Chemical drain cleaners are touted as an alternative to paying a plumber and a quick fix to drainage woes in the bathroom and kitchen, but the truth is that these caustic substances can be dangerous to use and may even make things worse.
Harmful Solution for Clogged Drains
Marketed as an inexpensive route to relieving clogged drains and sold in every big-box retailer and hardware store around the country, drain cleaners (when they work at all) pose harm to:
- Humans. Contact with chemical drain cleaners can lead to burns and skin and eye irritation, and they can also harm the lungs if the user breathes in the fumes produced by the cleaners.
- Plumbing systems. Liquid drain cleaning chemicals work by causing a chemical reaction, resulting in heat that breaks down proteins and fats like hair and grease. The ingredients required for such a reaction are caustic and harsh, with the capability to eat away the finish on toilets and sinks, crack toilet bowls, and damage PVC or plastic plumbing pipes. In addition, these cleaners also kill the good bacteria in the plumbing system that are useful in breaking down organic matter within the drain, paving the way for larger blockages over time.
- The environment. As far as plumbing waste goes, hardly any pose a greater risk to the environment than chemical drain cleaners. These substances sink into the soil and groundwater, harming plants and animals in the local area.
A liquid drain cleaner may provide relief from some types of clogs temporarily. But, if homeowners notice recurring clogged drains, the root of the problem is not being addressed. This means that homeowners are unwittingly pouring good money down the drain and at the same time paying for the privilege of damaging their own plumbing systems.
Larger Problems Lurking?
Clogged drains are not only a hassle and an inconvenience. They can also be symptomatic of a larger problem in the works, such as tree roots infiltrating underground pipes and obstructing the flow of water. The fact that the true cause of a clogged drain can require a complex solution such as trenchless repair is just one more reason to avoid using potentially dangerous drain cleaning chemicals. Reach out for expert plumbing services from Carini’s professional plumbing team instead!