Why You Should Avoid Using Chemical Drain Cleaning Solutions To Unclog Your Drain


Chemical drain cleaners can clear out clogs fairly quickly, but they’re hard on plumbing pipes and can be hazardous to a private septic system. If a homeowner believes they must be used to get rid of a clogged drain, they should be used by a professional plumber. For harsh cleaners can not only corrode pipes, but can play havoc with the human body.

Chemical drain cleaners can be powder, liquid or gel and come in three types. There are those that contain caustic potash and lye. They work by donating electrons to the clog, much like an antioxidant donates electrons to a free radical molecule. This loosens the clog and allows it to be cleared away. They also produce heat that makes it easier for grease to be flushed down the drain. Because they're heavy, these cleaners can also be used in a sink or tub full of standing water.

Other drain cleaners have bleaches, nitrates and peroxides that oxidize the clog by taking away electrons. These cleaners can also be used through standing water. The next category of cleaners are acids and are used by professional plumbers. They are usually made of hydrochloric or sulfuric acid. They also take electrons away from the clogging material and produce heat.

The heat produced by some of these cleaners can weaken PVC, which many residential plumbing pipes are made out of. The cleaners can even injure metal plumbing, especially if it’s old and not in good shape. The risk of damage is higher if the cleaner is used incorrectly. Chemical drain cleaners can even explode if they’re carelessly used.

Harsh chemical cleaners can also kill bacteria in septic systems and corrode fixtures like faucets, handles and even metal sinks. The cleaners, of course, are very harmful if they come into contact with mucous membranes or are swallowed. If the homeowner must use these cleaners, he or she should wear protective gloves and goggles and make sure that the doors and windows of the room are open to allow air to circulate.

Dealing with a clogged drain in your Lakeland home? Call Samco Plumbing Inc at (863) 509-1718 and let us take care of it for you!

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