Why Harsh Chemical Drain Cleaners Are Bad (and What’s Better)

By January 13, 2022January 14th, 2022Drain Cleaners
Chemical Drain Cleaners Are Bad

If you’re a homeowner in Frisco, TX, or if you’re living anywhere with toilets and drains, you’re likely going to encounter a clog at some point. Over time, hair, food particles, and other debris can build up in your plumbing system, leading to a clogged drain.

When you notice a clogged drain or a backed-up toilet, your first instinct probably isn’t to call for professional drain cleaning services or toilet repair. Most homeowners decide to go with a quick chemical solution to handle the issue, you can find these products in almost every supermarket around the country.

However, while harsh chemical drain cleaners are a popular option, it’s actually horrible for your plumbing system. In fact, professional plumbers hate these products, and for good reason. They can cause serious damage to your pipes over time, which can leave you searching for “plumbing repair near me.”

You’ll likely end up with costly repairs if you use chemical drain cleaners repeatedly, including toilet repairs or even garbage disposal repairs, depending on where you’ve used them. 

How Do Chemical Drain Cleaners Work?

You’re probably feeling a bit confused. After all, how could a product be so popular and yet so harmful? The quick answer is that chemical cleaners can be effective at removing blockages, but the way it does so can also be damaging to your pipes, as well.

You see, most chemical drain cleaners are made up of aluminum, salt, sodium nitrate, bleach, and lye. You might be familiar with these chemicals, and when they’re joined together, several chemical reactions will happen simultaneously.

First, the lye will decompose any physical matter in your pipes. Next, the aluminum comes in to react with the lye. This reaction creates a near-boiling temperature, which helps to speed up the decomposition process.

The lye will then react with the grease in your drain to form a soapy substance that serves to dissolve your clog. This creates enough room for hot water to wash away the rest of the clog, which is why you always follow a chemical drain cleaner with a flush of hot water.

These chemical reactions effectively remove blockages, but they’re also way more than most residential drains can handle. Prolonged use of chemical cleaners can cause damage to your pipes, and you will probably end up searching for “plumbers near me” before too long. 

Why You Should Not Use Chemical Drain Cleaners

There are many reasons to avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners. Here are some of the top problems you may encounter after using this product or anything with a similar chemical makeup:

Damage to Your Plumbing

One of the biggest problems with chemical cleaners is that they are corrosive to your household pipes. The same chemical reactions that remove your blockage can also eat away at your pipes, causing cracks, leaks, and other issues.

These products can also melt the glue that holds your pipes together, causing a host of issues. In the end, you may need to replace your pipes, or at best, you could end up needing repairs. 

Potential Health Risks

As we explained, these cleaners are made up of dangerous chemicals. As you use it in your drain, you will undoubtedly inhale some of the fumes, which can be very bad for your health.

Fumes from these products can also cause your eyes to burn, and it may be difficult to take a breath unless the area is well-ventilated. If you use enough chemical drain cleaners, over time, you could experience health complications, and even one exposure isn’t good for your body. 

Unpredictable Results

These products are also unpredictable, and it may not even clear your clog in the first place. Even if your water starts running smoothly again for a short while, that doesn’t mean it will continue doing so. In fact, this is only considered to be a temporary fix, which is another reason why professional plumbers never use it.

Though a chemical cleaner may temporarily restore water flow, part of the blockage likely remains. This serves as an easy target for more buildup, so over time, your blockage will probably return, leaving you in the same situation as before.

Not only that, but products like these can react in unpredictable ways depending on how you use it. There may be other chemicals in your drains you’re unaware of that could react poorly with the ones in the drain cleaning product. The result can be disastrous, so it’s best to avoid using it in the first place. 

Environmental Damage

Even if your cleaning experience goes smoothly, that doesn’t mean it can’t have negative consequences elsewhere. These products are full of chemicals that are terrible for the environment, and when you pour it down your household drain, those chemicals are eventually released into the community water supply.

While wastewater treatment facilities can remove these chemicals, they still need to travel all of the way there. Along the way, the chemicals can seep into the ground, harming all plants and wildlife in the area. 

Call Professionals Instead of Using Harsh Chemical Drain Cleaners

If you have a blockage in your plumbing system, hold off on using a chemical product. Chemical drain cleaners can be detrimental to your pipes, health, and the environment. Instead, you’re better off searching for “plumbing repair near me” because professional plumbers can remove your blockage without using harsh chemicals.

Professionals will use specialized equipment that’s designed not to cause damage to your drain. While it will cost slightly more than a bottle of drain cleaner, these professional services will be more effective, so you won’t need to keep clearing the same blockage over and over. 

Additionally, since these products can actually cause significant damage to your pipes, you’ll avoid the need for more expensive plumbing repair by going with a professional the first time around. 

The Experts: Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning 

The next time you need expert plumbing services due to a blockage, don’t waste your time searching for “plumbers near me.” Instead, call the team of experts at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning in Frisco, TX. We offer trusted and timely drain cleaning services to clear your blockage and get your water flowing smoothly again.

Author Mark King

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