There is never a good time to discover a clog or slow clearing drain in your home. And it is understandable that when you notice the signs of an issue, like a gurgling drain, you make a mental note to address the issue. But where your plan goes in the wrong direction is when you add a jug of chemical drain cleaner to your shopping list. The better option is to call your trusted licensed plumber for a professional drain cleaning. Because you could get much more than you bargained for from that bottle of chemicals you are going to purchase. And you are probably still going to need some help from your plumber.
Read The Warnings
If you read the fine print on any bottle of chemical drain cleaner, there are a litany of safety warnings. And that should be your first red flag. If the liquid is harsh enough to burn your skin and can potentially cause blindness if it splashes in your eyes, it might not be suitable for your plastic drain lines. And then there are the fumes. The warning says to use only in a well-ventilated space. So unless you have a massive bathroom, open the windows, turn on the exhaust fan, and try not to breathe the fumes as you dump these chemicals down the drain.
What Is Really In That Jug?
Most of the chemical drain cleaners found in stores contain hydrochloric acid and other acidic compounds. They are designed to eat away at the clog in your home’s drain pipe. Many also create heat as part of the chemical reaction. And you might think that your pipes are safe, but that is not always the case. The clog stops the chemicals from flowing through the line. Instead, they are all contained in a small section of the pipe at the clog’s location. And with only a tiny amount of the clog accessible, the chemicals begin dissolving your drain pipe and the clog. And as you might guess, the pipe is much thinner than the clog. Even copper drain lines can be damaged by these chemicals if used repeatedly.
Your Health Risks
The label clearly points out, in very fine print, that these liquids are potentially hazardous to your health. They recommend gloves and calling poison control or medical professionals if this toxic mixture comes into contact with your skin. And the fumes are also a serious concern. Exposure can lead to irritated eyes and nose as well as breathing issues. And even though the liquid goes down the drain, the fumes can linger in your home for days, causing problems for you, your loved ones, and even your domestic pets.
A Temporary Fix At Best
A drain clog is very dense. If water cannot flow through the clog, assume that drain cleaner is not permeating it either. So the potential for the chemicals to dissolve the clog is minimal. You might gain a small amount of drainage, but the solution is short-term at best. And in some cases, the damage to your drain could be the reason you call your plumber. You think the clog is removed. But in reality, the water is not leaking from the drainpipe where the chemicals damaged it. When you discover this issue, you are going to will you have just called in a pro in the first place.
Don’t let chemical drain cleaners destroy your home’s drain lines. Call (301) 278-8786 at the first sign of trouble. A A Better Plumber licensed plumber will locate and safely remove any clogs in your home.