Clogged drains are a common plumbing problem. Too much hair collects in the shower drain, and you find yourself standing in a pool of water while you’re taking a shower. Too much food or grease ends up going down the kitchen sink drain, and you can’t get the sink to drain after you do the dishes.
Your first instinct may be to reach for a drain cleaner, but doing so can actually cause you even more problems. Here’s why store-bought drain cleaners and other household cleaners could actually be harming your pipes:
They Produce Excessive Heats
Two common ingredients in drain cleaners, sodium hydroxide and aluminum, mix together when the cleaner is poured down the drain. That combination causes a reaction that produces heats nearly capable of boiling water. Those high heats are essential to helping break down the clog, which likely includes some grease or other oils.
Those same high heats that can break up a clog can also damage your pipes. PVC can start to melt or otherwise weaken, and even corroded metal pipes can be weakened by the heats. If you have a large clog, the drain cleaner may not be able to clear it. In that scenario, the cleaner would sit in the same spot, exposing your pipes to prolonged heats.
They Have Caustic Chemicals
Commercial drain cleaners contain more chemicals than just those responsible for creating the high heats. They can also have ingredients that include bleach, ammonia, vinegar, sodium nitrate, and more. These caustic ingredients can corrode your pipes over time.
You may not notice any problems after using a drain cleaner once or twice. However, the type of damage they cause is not immediate. The chemicals slowly weaken your pipes until one day they become corroded or burst.
They Can Crack Your Toilet Bowl
Occasionally, you can get a clog in your toilet bowl. Most people would reach for a plunger, but some have been known to pour drain cleaner down the bowl instead. Between the caustic chemicals and the high heats that drain cleaners produce, you run the risk of cracking your toilet bowl if you use these cleaners. A cracked toilet will cause a lot more problems for you than a clogged toilet.
They Can Harm You and Your Family
Besides the harm that drain cleaners can do to your plumbing, they also pose a serious threat to you and your family. You could pour drain cleaner into your toilet, flush the toilet, and then get drain cleaner on your skin. You could suffer serious chemical injuries or even burns, depending on how much you get on you.
If your children or pets get into your cleaner cabinet, the drain cleaner could get on their skin and cause them serious injuries, as well. It’s best to keep these cleaners out of your house entirely.
Calling a Plumber
You should always call a plumber in San Diego to deal with a clogged drain, whether it’s a small one or the water is impassible, and whether it’s in a small sink or your tub. A plumber will use the appropriate tools to clear whatever it is that’s blocking your drain.
Drain cleaners are so harmful, in fact, that when you call a San Diego plumber, chances are good that the plumber will ask if you have already tried using a drain cleaner to fix the problem yourself. If you have, the plumber will likely refuse to work on the drain until at least 24 hours have passed to reduce the risk of injury from any cleaner that may remain. If you must try measures at home to clear the drain, use some baking soda to create a reaction that can clear away some of the clog.
Sometimes, a clogged drain can be a sign of a bigger problem. And sometimes, you may have caused the bigger problems by using drain cleaners to clear a clog. Integrity Repipe may be able to help you. We perform repipe repair to correct specific issues in your plumbing, or we can perform whole-house repiping if you have systemic problems. A repiping plumber from our team will inspect your plumbing to determine what you need and make tailored recommendations. Call us in San Diego today to schedule an inspection .
Published by – Integrity Repipe Inc
Integrity Repipe Inc – Aliso Viejo, CA
27068 La Paz Rd #771
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656