Why You Should Never Use Chemical Drain Cleaners | R. A. Styron Plumbing | Chesapeake, VA

Homeowners often find themselves in an even bigger mess, messing around with chemical drain cleaners. We’ve all been there, your shower has just a little bit of standing water or your kitchen sink is draining soooo slowly. So you think to yourself, ah maybe I’ll just pour some drain cleaner down there instead of spending the money on a visit from a plumber. Before you do that, make sure you know the risks you are taking beforehand!

Chemical drain cleaners work by using caustic chemicals like sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide. Both are extremely corrosive to metals, like the drain lines you are trying to clear, as wells as organic materials. I’ll spare you all of the scientific details; simply put, these chemicals react in such a way that they release heat turning grease and anything else sitting in your drain into a soap-like substance leaving it easier to dissolve. Drain cleaners are much heavier than water allowing them to sink through any standing water and attaching itself to the clog.

These chemicals are extremely harmful to your drain lines, the environment, and your health.

The heat that is produced by these chemicals can soften PVC pipes and even eat away at older metal drain pipes. If you think having a small clog is a costly plumbing repair just think about the cost to repair sections of your drain line. In addition to the cost of the plumbing repair, you’ll be looking at restoration costs as well. While you may not find yourself with a bigger repair after the first or second use over time your drain lines will most certainly start to deteriorate.

These chemicals can also burn your skin on contact and damage your lungs if inhaled. Any drain cleaner poured down your drain can easily find its way to our lakes, rivers, and wildlife. The effects of these chemicals in our environment are long lasting and can be extremely devastating.

There are a couple of tricks to clear slow drains without the use of these chemicals.

Boiling water poured down the clogged drain can sometimes clear some of the simplest of clogs. Remember the heat we said the chemicals create to breakdown the clog? Same principle here. If that does not work try using equal parts baking soda followed by vinegar. Half a cup each should do the job. Let it sit a few hours or over night if possible and follow it up by flushing hot water down the drain. It’s a good idea to clean your drains this way once a month or so just for preventative measures.

We have several other blogs that may help you prevent or clear that pesky slow drain. Check them out here:

Tips on clearing a clogged drain.

Three signs of a broken sewer line. 

Things you should never put down your drain line.

When all else fails, call the professionals!

Some clogs are too tough to break through with any chemicals. Small clogs can sometimes be a symptom of a larger issue like a main line backing up or even a broken sewer line. Luckily, R. A. Styron‘s plumbing department is outfitted with the latest drain cleaning machines that can tackle any clog you may be experiencing. You can trust in R. A. Styron to leave your drainage system clear and free flowing in no time with our fast and reliable 24/7 service.

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