In many households, chemical drain cleaners are thought to be a quick and effective solution to a clogged drain. However, these harsh solvents can do more harm that good, especially if they’re used often.
There are two types of household chemical drain cleaners, both of which rely on corrosive ingredients to clear blockages. While these ingredients break down organic material and dissolve grease and soap scum, they also corrode metal plumbing. This can lead to cracks forming in your pipes. Furthermore, when these chemicals react with the substances trapped in your drain, they produce gas and heat that can melt plastic PVC pipes. Additionally, if your plumbing is connected to a septic system, chemical drain cleaners can destroy the bacteria that allow the system to function. Beyond the havoc they can wreak on your plumbing, here are a few other reasons you should avoid using chemical drain cleaners: ● They pose a safety hazard Chemical drain cleaners are made of corrosive substances that can burn your skin, eyes and airways. They also release noxious fumes and can be fatal if ingested. This makes them particularly dangerous to have in homes with young children or animals. If used incorrectly, chemical drain cleaners can even cause explosions. ● They harm the environment If your municipal water treatment centre doesn’t completely remove these toxic chemicals from the water supply, they end up in lakes and rivers. This can be detrimental to local wildlife and fish populations. Additionally, a septic system won’t be able to prevent harmful chemicals from seeping into the soil and contaminating the groundwater. Alternative solutions Luckily, there are several safe and effective options if you have a clogged drain. Enzymatic drain cleaners, for example, rely on enzymes and bacteria to decompose organic material that may be clogging your drain. You can also use a sink plunger or a combination of baking soda, vinegar and boiling water to clear a blockage. If none of these solutions resolve the issue or you want to ensure the job is done right, hire a licensed plumber. Keep in mind that a clogged drain can quickly turn into a plumbing emergency if the sink backs up or the toilet overflows. Contact a plumber in the GTA Whether you need someone to unclog a drain or repair plumbing damaged by chemical drain cleaners, the experts at Black Forest Plumbing can help. We offer a wide range of plumbing services in Aurora, Newmarket and the Greater Toronto Area. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today. Book A Service Appointment