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4 Reasons to Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

Updated: Jul 17

Chemical drain cleaners are dangerous. Unfortunately, many people continue to rely on them as a quick and easy solution to a clogged drain. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t.

1. They contain corrosive ingredients

The two main types of household drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that react with the hair, soap scum, grease and food waste trapped in your drain. Caustic drain cleaners contain lye and other alkaline chemicals that produce heat and dissolve blockages. Similarly, the peroxides and bleach in oxidizing drain cleaners release heat and gas to help dislodge organic material in your pipes.

2. They can damage your plumbing

Chemical drain cleaners generate heat when they react with a clog, which can soften and warp plastic PVC pipes. Old metal plumbing is also particularly susceptible to the corrosive substances in these products. This can cause pipes to crack and leak, especially if you use these cleaners repeatedly.

3. They’re dangerous

Since chemical drain cleaners are designed to corrode organic material, they can also burn your skin, eyes and airways. They’re also extremely toxic when ingested, which makes them particularly dangerous to have in households with children or animals. Additionally, chemical drain cleaners release noxious fumes and can cause explosions if they’re used incorrectly.

4. They harm the environment

If your municipal water treatment system doesn’t completely remove chemical drain cleaners from the water supply, these toxic substances will end up in lakes and rivers. This can decimate fish and other local wildlife populations. Chemical drain cleaners can also severely damage septic systems and then seep into the soil and contaminate the groundwater.

Safe Alternatives

If you’re faced with a clogged kitchen sink or shower drain, there are several ways to resolve the issue that doesn’t require the use of harsh chemicals.

You can use enzymatic drain cleaners, which use bacteria to decompose organic material.

Place a sink plunger over the drain so it creates a seal and thrust vigorously for about 20 seconds.

Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain and flush it with boiling water after about five minutes.

If none of these options are successful, contact a licensed plumber to schedule a service call. A clogged drain can quickly turn into a plumbing emergency if the sink starts to back up or the toilet overflows.


Professional Plumbing Services in Edmonton

Whether you’re struggling with a tough clog or need someone to repair a damaged pipe, Modern Air & Water can help. We also offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services for urgent problems. To speak with a plumber or schedule a service call in the Edmonton area, contact us today.

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