OttawaWhat are enzyme drain cleaners

What are Enzyme Drain Cleaners?

When it comes to drain cleaning, everyone knows Drano… But have you ever heard of Enzyme Drain Cleaners?

Unlike harsh chemical drain cleaners, enzyme drain cleaners work in a way that is safe for your plumbing system, family and pets, and the environment.

Instead of using harsh chemicals like bleach or alkalines, it contains bacteria and enzymes that break down the organic material in your drains and allow them to be washed away.

Enzyme Drain Cleaners

What are Enzymes?

Enzymes are substances produced by living organisms that can cause and speed up chemical reactions.

There are different enzymes that serve different purposes and work using different processes, but generally speaking, they serve to break bigger molecules down into smaller molecules.

Now, I think I know what you’re thinking…

“But what does this have to do with drain cleaning services?”


How do Enzyme Drain Cleaners work?

According to this drain cleaning company, your drain plumbing system is a simple system that uses gravity to remove waste from your home. Considering how simple it is, it works very well and reliably.

However, as grease and food particles wash down kitchen sinks, organic waste materials flush down the toilets, and hair and skin particles wash down the shower, some of this organic matter sticks to the inside of the pipes. After years of usage, this organic matter catches more and more material, leading to unpleasant odors, slow drains, and drain clogs.

Enzyme cleaners work by introducing enzymes and bacteria into these collections of organic matter. The enzymes break down the complex organic molecules into molecules the bacteria can eat. Given enough time, these enzymatic drain cleaners may even clear bad drain clogs.

Do Enzyme Drain Cleaners really work?

The short answer is: yes. However, enzyme drain cleaners are not miracle workers.

If you have a bad drain clog, there is likely a lot of organic matter stuck in the drain. Even the best enzyme drain cleaners need some time to work their magic. As the bacteria consume the byproducts of the enzymes, they will spawn more bacteria which will spawn more bacteria. Eventually, this colony should be able to work through even a stubborn drain clog.

However, this process can take days, weeks, or even months. Nobody got time for that!

Instead, we recommend using Enzyme Drain Cleaners for maintenance drain cleaning. After all, the best cure is prevention, and regular drain maintenance is the best way to prevent calling an Ottawa drain cleaning company.

Can Enzyme Drain Cleaners unclog a drain?

Enzyme drain cleaners can clear a clogged drain if you have the time, but enzyme cleaners need a lot of time.

While enzymes are great, they’re not exactly a replacement for a professional drain service.

Unfortunately, enzymatic drain cleaners don’t work as fast as chemical drain cleaners. The process involves allowing tiny molecules and natural bacteria to eat their way through your clog. If the matter in the drain is large enough, this process could take months.

At the end of the day, the most effective drain cleaner against a clog is a physical drain cleaner: plumber snakes, rooter machines, and hydro jetters.

Can Enzyme Drain Cleaners unclog a drain?

How do you use an Enzyme Drain Cleaner?

There are more than one style of enzyme drain cleaner!

Sometimes, they come in the form of a stick that you drop into the drain. As you use the sink for washing, water will slowly dissolve the enzyme drain cleaner and introduce the enzymes and bacteria into the drains. This will help clean out some of the gunk that has accumulated and prevent clogged drains.

Another type of enzyme drain cleaner requires you to mix it with water before dumping it into the drain. As this enhanced water flows through the system, it coats the insides of your pipes in the enzymes and begins to work its magic.

Additionally, there are enzyme drain cleaners designed specifically for your septic tank. These can come in the form of a pod that you flush down the toilet, and makes its way into the septic tank. From there, it slowly works at breaking down toilet paper and helping push back the need for septic system services.

Our advice is to use enzyme drain cleaners as a form of drain maintenance. Using them is a good way to prevent a blockage, therefore preventing the need to hire a local drain plumbing company.

Pros and Cons of Enzyme Drain Cleaners

Enzyme Drain Cleaner products are pretty great, but they’re not without their faults. Read below to learn about the pros and cons of these specifically-formulated cleaning compounds.

What are the pros of Enzyme Drain Cleaners?

There are many perks to enzymatic drain cleaners, however, we must remember that they are not magic.
Some of the benefits include:

Eco Friendly

Compared to chemical drain cleaners, enzyme-based drain cleaners are an environmentally friendly alternative. Chemical-based drain cleaners use a concentrated formula of strong chemicals, like hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, to burn through clogs and grease. While effective, these chemicals don’t belong in water systems and pose a potential threat to the environment. Enzyme cleaners, on the other hand, use eco friendly ingredients and live organisms to work their magic.

Like hiring a blocked drain plumber, enzyme drain cleaners are an environmentally safe alternative to harsh chemicals!

Easy On Your Pipes

It’s not unusual for older metal pipes to have plumbing issues, but you may be asking for more issues if you use chemical cleaners. Simply put, the chemical reaction that clears blockages can also hurt your plumbing system. For example, the chemical content in many brands of drain cleaner are corrosive to Galvanized steel and cast iron pipes.

Some may argue that certain drain cleaners are less harmful on certain types of pipes, e.g. PVC pipes, but ultimately, physical drain cleaning is more effective at removing clogs and less risky to your plumbing system than a chemical liquid drain cleaner.

So, if you want to avoid a costly drain repair, you might opt for enzyme cleaners instead!

Cost Effective

Hiring professional sewer and drain cleaning services isn’t cheap, and it’s an expense we’d all prefer to live without.

Using a specially formulated enzyme cleaner on your pipes regularly can help prevent the buildup of grease, soap scum, food particles, and organic materials in your drains and sewer. Since prevention is the best cure, it’s safe to say that an enzyme drain cleaner is a useful tool to keep home maintenance costs low.

Prevent Clogs

Introducing concentrated enzymes and good bacteria cultures into your plumbing is a great way to prevent the buildup of organic materials and food waste in the pipes, and ultimately prevent needing plumbing drain services. If waste matter is breaking down before building up, you may prevent drain blockages for as long as you regularly maintain them.


Many chemical drain cleaners cause skin irritation upon contact, release toxic gas into the air, and are poisonous if ingested, making them dangerous around children and pets. Additionally, many brands are caustic drain cleaners, so, while they’re able to burn and corrode organic matter in the pipes, they’re able to do the same to you.

If you keep drain cleaners with a dangerous chemical content in your home, make sure you keep them in a place safe from children!

Like hiring a clogged drain plumber, an enzyme cleaner, on the other hand, is a much safer alternative.

Good For Septic Tanks

Unlike hiring professional plumbing drain cleaning services, using harsh chemical cleaners may clear your clog, but it can also kill the bacteria living in your septic tank, which is a big problem.

The good bacteria and enzymes used in many popular brands of drain cleaner are helpful to your septic tank, as septic systems need natural bacteria to treat wastewater.

What are the cons of Enzyme Drain Cleaners?

While these cleaning products sound magical, they’re not without their drawbacks:

Enzyme Drain Cleaners Take Time

The good bacteria and enzymes used in many popular brands of drain cleaner are helpful to your septic tank, as septic systems need natural bacteria to treat wastewater.

Using harsh chemical cleaners may clear your clog, but it can also kill the bacteria living in your septic tank, which is a big problem.

So, if you find yourself in a time-bound predicament, you may want to consider scheduling an emergency drain cleaning.

Enzyme Drain Cleaners Have A Shorter Shelf Life

Due to the fact that they use live bacteria, these drain cleaners can’t remain on shelves indefinitely. They have an expiration date, and, as such, many store chains don’t carry these products.

Only Works On Organic Matter

If a piece of plastic or metal has flushed down the toilet and caused a blockage in your plumbing system, natural plumbing cleaners won’t help. These products only eat organic matter, so anything metal, plastic, or unnatural won’t break down using these cleaners.

All this to say, if little Timmy flushed some Legos down the toilet… You’ll need to call your favourite drain service company.

Enzyme Drain Cleaners Versus Drano Versus Physical Drain Cleaning

If you’re proactively maintaining your plumbing system, an enzyme cleaner is a great way to go. Using these products once a month is a great way to keep the plumber away.

But, if you’re dealing with a clog or blockage, you probably don’t have time to wait for the enzymes to do their thing.

Our advice will sound biased, but it’s true: we advise to use physical drain cleaners. Plungers, augers, wire hangers, and ShopVacs are effective tools to remove blockages without harming your plumbing system. If you don’t have the equipment or experience, there are many companies waiting to earn your business.

While a chemical cleaner may unblock your drain today, it’s not effective in the longterm. First of all, it will likely only burn a hole through the blockage, instead of clearing it entirely. Secondly, with the possible damage to your plumbing system, we just don’t think it’s worth risking it.

If you need an Ottawa Drain Cleaner, call John The Plumber today! With our new Peace of Mind Plumbing Program, good plumbing done by licensed experts has never been so affordable!

Are You Dealing With Clogged Drains?

If you’re dealing with a blocked kitchen sink or a clogged toilet, enzyme drain cleaners might not be the solution you need today.

While these products are incredible, they need time to work – and even more time to work well.

If you’re in a bind and you need professional help, John The Plumber is here for you.

We offer drain cleaning throughout Ottawa and beyond and we’re always ready to help with same-day plumbing services.

When it comes to local emergency plumbers, nobody can help faster than John The Plumber.

We’re looking forward to offering you world class service!

Do You Need Help With Anything Else?

John The Plumber is the fast, friendly, and local plumber Ottawa residents trust with drain cleaning…

But we do much more than drain cleaning!

We have a long list of plumbing services, and I’m sure that we are the Ottawa plumbing company that can help with any residential plumbing services you may need.

In fact, we’ve even launched a program to help make expensive plumbing replacements more affordable through our rent-to-own financing program.

If you want to find out if we can help get you a water heater lease or water softener rental, call and speak to one of our rental specialists!

John The Plumber is committed to helping Canadian homeowners get the plumbing services they need, no matter what!

Our Plumbing Service Area

John The Plumber is proud to have grown and satisfied the needs of countless Ontario homeowners.

We’re excited about the opportunity to serve our neighbours far and wide, offering a level of service that few plumbing companies can match.

When you’re dealing with drain issues, remember that John The Plumber offers:

When you need a plumber, John The Plumber is the last plumber you’ll ever call!