Why Do Plumbers Advise Against Drain Cleaners?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
Common causes for boiler repairs

Most homeowners hold onto a bottle of liquid drain cleaner in case they have to deal with a clog. The use of chemical drain cleaners is largely considered a standard practice. Many people try to use these cleaners before they contact a professional plumber for help.

Although chemical drain cleaners are widely used, they may do more harm than good. Professional plumbers often advise against using chemical drain cleaners because they are damaging to the environment and your health. It is important to understand other options for getting rid of clogs, including preventing them.

Why chemical drain cleaners should be avoided

Plumbers caution against using chemical drain cleaners for several reasons. These cleaners are said to clear your drains, but they often do this by being powerfully corrosive. Although many drain cleaners will effectively dissolve a clog, they will damage your pipes while doing so. Excessive use of chemical drain cleaners will destroy your plumbing over time and can damage special finishes on your sink or fixtures.

These drain cleaners are also dangerous to your health. After opening a container of drain cleaner, you will notice that it emits fumes. These fumes may irritate your eyes and nose. If the products make contact with your skin, you could get chemical burns. If you have any of these products, they must be locked away from small children. Ingesting drain cleaner is toxic as it eats away at the tissues of the esophagus and stomach.

Drain cleaners are damaging to the environment

Like any of the chemicals we use in our daily lives, drain cleaners can be hazardous to the environment. Some of the pollutants in drain cleaners are filtered out or neutralized at a water treatment facility, while others remain in the water. The chemicals left behind can endanger fish and other animals.

Chemical-free options for battling drain clogs

There are many ways to treat a common household clog without having to use chemical drain cleaners. In fact, you may already have what you need in your cabinet. The first step in dislodging a clog is using a plunger, which can be used for toilets, sinks, and bathtub clogs. If the plunger does not work, there are a few more things you could try.

Table salt is a great tool for unclogging a drain. Add a half cup of salt to the drain, followed by boiling water. Afterward, continue to run hot water to clear the clog and mixture. This process can be an effective way to deal with minor clogs. Another option is combining salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. You should follow these ingredients with boiling water as well. This solution helps dissolve away grease buildup in your pipes. Finally, you can use a common plumbing snake to loosen a clog or pull the clog out.

Preventing drain clogs is key

Prevention is yet another way to sidestep the need for a chemical drain cleaner. Always clean solids off of dishes before placing them in the sink. Be mindful of hair in your shower and bathroom sink as well. You can keep these things out of your drains by simply using a mesh cover. These tools can be purchased at just about any store with home goods. Be sure to clean the covers regularly.

Need the help of a professional plumber?

Some clogs are too tough to remove on your own. If you have a clog in your drain that requires professional help, contact the experts at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas today. We offer commercial, heavy industrial, and residential services throughout the Texas Panhandle and Tri-State area, including Amarillo, Borger, Dumas, and Pampa. Feel free to give us a call at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email for more information. You can also stop by our location at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo to learn more about how we can help you.