It can be extremely stressful to find out that one of your drains is slow or clogged, especially if it’s happening on a regular basis. For some people, calling a professional plumber might not be the first thing that springs to mind. After all, it’s easier and cheaper to grab a standard bottle of household liquid drain cleaner from under the sink.
Before you reach out for that drain cleaner, know that you have the better option of calling professional plumbers instead. At the end of the day, these drain cleaners might clear clogs today, but may cause serious harm to your plumbing system in the future.
Protect Your Pipes
Typically, household liquid drain cleaners contain hydrochloric acid, which will create a chemical reaction inside your pipes. This reaction will generate heat that can cause major damage to your plumbing system.
You will need to exercise particular caution when using liquid drain cleaners to clear a clog. If the drain cleaner doesn’t completely dissolve the clog, or takes a long time to do so, the liquid chemicals will be sitting above the blockage for an extended period of time.
The heat reaction that naturally occurs will then be concentrated in one small area of your pipe. If you have plastic pipes, this intense reaction could melt and deform the material, and in metal pipes the heat can weaken and crack them. Although a metal pipe is more resilient to damage than a plastic one, a chemical reaction could cause a leak in the future. Either reaction could cause an issue that’s more serious than a simple blockage later down the line, so it’s much better to call a plumber to resolve the issue the right way.
Watch Your Health
With all these harmful effects on your plumbing system, it’s not surprising that drain cleaners can have devastating effects to your health as well. Upon contact or inhalation of these fumes, you might experience irritation to your eyes, nose, throat and lungs. If you’re not careful, splashes on any part of your body can cause burns.
Don’t try to save money by using strong unclogging chemicals that may harm you as well as damage your drain pipes. What you may end up with is paying for a drain cleaner, a much bigger drain pipe repair down the line, plus a substantial medical bill. You’re sure to find it much cheaper to call an experienced plumber to get the issue resolved professionally.
Drain Cleaner Poisoning, MedlinePlus.gov
How Drain Cleaners Work, HowStuffWorks.com