Do you have a clogged drain? Don’t reach for a chemical drain cleaner. These products may seem like a quick fix, but they can cause more problems than they repair. In some cases, the drain cleaners will be completely ineffective. What makes these products so bad? And what should you do instead?
Why Chemical Drain Cleaners Are Not the Right Solution
First, the main ingredient in chemical drain cleaners is typically a corrosive acid, such as hydrochloric acid. Some products may use the base sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda or lye, as their main ingredient. Both of these active agents can produce serious damage to your pipes or plumbing fixtures. In fact, many drain cleaners expressly state to not use the product in a toilet to avoid irreparable damage. When used over time, you could also wear away the inside of your pipes.
Secondly, chemical drain cleaners are also poisonous. When used improperly, you could burn your skin, harm your eyes, inhale the noxious fumes or put your children or pets at risk of swallowing them. If you suspect that a pet or family member ingested drain cleaner, in any amount, contact a poison control center immediately.
Thirdly, if you have tree roots or other physical damage to your drain lines, the chemical clog clearing products will not work. These chemicals will only dissolve soap buildup and hair clogs. Other sources of problems need more work to clear.
Lastly, if you use chemical drain cleaners and the products don’t work, you put the plumbers who come to make repairs at risk for skin burns from the products that remain in the pipes. Your best move is to avoid using chemical drain cleaners. You have more effective options available.
What Should You Do If You Have a Clogged or Slow Drain
The simplest thing that you can do if you have a clogged or slow drain is to use a plunger. These simple devices help to loosen physical clogs and move them down the drain. However, if you cannot get your drain moving again with a plunger, you likely have a significant problem that needs a professional evaluation.
For slow or clogged drains that you cannot plunge out, call us at Plumbing Concepts at (951) 520-8590. We offer emergency services 24 hours a day, so if you have a major plumbing problem, we can handle it. From clogged drains to fixture installation, you can trust us to help you with any plumbing issues around your home.