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Plumbing

Why You Shouldn’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaner

By August 20, 2019March 9th, 2020No Comments

When experiencing a clogged drain, it’s easy to run to the store and grab your favorite drain-cleaning product. There are lots of brands to choose from, and most can be purchased for under $10. Even so, these products can end up causing more harm than good, and using them could result in expensive damage that makes the inexpensive price tag of the product irrelevant. It’s important to understand the effects of using drain-cleaning products, so we’ve outlined 3 vital reasons why you should never use chemical drain cleaners.

1. The Products Just Don’t Work Well

Drain cleaners are meant to be a temporary solution, and even then, they don’t often work. The reason these products don’t usually work well is because they function on chemical reactions alone — there is no physical force (other than the water draining down the pipes) to break up the clog. The main ingredient in drain cleaning products is usually lye, which breaks down organic material using chemical reactions. If whatever is clogging your pipes is not organic, drain cleaner will not work.

2. Toxic Chemicals

When drain-cleaning products are used, chemical reactions take place, causing lots of foaming and heat that your drains aren’t meant to handle. These chemicals aren’t good for your pipes and they definitely are not good for people. The ingredients in liquid drain-cleaning products are designed to destroy organic material — meaning they are extremely harmful to your skin, eyes, hair, etc. Splashing this product onto yourself, even by accident, is very dangerous. Not to mention what can happen if accidentally mixed with other chemicals. These products sit in your drain for quite some time in order to (attempt to) dissolve the clog, and if another product, such as a cleaning product containing ammonia, is poured down the drain, this could result in a chemical reaction that produces harmful vapors and possibly even explosive liquid.

3. Damage to Pipes

Pipes are not meant to experience all of the effects of the chemical reactions that occur from using chemical drain cleaner. These chemical reactions create excessive heat, and since the product sits in your drain, your pipes will be exposed to this heat for an extended amount of time. If your pipes are made of PVC, this can be especially harmful. In addition to the harmful chemicals, this excessive heat can break down pipes faster.

Arguably the most harmful use of drain cleaner is to use these products in toilets. The chemicals can break down the wax rings on toilets, which would result in toilet water leaking onto the floor, plus the expense of getting this fixed. It will save you time and trouble in the long run to stay away from chemical drain cleaner.

When in Doubt, Call a Professional

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to stay away from chemical drain-cleaning products. It’s always a good idea to get help from a professional to ensure the safety of your pipes and yourself. We can save you time and energy — call us at Lowery if you’re experiencing slow or clogged drains and we’ll repair each one for only $49.50!

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