Chemical drain cleaners comprise a billion-dollar market. The exact figure is unknown because they’re generally lumped in with disinfectants and that can skew the numbers, but the reality is clear: people love buying drain cleaners. And yet, most professional plumbers will tell you to avoid these toxic chemicals at all costs. So, what’s the real answer? Are they safe? Is there ever a reason to use these cleaners? Or are they just something that should be left alone for the assistance of an experienced plumber?
Chemical drain cleaners have tons of hazardous labels and warnings. That should make you suspect enough—not only can they damage your body, but they can also damage your pipes and entire septic system if you aren’t careful. These cleaners often use chemically-generated heat to break down clogs, which means they can damage PVC pipes and even corrode metal pipes.
Another concern is that they don’t work on every single clog. Some people will find themselves using two or three containers of drain cleaner to no avail. And even though there are drain cleaners for every need out there, they don’t always work as they should. Just because it says it will “destroy” hair clogs doesn’t mean it will resolve your issue.
Chemical drain cleaners don’t have a lot working in their favor, save the convenience factor and the confidence people seem to have in harsh chemicals. You can probably do a simple Internet search and find plenty of natural ways to clean drains and remove clogs without hazardous ingredients. It’s just a matter of trial and error to find what works.
More importantly, in avoiding chemical drain cleaners, you should just call a plumber when you’ve got a problem that you can’t seem to resolve. They have the knowledge and the tools to get the job done right, and they’ll do it safely, as well. From potential bleach and chemical splashes and burns to a waste of money for no results, there are more reasons to avoid these cleaners than there are to use them.
Finally, we have to point out that breathing the fumes of these harsh chemical products can be dangerous to the lungs of everyone in the home, including young children and those who are otherwise compromised in their breathing, such as those with asthma.
The consensus is clear: when it comes to chemical drain cleaners, just don’t. Find a natural remedy or call Elk Grove Village Sewer & Plumbing instead. You’ll be glad you did.
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