Liquid drain cleaners might seem like an easy and convenient option, but they actually are a terrible method of drain cleaning and can cause irreversible and long-term damage to your drains. For most homeowners, it can be hard to part with liquid drain cleaners because they do appear to work. However, if you want to maintain your sewage and water systems and keep them both clean and strong, you should never use a liquid drain cleaner.
Why Store-Bought Liquid Drain Cleaners Cause Problems
Everyone wants a simple solution to a drain clog, and the process seems simple enough. You merely pour the liquid cleaner down the drain, wait and flush with water. The only problem is that store-bought liquid cleaners are harsh and can harm you, the environment, and your pipes. Here are a few reasons to stay away from these liquid cleaners:
- Even after your rinse the drain with water, the liquid cleaner can remain in your pipes and cause damage
- The chemicals are exceptionally strong & harmful if they splash back. Sometimes they can burn the skin
- Liquid drain cleaners can create fractures that can lead to leaks
- These cleaners can make their water into the ground, which impacts nearby trees and plants
Below, we’ll give you the rundown on the major reasons why you should avoid store-bought liquid drain cleaners, as well as suggest safer ways to keep your drains clean:
They Damage Pipes
Liquid drain cleaners are made to be highly corrosive so that they can break down everything in their path. That might sound like a good thing because you can say goodbye to hair clumps and blockages, but the corrosive nature of the substance means that your pipes will also suffer a lot of damage. The strong combination of acids often has a destructive effect on metallic pipes which react with the chemicals and deteriorate over time. While the damage might be felt most by metallic pipes, even PVC ones will suffer over time.
Damaged pipes can’t be fixed, which means entire sections of your drainage system will likely have to be replaced if the damage becomes too severe. This remedy is extremely expensive and will leave you without a functioning water system while repairs are being carried out.
They Are Harmful To the Environment
It might not seem like household cleaners would have an impact on the environment, but society’s combined use of cleaning chemicals really adds up. When the acids and chemicals contained in liquid drain cleaners collide with metallic pipes, they may produce toxic gases. While these gases are pushed away from the home by later water flow, they often get sent straight to rivers or farms. This can have a detrimental effect on surrounding wildlife, including disease and death. The chemicals might even get absorbed by plants that eventually get sold in supermarkets, making these cleaners dangerous for everyone.
They Can Harm Your Family and Pets
Not only can liquid drain cleaners harm the outside environment, but your home might be in danger from the toxins as well. Using one or more drain cleans can release toxins into the air that you and your pets breathe.
This is especially dangerous if you are using more than one type of cleaner at the same time. Likely, you aren’t aware of how different chemicals will react with one another and the result can be the release of noxious gas. Repeated exposure to such chemicals can be damaging to your lungs, eyes, and skin.
They Can Be Ineffective
Despite their sometimes hefty price tags, liquid drain cleaners are not guaranteed to fix whatever is blocking your drains. While most will work on clogs caused by hair or grease build-up, there’s no surefire way of knowing what is causing your drain blockage. If it is a more serious problem like tree roots, drain cleaner might be doing more harm than good.
Read More: How To Keep Tree Roots From Wrecking Your Sewer Line
What Can You Use Instead of Liquid Drain Cleaner?
It is best to avoid these nasty effects of liquid drain cleaner altogether by opting for one of the following options instead:
Try a DIY Cleaner
If you want to be gentler on your pipes and the environment, try buying a ‘green’ drain cleaner or making your own cleaning solution.
Usually, these cleaners will use enzymes that naturally break down organic matter such as hair and food waste. While these enzymes might not be as speedy in unclogging your drains, they are far safer to have in your household and pose no risk to your pipes. You should expect to wait at least an hour for blockages to become unstuck, but if you’re willing to try a DIY solution, it might just be what you are looking for.
You can also try simply pouring boiling water slowly down the drain. For blockages due to grease and oil build-up, this often does the trick.
Read More: Eco-Friendly Ways To Unclog A Drain
Call a Professional
Many of us assume that clogs are a simple matter than can be remedied with household cleaners or a quick plunge. However, blockages can signal something more serious is going wrong with your sewage or water system and trying to fix the problem yourself could make matters worse.
A professional plumber in La Verne will be able to use a camera to find out exactly what is causing the blockage and will know exactly how to fix it. Professional plumbers also have access to specialized equipment that is effective and safe. The most common tool used for cleaning drains is called a hydro jet. These gently expel water through the drain system, getting rid of all the blockages along the way without harming the integrity of the pipes.
In general, it’s a good idea to have regular professional drain cleaning done once a year. This will prevent blockages from occurring in the first place and will keep your drains working properly.