Chemical Drain Cleaners – Plumber Tips

In most instances of household drain clogs, the types of drain cleaning chemicals that can be purchased at grocery or hardware stores prove ineffective. Also, drain cleaning chemicals are dangerous to use and store in the home. The top selling drain cleaning chemicals contain caustic compounds including Lye, Hydrochloric Acid,Sulfuric Acid, or Trichloroethane.

Plumbing Tips - Chemical Drain Cleaner Warning Sign

If the chemical drain cleaners are used often, allowed to remain in the drains for excessive amounts of time, or your drain pipes are older, the corrosive effect of these chemicals can do more harm than good. Chemical drain cleaners are powerful compounds that are corrosive to cast iron, galvanized, and PVC piping and plumbing joints. These chemicals can sometimes erode your plumbing easier than they dissolve the grease, hair, food particles, paper products and other materials causing the clogged drain.

Drain pipes that are heavily clogged with hair, soap residue, grease, food items, sludge and paper products, more often than not, require a more comprehensive drain cleaning than chemical drain cleaners can provide.  The best option is to contact a professional plumbing company to assess the issue and see what mechanical drain cleaning options best fit your needs.  There are many drain cleaning tools your professional plumbing experts have at their disposal to provide a complete drain cleaning service.  For troublesome, repeated sewer line and household drain clogs, Hydro-Jetting may also be recommended.

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Reasons to Avoid the Use of Chemical Drain Cleaners

  • Skin irritation and chemical burns from contact with the chemicals.
  • Respiratory  irritation and damage from inhalation of toxic fumes generated by the chemical reactions.
  • Eye irritation and damage from unexpected splashing  or erupting out of  drain pipes.
  • Costly damage to kitchen and bath fixtures and drain pipes.
  • Negative environmental impact.
  • Hazards of storing dangerous, reactive chemicals.
  • If using a septic system, chemical drain cleaners can kill “good” bacteria that keep your system operating properly.

Chemical Drain Cleaners Are Dangerous, Expensive and Bad for The Environment

The powerful chemicals in drain cleaners are proven to be very detrimental the environment.  Normally you would not pour these types of dangerous compounds down your drain, just as you would not pour used motor oil or unused paint into a lake or in your yard.  These compounds are difficult to breakdown and can find their way into ground water.  If the cause of the blockage is a broken sewer line in the yard the chemicals can leech into the dirt, damaging trees, shrubbery and grass.

Chemical drain cleaning products can cause severe burns to eyes, irritate your skin, and the noxious vapors produced can cause nasal and lung damage if inhaled.  They are life threateningly dangerous if swallowed even in small amounts. Our plumbing experts do not recommend the use of chemical based drain cleaners. They rarely work and customers often fail to inform a plumber while inspecting and cleaning the drains that chemical drain cleaners were used and proved ineffective. This exposes the plumbers to the unexpected dangers listed above.

When factoring in the cost of the drain cleaning chemicals ($20-$50), hazards of handling and storage, potential damage to plumbing and fixtures, and the likelihood that the chemicals will not work or the clog will soon re-occur, the cost of having your drain cleaned properly by a licensed local plumbing company is minimal. Don’t pour money down the drain…literally!!  If you have concerns about a bathroom drain clog, kitchen sink clog, or clogged main sewer line, contact your plumbing experts at today for the best drain cleaning options for your needs. You can also submit a plumbing service request on our website and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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