You discover a clog in your sink or shower and in an effort to save time and money opt for a chemical drain cleaner. But not so fast! There are many consequences to using such a product, leaving your plumbing situations way worse off. In most cases, you would be better off contacting a drain service for emergency plumbing help.
Here are the five worst hazards of using chemical drain cleaners:
1. Eats pipes
The pipes in your home are important, responsible for draining wastewater away from your home and into a sewer or septic system. Therefore, you need to keep them in good shape and not deposit anything into them that would harm them. This is exactly what chemical drain cleaners do.
Chemical drain cleaners may be occasionally successful in eating away at the material that is causing the clog. However even if it flushes it all down, remnants of the drain cleaner will remain in your pipes and sit there. These cleaners have harsh chemicals in them that can eat away at your pipes, causing bigger problems that you started with.
2. Environmental hazard
You have a blockage in a drain that you could not unclog with a plunger or hot water. So, naturally you turn to a drain cleaner because you have had success with this in the past. However, you may not be so inclined to use it even if it is effective on occasion if you knew what it does to the environment.
Although the components that are deposited down your drain eventually make their way into a sewer or septic system, somewhere down the line it could definitely end up in the ground. When this occurs, it can enter soil and even into people’s water supplies. When chemical drain cleaners are used, this can cause illness and even death. The cleaners can even enter ponds and oceans, killing many species of marine wildlife in the process.
When you have a clogged drain, you want it cleared as soon as possible because it means you cannot used that drain until it is fixed. Unfortunately, chemical drain cleaners should not be your first choice in these instances.
As mentioned, sometimes a chemical drain cleaner can be effective in unclogging a blockage from a drain pipe. However, the truth is if the clog is big enough it will not work most times. Instead, it will sit in your clogs and start to damage them from the inside. Sometimes a clog is not due to a blockage but instead a faulty sewer line or a broken pipe. In these occasions a chemical drain cleaner will not help you at all.
4. Health issues
More times than not, people who use chemical drain cleaners have every intention of depositing it directly into the drain but end up spilling. When this occurs, it can have serious health implications for people in the vicinity.
Chemical drain cleaners have extremely high toxicity levels. This means that when people are exposed to fumes they can sting the throat, nose, and eyes. Even when the cleaner is no longer required and put away, the fumes can linger, causing health issues for hours afterwards.
5. Ruins fixtures
You renovate your bathroom or kitchen and splurged on some elegant fixtures such as taps and faucets. Then you get a clog in one of the drains, accidently spill the chemical drain cleaner you are using, and ruin them.
Drain cleaners are composed of many different types of chemicals meant to eat through any blockages causing clogs in your drains. One of these is hydrochloric acid that can destroy most things it comes into contact with. This includes a lot of materials your fixtures and countertops found in your kitchen or bathroom.