The Truth About Chemical Drain Cleaners
- Drain Cleaning
It’s so easy. You see water standing around in the sink or you stand in ankle-deep bathwater and your first impulse it to grab the bottle of drain cleaner. It’s got some nasty sounding chemicals on the label, smells like it could burn a hole through anything, and the pipe in the picture is crystal clear – so it must work!
But before the goop from the bottle hits your drains, there are few facts you should know. While the type of chemical drain cleaners you can find in the grocery store can be effective for some minor clogs, when used frequently or in large quantities they can cause problems with your plumbing.
Three of the most common issues that can be caused by chemical drain cleaners are:
Effectiveness and Cost
Perhaps the most obvious reason to avoid using chemical drain cleaners in your home is their general lack of effectiveness. While some of them might seem to solve your problem, at least temporarily, if you don’t know what’s causing your clog, you might actually be making your problem worse. That’s not to mention their cost. Some brands of chemical drain cleaners can cost as much as $8 or $9 per bottle. That’s a lot of cash to be pouring down the drain.
Depending on what your pipes are made of, some chemical agents can corrode, or even eat right through, plumbing. Stainless steel or PVC pipes, for example, are not compatible with some chemical agents. If you’re not sure what your pipes are made of, it’s probably best to call a plumbing professional to inspect before pouring chemicals down the drain. Corrosion caused by chemicals, in and of itself, can cause blockages. And chemical drain cleaners, when used often, can leave behind a sticky residue that can actually cause clogs.
Safety and Environmental Concerns
Chemical drain cleaners are meant to break down organic matter like hair, paper and grease so it shouldn’t be surprising that they contain compounds that can cause serious burns when they come in contact with your skin or eyes. People with pets and small children should be especially cautious if they keep chemical drain cleaners in their homes. These drain cleaners can also cause damage to the environment. After they’ve been poured down the drain, they can eventually work their way into lakes, rivers and ground water, harming birds, insects, small animals and plant life.
Save your money, you’ve earned it. If you suspect a clog, contact Lake Cook Plumbing for the correct cure. We treat our customers plumbing like our own. We can’t wait to hear from you!