Common things like soap, hair, grease, and food can all cause your drains to clog. These items often get rinsed down the drain, where they build up over time. You can handle these blockages and clean your drain in several ways, but one of the most controversial is chemical drain cleaners. The question is, “Is this safe for your home?”
What are Chemical Drain Cleaners?
The majority of DIY chemical drain cleaners are made using sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid. They work by creating heat that dissolves the clog, but the toxic chemicals can also corrode your pipes. Some cleaners use bleach, peroxide, and nitrates instead of heat-producing chemicals. These types of cleaners use oxidation to destroy the clog. While peroxide-based cleaners are not as likely to damage your pipes, they can still be dangerous unless used according to package directions. They also cannot be used with other cleaners.
How Chemical Drain Cleaners Affect Your Plumbing
Because these chemical drain cleaners eat through metal just as easily as they do the organic materials that create the clogs, using them puts your pipes in harm’s way. They’re not just damaging to metal pipes, either. PVC pipes can be compromised by the use of chemical drain cleaners, and the cleaners pose a real risk to people of all ages and pets.
Even if these chemical drain cleaners don’t harm your pipes, they can hide serious plumbing issues. Clogs are often the result of larger problems. For example, frequent kitchen clogs could indicate a problem with the garbage disposal. Clogs can also be indicative of backed-up sewer lines or broken pipes. If you keep using chemical drain cleaners to quickly remove clogs, you won’t realize the actual problem until extensive damage has occurred. This leads to costly repairs that otherwise could have been avoided. When we clean your drains, we’ll look for any possible causes that will need attention.
Chemical Drain Cleaning Alternatives
The use of chemical drain cleaners should be very limited, if at all. Fortunately, we have alternatives that are gentler on your plumbing. The best option is always to call We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air for help. We have a variety of professional drain-cleaning services that will clear clogs and ensure that your water flows freely throughout the year.
While it’s never recommended to try to clear your drains of clogs yourself, there are a few things you can do between our visits to help keep your pipes clear of debris. You can routinely flush your drains by pouring boiling water down them, followed by cold water. You could also add a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to the drain, let it set overnight, and then rinse it with hot water in the morning. These methods may remove some of the grease and debris that build up inside your pipes from normal use, but they cannot help with a major blockage.
Why Drain Cleaning Isn’t a Do-It-Yourself Project
As a homeowner, you can waste a lot of time and money on chemical drain cleaners. The advertising and the label on the bottle make these cleaners sound ideal, but they won’t effectively remove the clog in its entirety. You could still have issues even if the chemicals remove enough of the debris to allow a small amount of water to pass through. It will seem like the water is flowing freely for a short time, but the clog will quickly return. You’re much better off allowing us to completely clear the drain so that you won’t have any future issues to deal with.
Keep in mind that the harmful ingredients in chemical drain cleaners are also bad for the environment. Once they make their way into your pipes, they can easily reach the sewer system or your septic tank where they’ll create additional problems. Some of those chemicals could even find their way into your water supply.
You can never be too cautious. You don’t want chemical drain cleaners in your home, especially if there are small children and pets in your household. Even in the most careful conditions, an inquisitive child can accidentally come across them. When it comes to little ones, there’s always a risk of accidental ingestion. Your safety is at risk too. You are exposing yourself to harmful fumes each time you use these products, and you certainly don’t want them to make contact with your skin or eyes.
How We Professionally Clean Your Drains
As a professional plumbing service company, we have the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to clean your drains properly. We can do this using a motorized drain snake or auger. This powerful tool is a step above its manual version. A motorized drain snake works like a long corkscrew. A coil of wire is run through the drain pipe, where it can bore its way through the clog. It either pulls the clog out or breaks it apart. Motorized drain snakes can handle most blockages.
Hydrojetting is another option where we use high-pressure hot water to clear a pipe. A hose is placed into the pipes where a blast of water clears away the clog and removes buildup from the walls of the pipe. As long as the pipe is left completely clean, there’s very little chance of the clog returning.
A video camera pipe inspection allows us to locate the source of a clog with minimal damage to your home and property. A small camera and an LED light on the end of a cable are run through your pipes. The video that’s sent back to a monitor allows us to see where drain cleaning is needed and helps us determine how best to accomplish the job.
Chemical Drain Cleaners Versus Professional Cleaning
Once we have cleaned your drains, you’ll be able to enjoy several benefits. Our drain cleaning thoroughly removes residue from your pipes that can cause odors. Chemical drain cleaners can leave behind organic material that eventually begins to break down due to bacteria. This process creates foul odors and becomes the ideal setting for mold. The residue that’s left behind can also build back up quickly. You could soon be facing another clog or even a backup. Best of all, with your drains cleaned completely, you’ll find that your plumbing will drain faster.
Expert Drain Cleaning Solutions
We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air has been serving Orange and surrounding areas in Southern California for 20 years. Locally owned and operated, we offer residential and commercial plumbing, heating, and air services. You can count on us for high-quality service that includes quality products and customer satisfaction. We offer heating and cooling repair, installation, and maintenance. We’re a Lennox Premier Dealer, but we serve all makes and models. Our team has extensive experience with central and ductless systems, as well as zoning and indoor air quality. When it comes to plumbing, not only can we handle your clogs, but we also offer service for sump pumps, septic systems, and water heaters. We’ll even help you with your bathroom upgrades. Call We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air today for all of your Orange home’s plumbing and comfort needs.
Author Bio: Rusty Cochran
Rusty Cochran is the President of We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. We Care began humbly, operating in his family’s living room. Under Rusty’s strong leadership, We Care has grown from 2 employees to over 200 employees. We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air has gained recognition across the HVAC industry, receiving numerous awards and certifications, including being named the ACCA Contractor of the Year, The Map Presidential Award several times, Angie’s List Super Service Award, NATE certification, and multiple Dave Lennox Awards. LinkedIn Profile