Do you have a gurgling drain or one that’s backed up? There are a few ways to unclog a drain, but today, we’re going to look at one of the most common methods: drain cleaner. As a homeowner, you will assuredly experience a clogged drain at one point or another. Some drain cleaning methods are much more beneficial than others, so it’s best to do your research and consider the potential consequences of each method. Some drain cleaning techniques are more or less intrusive than others. When there’s a bad clog, and a plunger isn’t doing the job, many people turn to drain cleaning chemicals or solutions. Are drain cleaners bad to use, though? Let’s dive in and show you our take.
What Is A Drain Cleaner?
There are a wide variety of drain cleaning products out there. The brands and marketing may vary, but, at the end of the day, they’re all essentially the same. A traditional drain cleaning solution includes these key ingredients listed below.
Water is a natural dissolving agent, but for the sake of drain cleaner, it serves as a liquid vehicle for the active ingredients.
This chemical compound is used in water-repellent coatings and cooking oils. In drain cleaners, it is used to prevent foaming and added to break up existing foam.
Sodium hydroxide is used in many soaps and cleaners. It helps the molecules interact in a way that improves cleaning ability. This compound also adjusts pH and works as a caustic material. As a caustic, the sodium hydroxide works to dissolve organic matter that is often found in drain clogs, like hair and grease.
Sodium hypochlorite is the scientific name of bleach. Bleach works by breaking down drain clogs as well.
So, Are Drain Cleaners Bad To Use?
Here it is. The answer to the big question: should you be using drain cleaners to deal with your clogs? In short, no. Why? Well, let’s look a little deeper. When you use a drain cleaner in your plumbing, they work by heating up and dissolving the clog. This heating up can damage PVC and metal plumbing. PVC is susceptible to warping and deforming from heat. In regard to metal plumbing, the chemicals, like sodium hydroxide and bleach, cause accelerated corrosion. After corrosion starts, you will end up with cracked or busted pipes.
Not only are drain cleaners bad for your plumbing, but they’re also bad for the environment and you. These chemicals are toxins that are known to poison fish and wildlife. Also, the chemicals in drain cleaner cause severe burns, blindness, and even death. So, drain cleaning products are not to be taken lightly. Finally, these products are only a temporary fix. If you have tree roots or busted pipes causing a backup—drain cleaner won’t help.
Call The Professionals
Are drain cleaners bad to use—yes. You’ve got the answer, and now it’s time to fix your drains. At Drain Express, we are the leading authority on all plumbing and drain cleaning matters. Give us a call today, and get on the schedule.