Posted on: 24 July 2018
When dealing with a stubborn drain clog, it's easy to reach for a bottle of liquid drain cleaner. Off-the-shelf drain cleaners are typically the go-to solution when you're fed up with using a plunger but don't want to call your plumber just yet. However, liquid drain cleaners aren't as effective at removing stubborn clogs as you'd think, plus they can cause a number of other problems for your drains.
They Leave Behind Residue
Liquid drain cleaners work by eating away hair, fats and other organic materials that make up a typical drain clog. In theory, the drain cleaner eats away the entire clog, leaving behind nothing that would create a new clog. In reality, however, most drain cleaners eat a hole straight through the clog, leaving the sides of the clog untouched.
New clogs can latch onto the residue left behind by old clogs previously busted with liquid drain cleaners. The only effective way of knocking out drain clogs for good is to clean the drain pipe thoroughly. That means a proper cleaning with a plumbing snake or a hydro jet designed to blast residue from pipe walls.
They Can Ruin Drain Pipes
Liquid drain cleaners can do more than just eat away the stuff that's stuck to your drain pipes. The caustic concoction of lye and other acidic or alkaline chemicals can also do a serious number on your pipes. Residue left behind by liquid drain cleaners can slowly eat away at copper plumbing, creating pinhole leaks and overall corrosion that eventually causes pipe failure.
Liquid drain cleaners also have the potential to destroy PVC piping. The active chemicals in liquid drain cleaners create an exothermic reaction as they eat away at the organic matter, which can cause plastic pipes to deform or even melt from the excess heat. Stainless steel and aluminum sink fixtures can also suffer severe damage if they come into contact with caustic drain cleaners.
They're Too Toxic to Handle
If liquid drain cleaners can do a number on organic clogs and metal pipes, then imagine what they can do to unprotected skin. There's a good reason why gloves and eye protection are commonly recommended when handling liquid drain cleaners.
Simply using liquid drain cleaners can be dangerous due to the risk of accidental contact through splash-back and spillage. Drain cleaners can burn skin on contact and the fumes generated during their use can also cause eye and nasal damage. Mixing two different types of drain cleaner together, even by accident, can create a potentially explosive chemical reaction that causes serious injuries.
If you're at your wits end dealing with a stubborn clog, you're better off calling a professional plumber. You can find one simply by searching google with local terms like "residential plumbing new orleans la" for your area. Your plumber has the tools and expertise to easily deal with drain clogs without damaging your plumbing system or putting your home at risk.Share