There are few nightmarish homeowner situations worse than a clogged drain. One of the easiest solutions for this problem is a chemical drain cleaner, but did you know that these toxins can do far more harm to your plumbing than good?
How Chemicals Harm Your Pipes
Chemical drain cleaners are available in liquid, gel, foam, crystal, and powder but they all work in the same way. When you pour the drain cleaner down your sink or bathtub, the chemicals react with the clog and cause a chemical reaction that generates heat. This heat helps to dissolve the clog or liquify it so that it can slide down your drain. Unfortunately, that heat doesn’t just affect the clog; it also works on the pipes especially if they are made of plastic or an older metal.
So while this type of drain cleaner seems like the easy and convenient option at the moment, remember the problems it will cause in the future.
Why You Should Not Use a Chemical Drain Cleaner to Unclog a Drain
Health Hazard: There are many situations where chemical drain cleaning products create unhealthy fumes that can irritate a person and be poisonous. It’s unfortunate that many individuals do not read the entire label and don’t follow all of the instructions pertaining to hazardous warnings. Improper use of a chemical drain cleaner can cause health problems. The same chemicals that can dissolve tough clogs in only a matter of minutes can also severely burn you if they come into contact with your skin.
Corrosion: The chemicals contained within a drain cleaning solution are designed to be strong enough to cut through hair, grease and more. The downside it they are corrosive and can damage pipes. If they are used regularly over a period of time, the piping will eventually have to be replaced.
Environmental Hazard: Portions of chemical drain cleaners always make their way into water sources and ground areas. The containers used for packaging will always have tiny amounts of the chemical solution left in them. This can cause problems when they’re taken to a landfill.
Not Always Effective: There are many times when people could purchase and use a chemical drain cleaner only to discover it doesn’t unclog their pipes. Pipes can be clogged for a variety of reasons and not just because of a build-up of grease or other items. When this happens there is probably a tree root that has caused the back-up in the drain. Removing this will require the services of a professional with specialized equipment.
Fixture Damage: Chemical drain cleaning solutions contain strong acids. Should any of it get onto the sinks or bathtubs it will destroy the enamel-based finished. This type of damage requires the item to be replaced. It has also been known to dissolve certain types of metal and create a hole in brass traps.
Are you in need of drain cleaning in the Austin area? Contact S & D Plumbing and schedule a service today! 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
What Are Some Drain Cleaning Alternatives to Harsh Chemicals?
There are several options to choose from the next time you have a clogged drain.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda - The vinegar is an acidic chemical, and baking soda is a natural cleansing product. Mix these two ingredients over the clogged drain. The mixture will fizz. Let the mixture sit overnight. In the morning, flush the drain with hot water.
- Hot Water and Dish Soap - Boil some hot water and mix in a few tablespoons of dish soap. Then slowly pour the mixture down the drain. The hot water will help to liquefy the clog, and the soap will help it to slide down the drain.
How S & D Plumbing Can Help
If the homemade remedies don’t do the trick, don't reach for the easy chemical cleaner. It's time to ditch the DIY efforts and pick up the phone and call your local drain experts.
At S & D Plumbing all of our plumbers are experts at unclogging drains, no matter how stubborn it is. We offer emergency drain cleaning, upfront pricing, and 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. Don’t hesitate to call us the next time you have a clogged drain.