Why Chemical Drain Cleaners are Bad for Your Plumbing

Why Chemical Drain Cleaners are Bad for Your Plumbing

Chemical drain cleaners sound like a convenient way to solve a very inconvenient household problem. However, like many things that sound very good, the actual facts tell a different story.

Every year, homeowners are faced with replacing household plumbing components because corrosive drain cleaners have irreparably damaged the pipes. The cost of replacing damaged pipe—not to mention the inconvenience—far exceeds what calling in a qualified professional plumber to clear the clog properly in the first place would have been.

Here are some reasons why chemical drain cleaners aren’t the best way to resolve clogged plumbing issues:

  • Liquid drain openers rely on heat and expanding hydrogen gas inside your plumbing to break up the clog. The product formula necessary to produce these forces typically includes strong lye, potash, chlorine bleach and other very corrosive chemicals.
  • The heat and pressure reaction not only stresses pipes, the corrosive liquids that produce the reaction are indiscriminate and react with metal pipes and other plumbing components, weakening the material and causing early pipe failure. This is especially true when the chemical cleaner fails to open the clog and corrosive substances remain in the pipe for hours.
  • Corrosive drain openers can be hazardous. The strong chemical reaction can erupt up out of the drain, causing burns on anyone it may contact. Fumes released from the reaction down in the pipes are also toxic.

Better Alternatives

If a drain clogs, first try a sink plunger to dislodge the blockage. Remove any debris and fill the sink with 3 to 5 inches of water. Make sure the plunger seals against the surface of the sink, then plunge vigorously straight up and down for 20 to 30 seconds. Pull the plunger straight up off of the drain forcefully afterwards to generate final extra suction.

If plunging fails, contact a qualified professional plumber. He or she will arrive with the proper tools to quickly clear the clog and restore proper drain function, without risk of damage to your pipes.

Don’t risk the hazards and potential expense of chemical drain cleaners. For professional service to open clogged drains, contact Aggressive Mechanical.

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