Using a Liquid Drain Cleaner can be Hazardous - Biard & Crockett

Using a Liquid Drain Cleaner can be Hazardous

Water swirling down a drain

Having a clogging drain can be a major problem. Best case scenario, your sink is draining slowly. Worst case scenario, it smells foul, is not draining, and is unhealthy for the people in your home.

As such, it is understandable that you would want to take care of it ASAP, but to do so, you should should hesitate before reaching for a bottle of liquid drain cleaner.  

First, Understand How Liquid Drain Cleaners Work

Drain cleaners come in many different forms and formulas. Despite the variety available for purchase, they all work in a similar way. After you pour them down the drain, they hit the blockage and start a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction produces heat and gas, which together dissolve and work out the clog, clearing the drain. Chemicals commonly used in these products include lye, caustic potash, peroxide, bleach, and hydrochloric acid, all of which have the potential to be very dangerous.

Why Can These Liquid Drain Cleaners Be Problematic?

When you are weighing using a liquid drain cleaner against calling a plumber for help, it would seem that the drain cleaner wins hands down. It’s cheaper than a plumbing service, and if you already have it in the house, it’s faster too. But once you understand the problems liquid drain cleaners can cause, you will understand why using them isn’t the best choice to make.

Drain Cleaners Are Toxic

All commercial drain cleaners are toxic, and the off-brand varieties are exceptionally bad. The fumes the cleaners put off when used are dangerous to inhale and can irritate the nose, throat, eyes, and lungs. These dangerous fumes are present for hours after the use of the drain cleaner, posing health problems for everyone in your home or business.

Drain Cleaners Can Damage Your Pipes

While the exact chemical formula of the drain cleaner can vary, nearly all commercial drain cleaners will have hydrochloric acid as one of the ingredients. While this chemical is highly effective at dissolving the items clogging your pipes, it is also effective at eating away at the pipes themselves. This weakens them, especially with repeated use, and can result in the need to replace the pipes much sooner than natural aging would demand.

Drain Cleaners Are Not Always a Viable Solution

Sometimes the item clogging your drain cannot be easily dissolved by a chemical solution. And in some cases, the reason your pipes are not draining correctly has more to do with a damaged pipe than a clog within it. In these cases, liquid drain cleaners are not going to help you.

Liquid Drain Cleaners Are Dangerous Around Children and Pets

While there are necessary household items that are also dangerous to children and pets, if you don’t need one of those items, why have it around and raise the risk? Liquid drain cleaners are dangerous even to smell, making them a serious hazard in homes with pets and children.

Alternatives to Liquid Drain Cleaner

Our first suggestion for dealing with a clog is to call a plumber. While it’s an extra expense, it’s actually quite affordable. However, if you want to try taking care of things yourself first, here are a few options:

  •         Try using a plunger. For sinks, use a plunger designed specifically for the sink. Never use the same plunger as you use for the toilet.
  •         Use a more natural remedy, such as baking soda and vinegar.
  •         Purchase a snake tool to work out the clog yourself.

Turn to Biard & Crockett as an Alternative

If you are ready to get professional drain cleaning service in Orange County, give us a call. Our trained plumbers are here and ready to get to work for you. No matter the reason for your drain trouble, we can offer you the solution you need.

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