2 Reasons To Stop Using Chemical Drain Cleaner

Posted on: 22 May 2015

If you are like most people, you might reach under your kitchen sink when you first notice a slow drain. After all, since that bottle promises to free clogs, why wouldn't you give it a try? Unfortunately, chemical drain cleaners aren't meant for every type of clog, and you might even make things worse. Here are two reasons to stop using chemical drain cleaners:

1: It Might Create A Dangerous Environment

To free clogs, chemical drain cleaners rely on a mix of caustic chemicals, such as sodium hypochlorite, lye, and sulfuric acid. Unfortunately, if these chemicals aren't effective against physical drain clogs, they might create a dangerous environment in your bathroom. Standing water filled with drain cleaner could be harmful to these people:

  • Children: Kids get curious about everything, and your clogged bathtub is no exception. Unfortunately, if your tiny tot decides to take a swim in that vat of standing water, they could end up with serious chemical burns.
  • Professional Plumbers: If chemical drain cleaner doesn't free the clog, you might have to contact a professional plumber to resolve the issue. Standing drain cleaner might make it more difficult for professionals to use tools to auger the pipe, because they will have to be more careful around the chemicals.

Instead of using chemical drain cleaner, do everything you can to remove the physical clog before whipping out that bottle. Common physical removal techniques include sucking the clog out with a shop vacuum, or using an inexpensive zip tool to pull hair out of drains.  

2: It Could Damage Your Plumbing

If dangerous situations aren't enough to prompt you to stop buying chemical drain cleaner, consider the fact that they could damage your permanent plumbing. Some drain cleaners work by combining chemicals with aluminum shavings to generate heat—sometimes raising the temperature of standing water to a boil. Unfortunately, this exothermic reaction can soften PVC plumbing, making it more susceptible to cracks or fractures down the road. Believe it or not, drain cleaners can even corrode older metal pipes, potentially causing oxidation, pinhole leaks, and floods.  

To make matters even worse, people typically leave chemical drain cleaners sitting in place for long stretches of time—where they can rest inside of pipes and corrode areas quickly. To avoid trouble, contact a plumber, such as http://www.orangecoastplumbing.net, the next time you encounter a difficult clog. In addition to saving you time, working with a professional might also help you to protect your family and your plumbing.