Pipes clog every once in a while. Plumbing problems related to clogged drains are, in fact, the most common plumbing problem for American homeowners, according to whippleplumbing.com. They’re so common that when faced with such a problem, you might not immediately think of calling a plumber and instead try to use a commercial liquid drain cleaner. After all, it's affordable and requires minimal effort on your part. While a bottle of liquid cleaner may look like the quick, obvious solution, it may actually do more harm than good.
It Will Ruin Your Pipes
Most liquid drain cleaners contain hydrochloric acid, a compound that encourages chemical reactions within the drain pipe. This reaction causes heat to be generated within the pipe and may lead to irreversible damages. Furthermore, if the cleaner fails to dissolve the clog, it may sit on top of the clog, adding to the problem. Aside from pipe damage, drain cleaners can also dissolve rubber washers and similar material necessary to keep the pipes sealed.
It’s Costly in the Long Run
While it’s true that the cost of a drain cleaner is less than the cost of hiring a plumber, continuous use of these chemicals may damage your pipes, leading to expensive repairs and/or replacement. Thus, you shouldn’t use these cleaners every time you encounter a clog.
Chemicals in it can Harm Your Health
Drain cleaners are not just harmful to pipes. Long-term exposure to these chemicals has adverse effects on human health. The fumes that linger after using a drain cleaner is extremely dangerous as it may cause irritation, breathing difficulties, and even death.
It’s Bad for the Environment
These cleaners are harmful for the environment as the pipelines carrying these dangerous chemicals may lead to public water sources. In addition, the residue left in bottles goes to landfills. It may then enter the rivers and lakes, poisoning fish and other wildlife.
With drain cleaners being not only detrimental to your pipes but to your health as well, it’s safe to say that they are never the long-term solution to clogged drains. The next time your drain backs up, don't reach for a liquid cleaner. Call a plumber is instead.