Sewer and Drain
Are Liquid Drain Cleaners Safe to Use?
August 30, 2017
Liquid drain cleaners have long been considered the go-to solution for any homeowner’s drain problems. While they may seem like a quick and affordable fix for clogs or blockages, drain cleaning products often cause more harm than good. Caustic chemicals and questionable effectiveness make liquid drain cleaners less appealing than other drain clearing methods.
Liquid drain cleaners are made using highly toxic chemicals, such as lye and hydrochloric acid. The mixtures are designed to clean drains by eating through and dissolving any hair, food or other blockages. Of course, chemicals that are strong enough to break down blockages can do the same thing to a person’s body. The fumes alone can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. If it gets in contact with skin, the cleaner can cause severe rashes and chemical burns.
The chemicals in the cleaner can not only damage you, but your pipes as well. Hydrochloric acid used in most cleaners eats through the enamel and other layers within your plumbing system. After extended use, the chemicals could actually cause leaks or create small holes in the pipes.
Clog Clearing Effectiveness
Despite their powerful dissolving power, liquid drain cleaners aren’t always as effective as they claim to be. Drainage backups are often caused by broken pipes or a blockage created by something other than food or hair. Pouring liquid cleaner down the drain won’t fix these types of clogs, and the built up chemicals could cause you even more trouble.
Cleaning chemicals pose a significant risk to animals and plant life if they end up outside your home and in a natural environment. If the cleaner is left to sit and eats through your sewage pipes, it can seep into the surrounding soil and groundwater before eventually accumulating in larger bodies of water. If you choose to recycle plastic cleaner containers after using all the liquid, be sure to clean it out thoroughly. Even a small amount of residue left in the bottles could make its way into landfills and the surrounding ecosystem.
Safe, Effective Alternatives
While there are organic and non-toxic drain cleaning solutions available, the most effective way to get rid of a clog is through manual removal. For small sink or toilet clogs you can use a simple plunger. If you don’t have the proper tools available or are facing a bigger problem, it’s always best to hire a professional drain or sewer technician.
Drain and Sewer Technicians in California
Bonney Plumbing offers comprehensive sewer and drain services to ensure you have a well maintained and properly working system. Our drain technicians are experienced at clearing and cleaning all types of drain clogs. Contact us today to learn about our 123 Sewer and Drain special!