The Problem with Chemical Drain Cleaners

clogged drainIt’s common to want your drain unclogged, any way possible, as soon as it shows any signs of resistance. But, many people are unfamiliar with the problems their pipes face when exposed to the chemical drain cleaners found at any grocery, department or hardware store. They may seem like a fast and easy solution to your clogged pipes, but here are some reasons why they’re more trouble than they’re worth.

The negative effects chemical drain cleaners can have on your pipes usually aren’t noticeable right away, but what works great for clogs spells disaster for pipes. Chemical drain cleaners are a specially formulated compound that can eat away at the metal in pipes, and their effects can become even more apparent when the water in your sink appears to flow from the faucet with less pressure.

What’s worse than using a chemical drain cleaner once and seeing it work, is thinking that multiple sessions with it will resolve the clog more quickly. If it didn’t unclog the drain the first time, that just means it’s a waste of money and will still likely damage your pipes. If a drain is really backed up, you’re better off just calling an emergency plumber. That said, some people may try the Do-it-Yourself (DIY) route first, and use drain cleaner or even some of the many ‘home remedies’ for fixing a clogged drain. However, chemical drain cleaners are even costlier than the homemade remedies, which may also work just as well as drain cleaner or not at all. Buying multiple bottles of chemical drain cleaner to resolve clogging issues will only exacerbate the problem.

What’s more is that the chemical compound found in the drain cleaner is highly toxic and can be disastrous if not dealt with carefully. The warning label and ingredients should indicate to you that you are holding poison in your hands. Sodium Hydroxide is just one of the alarming ingredients that makes these drain cleaners damage pipes and potentially harm people. The fact that these bottles are often left under the sink means that children can also have easy access to them without knowing the danger they present.

You know that your sinks funnel to larger bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers and even the ocean, in some cases. If the drain cleaner makes its way to the end of a pipe, it can lead to environmental disasters that you won’t be able to see when you’re pouring those chemicals down your bathroom or kitchen sink. These chemicals could have the same effects on water-dwelling animals as they do on pipes. So, please STOP before you use a chemical drain cleaner to clear a clog, and just call a Saskatoon plumber.


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