and may ultimately result in flooding. Both can be remediated through drain cleaning, which restores the flow of water.

 

Drain Cleaners in Commercial Kitchens

Commercial kitchens face unique challenges in drain cleaning. In addition to common blockages like dirt, tree roots, etc. these kitchens also have fat, oil and grease drainage, compounding problem build-ups. It is very important for staff in commercial kitchens to pay attention to the functioning of their drainage systems. In fact, it is not uncommon for commercial kitchens to perform prophylactic drain cleaning to prevent clogs before they happen.

Kitchen floor drains get dirty over time when dust, food, fat, oil, grease, and debris enter the drains along with dirty water. Also, sinks often overflow, resulting in more contaminants being forced down floor drains. This environment causes bacteria growth and corrosion, emphasizing the need for routine drain cleaning.

 

Drain Cleaners in Hotels

Hotels' drain systems experience a high volume of activity, which increases the likelihood that blockage issues will arise. Repeated maximization of drain capacity puts a strain on the system; increasing the possibility that flooding and/or poor drainage may occur. Therefore, it is critical that hotel staff have a preemptive drain cleaning program.

Drain cleaning must be done often before flooding occurs and damages carpets, floors, and ceilings. Another area of concern for many hotels is the basement. Here, there are usually many storage areas, water heaters, laundry services and central air conditioners. Drain cleaning can prevent the buildup of large quantities of lint and bacteria that crystallize in the long drainpipe located in the basement.

 

Drain Cleaners in Schools

Schools also face unique challenges in maintaining optimum drainage capacity. Frequent bathroom visits by students, as well as cafeterias' drainage needs, demand a well-operating drainage system, ensured by frequent drain cleaning. Student toilets often overflow due to overstuffing, flushing of foreign objects, and running water. Quick drain cleaning fixes like plunging are not a long-term solution. The use of chemical drain cleaning is also not practical for an environment used mostly by children.

 

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 serious burns or blindness. The toxic vapors from some of these 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 help maintain septic systems.

Further, the use of 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 well water.

Chemical Drain Cleaner Precautions

A chemical drain cleaner, if used without caution, 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 the user wear a pair of rubber gloves and protective goggles in case any chemicals splash out of the drain. After the operation, be sure to avoid the drain area as chemicals are likely to bubble up, which releases harmful fumes and liquids.

You should never use a chemical drain cleaner on a garbage disposal. The chemicals can linger in the garbage disposal after the work was 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 chemical drain cleaner.

It is very important not to mix different types of drain cleaner. Mixing chemicals can be a dangerous concoction especially if you mix an alkali cleaner and an acid cleaner together. 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.

Types of Chemical Drain Cleaners

 

Acid Drain Cleaners

Acid drain cleaners typically contain sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid. The chemical reaction between the acidDrain Cleaning Pulse Jetter 600 and the blockage materials along with the heat released by the reaction ('heat of solution') serve to break down the blockage. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is recommended when handling acid drain cleaners. This includes wearing goggles or a face shield and rubber gloves.

Acid drain cleaners are simply poured into the drain and allowed to sit for several minutes while they go to work. Carefully follow all of the manufacturer's instructions provided on the label and any enclosed literature. Store unused chemical in a container that has a child proof closure. Keep chemicals away from children and other unauthorized users.

Follow the manufacturer's directions for safe disposal. If acid drain cleaner is accidentally spilled on a person or it gets into the mouth or eyes, follow these first aid instructions:

  • Skin - Wash immediately with copious amounts of water
  • Eyes – Flush immediately with water for 15 minutes. Remove contact lenses after 5 minutes if applicable
  • If Swallowed – Drink water and do not induce vomiting

Call a doctor or poison control center.

 

Caustic Drain Cleaners

Caustic drain cleaners typically contain caustic soda, sodium hydroxide, lye and other such compounds. Caustic drain cleaners work similarly to acid drain cleaners in that they cause a reaction. With caustic drain cleaners, hydroxide ions cause the reaction in which alkaline chemicals convert grease into a water soluble soap-like substance.

Caustic drain cleaners are available in both liquid and powder forms. Liquid forms and are usually made of dissolved sodium hydroxide which makes them heavier than water. This aids in getting the cleaner to the clog. Powdered cleaners usually contain sodium hydroxide and aluminum particles which release small quantities of hydrogen gas. Caustic drain cleaners need to be located close to the blockage and be chemical reactive with the material forming the clog to perform well.

Carefully follow all of the manufacturer's instructions provided on the label and any enclosed literature. Store unused chemical in a container that has a child-proof closure. Keep chemicals away from children and other unauthorized users.

Follow the manufacturer's directions for safe disposal. If caustic drain cleaner is accidentally spilled on a person or it gets into the mouth or eyes, follow these first aid instructions:
Skin - Wash immediately with copious amounts of water.

  • Eyes - Flush immediately with water for 15 minutes. Remove contact lenses after 5 minutes if applicable
  • If swallowed - Drink water and do not induce vomiting
  • Call a doctor or poison control center

 

Oxidizing Drain Cleaners

Oxidizing agents include peroxides, hypochlorites, chlorates and perchlorates and when they react with the blockage material, they acquire electrons from the organic compounds that make up the clog. This reaction can be quite vigorous and may release heat and gasses

Carefully follow all of the manufacturer's instructions provided on the label and any enclosed literature. Store unused chemical in a container that has a child-proof closure. Keep chemicals away from children and other unauthorized users.

Follow the manufacturer's directions for safe disposal. If caustic drain cleaner is accidentally spilled on a person or it gets into the mouth or eyes, follow these first aid instructions:
Skin - Wash immediately with copious amounts of water.
Eyes – Flush immediately with water for 15 minutes. Remove contact lenses after 5 minutes if applicable.
If Swallowed – Drink water and do not induce vomiting
Call a doctor or poison control center.

Enzymatic Drain Cleaners

 

Enzymatic drain cleaners metabolize materials in the blockage by means of biological and enzymatic chemical reactions.Pulse Jetter 1400 Drain Cleaner Equipment They are formulated using bacterial cultures and enzyme preparations. They are generally slower than acid, caustic and oxidizing cleaners and they only work on organic materials. They do not produce thermal effects to the degree that the other chemical drain cleaners do.

Most manufacturers warn of harm from skin or eye contact and swallowing even though enzymatic drain cleaners are non-corrosive. All manufacturer's warnings and instructions must be closely followed.

Mechanical Drain Cleaners

In commercial and institutional facilities, drain systems are larger and more complex than in homes and mechanical drain cleaners are widely used. It is often necessary to reach a clog that is quite a distance from the cleaning access point. In addition, commercial drain cleaning applications frequently involve larger diameter piping which requires more aggressive cleaning methods. Also, many of the obstructions found in commercial drain systems are not organic in nature so they do not lend themselves to chemical cleaning.

Hand Operated Drain Augers

Hand operated drain augers are useful for cleaning clogs in drains of sinks, showers and toilets. They have limited reach, however, and are limited in power to the strength of the user. Augers are useful for retrieving blockages that cannot be broken up or dissolved, such as fabric. They use a spring-like cable with various cleaning heads mounted on the end.

Motor Driven Drain Augers

Motor driven drain augers come in a variety of sizes and types ranging from those driven with a hand held electric drill to fully automated dolly-mounted units. With some motor driven drain augers, the cable is fed manually and the cable rotation is provided by the motor. These units can deliver a large amount of torque and are capable of removing stubborn clogs - even tree roots. Other motor driven drain augers have a mechanism that feeds the cable into the drain as well as provide cable rotation. These are the types of machines used by professional plumbers and drain cleaning contractors. They require significant training and can be dangerous in the hands of a novice.

Pulse Jetter Drain Cleaner

Pulse jetters are an outgrowth of the pressure washer industry. Early pulse jetters were composed of a standardPulse Jetter 1400-60 Cleaning Drains pressure washer of about 1000 PSI fitted with a drain cleaning hose and nozzle. Today's pulse jetters are specifically made to clean drains. Their pumps are equipped with a special valve that allows the operator to disable one pump cylinder, thereby creating pressure pulses that effectively break up blockages and assist in maneuvering the nozzle through traps and tees. Special nozzles are available for going around corners, piercing blockages, and propelling the nozzle down the pipe using water pressure.

Pulse jetters are very useful for preventive drain maintenance programs where regular, scheduled drain cleaning is performed to keep drainage systems operating efficiently without the risks and dangers associated with chemical drain cleaners.

Goodway's Pulse Jetter Drain Cleaning System

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Goodway's Custom Designed Drain Cleaning Solutions

Goodway has the drain cleaners and accessories to help with your commercial and industrial maintenance, whether it is a power jetter drain cleaner or a cable drain cleaner. A Goodway drain cleaner features heavy-duty construction of heavy gauge steel, stainless steel and aluminum for reliability and long life. Goodway has a drain cleaner to serve all of your different drain cleaner applications, including our Pulse Jetter Drain Cleaner. We will also help you find the drain cleaner that best serves your needs.

View Goodway's Drain Cleaning Products

Goodway Technologies Corporation

Goodway Technologies Corporation was founded in 1966 by Per K. Reichborn. Since its earliest days, the company has built a reputation for manufacturing the highest quality cleaning systems in the world. "This commitment" says Reichborn, "not only extends to our manufacturing, but to everything we do, every day, for every product and service. Achieving this high quality of performance is the shared responsibility of each employee in every department." Today, Goodway products span the globe. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, Goodway equipment is used in over 125 countries and on every continent, including Antarctica.

To view a complete line of Goodway drain cleaners or to receive more information about or purchase a Goodway drain cleaner, please register to receive a quote or contact Goodway Technologies Corporation at 1 800 333-7467.