The Pros and Cons of Drain Cleaners
Clogs are a reality of life, which is unfortunate because they can slow down your mornings, make washing, bathing, and cleaning a hassle, and cause messes in your sinks and tubs. One of the most common solutions people turn to when they have a clog is a chemical drain cleaner, but there are both pros and cons to using these products. Next time you have a clog or slow running drain and are considering a drain cleaner, here’s what you need to know about using them.
Pro: They’re an Affordable Solution
You can buy a bottle of chemical drain cleaner for under $10, making this a very affordable solution when you’re dealing with clogs.
Con: They’re Highly Corrosive
Drain cleaners use heavy-duty chemicals to break down organic matter like hair, paper products, grease, and other materials that could be clogging your drains. Because the chemicals are corrosive, they have the potential to corrode and damage your pipes, especially if you use them too often or improperly. Furthermore, chemical drain cleaners can’t be used if you have a septic system, because it could damage the tank and kill beneficial bacteria.
Pro: They Can Be Fast and Effective
Once you pour chemical drain cleaner down the drain, all you have to do is wait 15 minutes before flushing the drain with water, and voilà! Your drain is clear. As long as the blockage is the type of conventional clog that can be fixed with drain cleaner (such as clogs made of hair, soap, and other organic material), then your drain will be up and running again in no time.
Con: They’re Dangerous for You and the Environment
Chemical drain cleaners work by corroding and dissolving organic matter, and even though these chemicals get diluted by the time they exit your drains, they can still potentially contaminate the environment, groundwater, and wildlife. On a similar note, commercial drain cleaners are usually highly alkaline and can injure your skin and eyes if used incorrectly.
Pro: You Don’t Need Special Training
Drain cleaners you buy at the store come with instructions for use, and that’s all the training you need to use them, which is unlike some special tools and equipment that a plumber might use, requiring specific training and knowledge to operate.
Con: They Don’t Work for Every Clog
Some blockages simply can’t be treated with chemical drain cleaners, and this includes clogs that are caused by objects (such as toys or jewelry), tree roots, or other stubborn clogs that are too far down the pipes.
Chemical drain cleaners can be fast and effective when you need to unblock a drain, but there are many pros and cons to using them. For instance, while they are cheap and easy to use, they won’t be effective against all clogs, and they can harm you and the environment. In general, however, it is safe to use drain cleaners from time to time to deal with clogs, but if you’re experiencing regular problems with your drains, then call a plumber to investigate if there’s a larger underlying problem.
Contact the trained and professional plumbers at Drain Rescue Plumbers for all your plumbing needs!