Plumbing Tips

Chemical Chaos: Why Plumbers Advise Against Drain Cleaners

Chemical Chaos: Why Plumbers Advise Against Drain CleanersMost homes have a bottle of liquid drain cleaner under the kitchen sink, or at the very least, know where to pick up such a product if the need arises. After all, you can buy chemical drain cleaners just about anywhere – the supermarket, your local home improvement store, even in the home products section of many pharmacy chains. That’s because the use of chemical drain cleaners is largely regarded as standard practice, the strategy you try before you call the plumber.

Unfortunately, though widely used, chemical drain cleaners may do your plumbing more harm than good. That’s why responsible plumbers, like the professionals at Texas Plumbing Diagnostics, recommend against the use of these products. Instead, there are much safer alternatives – for your pipes and for you – that you should try instead. And when in doubt, call the plumber. We can help guide you to the right solution for your home plumbing problems.for your pipes and for you – that you should try instead. And when in doubt, call the plumber. We can help guide you to the right solution for your home plumbing problems.

Cautioning Against Chemicals

Chemical Chaos: Why Plumbers Advise Against Drain CleanersThere are a number of reasons why plumbers caution against the use of commercial chemicals when faced with a clogged drain. First, while these chemicals are purported to clean your drain, they often do so by being extremely corrosive. So while they may effectively dissolve and remove what’s clogging your drain, they also will eat away at your pipes.

Excessive use of chemical drain cleaners over time can destroy your plumbing. These products will also damage any delicate finishes used on your sinks and fixtures.

In addition to being dangerous for your pipes, liquid drain cleaners are also very harmful to your body. You’ll notice that upon opening a container of such a product that they emit fumes that may sting your eyes and nose. If you get these products on your skin, they can cause chemical burns. It’s also vital that these chemicals be locked away from small children as ingestion of these chemicals is toxic and can eat through the tissue of the esophagus and stomach.

If you do use chemicals to try to clear your drain and you are ultimately unsuccessful, it’s important that you tell your plumber. Residual chemicals in your drain can damage our tools when we come to clear your pipes. We need to know what you’ve tried in order to do our job safely.

Endangering The Environment

Much like other chemicals that we use in our daily lives, liquid drain cleaners may be hazardous to the environment. While some of the pollutants in these products are filtered out or neutralized at your local water treatment facility, others remain in the water and can endanger fish and other animals. Furthermore, due to the process of bioamplification, fish that are exposed to these products can keep them in their system and pass them along to those above them on the food chain, including humans. You don’t want to eat fish that have been exposed to drain cleaner.

Chemical-Free Clog Combat

Luckily, even with chemical drain cleaners out of the picture, there are plenty of ways to treat common household clogs. And what’s more, you probably have most of the things you need in your cabinets or closet already.

First of all, have you tried using your plunger? Plungers aren’t just for toilets, and can be very effective at removing clogs from your sinks as well. Use them just as you would in the toilet, allowing the suction to loosen the clog. This often is all you need to get things moving again.

Common table salt is also a great tool for treating clogs. Add half a cup of salt to a clogged drain, followed by boiling water. Then, continue running hot water into the drain. This may not sound very effective, but it can actually work very well for minor clogs.

Your next tool can be found among your baking supplies. By combining salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar – once again followed by boiling water – you can knock out a variety of clogs. This is a great solution to use when you’re concerned about grease buildup in your pipes (preempt this problem in the first place by disposing of grease in the garbage rather than down the drain).

The common plumbing snake is a much-underutilized tool that should be in most DIY tool kits. Though almost every house has a plunger, and you can buy a plunger just about anywhere, snakes are less common and harder to find. You’ll have to hit the hardware store to buy one of these, but it should cost you less than $30.

A snake is inserted down your drain and twisted to loosen buildup or to pull out clogs. They don’t require much expertise to use, and if you don’t snake your drain first, there’s a good chance it will be the first thing the plumber tries when you call about a clog.

An Ounce Of Prevention

Another way to sidestep the need for chemical drain cleaners is by utilizing responsible drain stewardship. Drain solids out of bowls before putting them in the sink – you’d be surprised how many clogs are caused by spaghetti – and be careful of hair, especially in your shower and bathroom sink. You can keep most of these things out of your drain by placing a simple mesh cover over your drain and cleaning it regularly.

Meet The Frontline Against Clogs

Chemical Chaos: Why Plumbers Advise Against Drain CleanersIf you’re facing a plumbing issue that resists DIY cleaning efforts, it’s time to call in the professionals. At Texas Plumbing Diagnostics, we pride ourselves on efficiency, honesty, and high-quality service, and we provide explanations and price quotes upfront so that you know the extent of any plumbing problem before we get started.

Contact Texas Plumbing Diagnostics today to speak to one of our experts about your plumbing problem. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – that means if a plumbing disaster strikes, no matter the time, we’ll be there to help. So keep calm and call Texas Plumbing Diagnostics – you’ll be glad you did.