Just about every homeowner will inevitably experience the frustration of a clogged drain. In an ideal situation, it is only a clog that makes a sink or tub slow to drain, not one that causes water to overflow onto floors where it can really do some serious damage. In most of these cases, the instinct is to reach for something to clear the clog as quickly as possible, often in a plastic bottle from the store. This should not be your first choice or instinct, however. Liquid drain cleaners, while easy and often effective can also be really dangerous. Read on for several reasons not to reach for the drain cleaner next time you’re confronted with a clog.
They Can Cause Injury
Drain cleaners are caustic chemicals – that’s how they work to clear drains. But that means if you or someone in your home get the substance on their skin or eyes or somehow accidentally ingest it, they could be seriously injured. In fact, drain cleaners are the cause of nearly 3000 injuries every year. Having them sitting around is potentially very dangerous for your family. Additionally, when you do use them, the fumes can compromise your indoor air quality, cause issues with breathing (potentially for anyone but especially for asthmatics), and cause eye and nose irritation.
They Are Only Temporary
While drain cleaners can help the water flow through more easily, they are not a permanent solution. Especially if you have recurring clogs, using a drain cleaner is just putting off the inevitable call to a professional plumber to address the real problem.
They Kill Bacteria
It seems counterintuitive to say that a problem with drain cleaners is that they kill bacteria, but it is. Why wouldn’t you want something to kill all the bacteria in your pipes? Essentially, for the same reason your doctor tells you to take a probiotic with your antibiotic – not all bacteria are bad. There are actually bacteria in your drain that help to break down build-up in the system. Drain cleaner will wipe it all out.
They Could Damage Pipes
Finally, the biggest reason to avoid liquid drain cleaners is that they could potentially ruin your pipes. Over time and with repeated use, the caustic effect of these drain cleaners can wear away the pipes from the inside. The drain cleaner “eats” the clog, but also the lining and material of your pipes. Especially if you have an older plumbing system, this could potentially lead to a massive plumbing emergency, like a leaking or burst pipe.
Call Mahon Plumbing Today
If you still have more questions regarding your plumbing, we here at Mahon Plumbing are here to help. We have been serving the wider Baltimore area since 1994, so we have 25 years of experience to back up our fantastic service! Call us at our Baltimore location at 410-766-8566 or our Pasadena location at 410-636-7944. Be sure to keep up with us on social media by following us on Facebook or Twitter.