The Dangers of Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are super convenient, and they can be purchased on an ordinary trip to the grocery store while shopping for potatoes and carrots. Don’t let the convenience fool you. While chemical drain cleaners may be able to knock out a minor clog, they also present a major threat to your plumbing system. If you have a severe blockage or root obstruction, drain cleaners won’t even work, so you could be damaging your plumbing for no reason!

5 Reasons to Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaning

Chemical drain cleaners are not surefire solutions. They could be harmful to everyone and everything in your immediate area. You could be pouring liters of caustic material down your drain without any glimpse of resolving your plumbing problems. In addition to chemical drain cleaning not always being a realistic solution, there are a myriad of other reasons you should avoid them all together.

  1. Harmful to Pipes: Chemical drain cleaners are known for their clog dissolving power. They tout their ability to eat through tough clogs and obstructions. Those chemicals don’t know the difference between good materials and bad ones. Pieces of your plumbing system, like seals, plastics, and pipes, can be corroded by the cleaning agent's active ingredients. Older plumbing, PVC pipes, and weak pipes are particularly susceptible to these chemicals. If you use chemical drain cleaners regularly, then you could already have damaged pipes.
  2. Dangerous Chemical Combinations: It’s normal to try a few drain cleaners if the first one doesn’t work, but you could unknowingly create dangerous chemical combinations. These combinations can release harmful gases into your home. Most people don’t make a habit of reading the ingredient list on these cleaners, which could create an unsafe situation for you and your family.
  3. Damaging to Septic Systems: Drain cleaners are notoriously bad for your septic system. Your septic system is comprised of good bacteria whose job of breaking down waste is integral to your system’s operation. Foreign chemicals disrupt your system's balance and could cause your septic tank to fail or need emergency maintenance.
  4. Damaging to the Environment: It’s not surprising that chemicals meant to dissolve clogs and remove drain obstructions would also be very bad for the environment. The active agents in these chemical cleaners are harmful to the environment because they make their way to your area's public water system. These cleaners can also release toxic fumes into the environment that can cause respiratory distress.
  5. Dangerous to Health & Safety: Many homeowners use chemical drain cleaners without any protective gear. You should protect your hands and face from contact with the chemicals. You should also refrain from inhaling its fumes. It’s common for these drain cleaners to bubble back up after being poured down the drain, and many times they cause air bubbles that push the chemicals back into the air.

Using chemicals can be harmful to your home, personal health and safety, and the environment around your home. The convenience of these chemicals is overstated, and in many situations, they cannot eliminate the blockage. While it may seem time-consuming and expensive to hire a plumber, when you consider the total costs of regular chemical cleaning and repairing possible damage to your drains, you would save money by avoiding these chemicals and calling your local plumbing professional.

If you need drain cleaning and sewer camera inspection, the professionals at Wallner Plumbing, Heating and Cooling can help you today! Call us now at (530) 475-6687.