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Clogged Drain? Don’t Use Chemical Cleaners and Here’s Why

drain-cleaning-illustrationThe clogged drain—wow, what a nuisance. What a pain. And no matter how well you care for your plumbing, or how much you watch what goes down your drains, one day you’ll have to face clogs. So what can you do when you’ve got one?

There’s the handy ol’ plunger. Either the sink or the toilet plunger can often take care of extremely basic clogs. You might try a hand-cranked drain snake, which can sometimes be effective with hair clogs in shower and bathroom sink drains. Or you can use a chemical drain cleaner …

No, wait! Don’t use chemical drain cleaners! If the plunger or the simple drain snake doesn’t solve the problem, the next step is to call a Lawrenceville, GA, plumber to use professional tools to open up the drain. No plumber recommends using store-bought chemical drain cleaners for drains—and for some excellent reasons:

They are not effective

The acidic chemicals in these “drain cleaners” you can buy from grocery store shelves eat away at obstructions in drainpipes to allow enough space for water to flow through again. But this is about all these chemicals achieve: a narrow pathway through the clog. They don’t deal with the rest of the clog and leave most of the detritus on the drainpipe walls. You’ll probably have the clog come back in a short time.

They can damage the drainpipes

Do you really want to pour a half-bottle of acid (mostly lye) down a metal or plastic drainpipe? The acid isn’t discriminating—it will attack the clog and then go for the pipe material next. It’s also difficult to wash the chemicals out of the drain. The residue tends to stay behind in the drain, usually down in the curved p-trap, where it will continue to do more damage.

They can cause harmful chemical reactions

The mixture of soap scum in drains and the chemicals in drain cleaners triggers a chemical reaction that creates corrosion. Because the chemicals won’t wash away easily, this will turn into a long-term problem.

They are highly toxic

Chemical drain cleaners are among the most dangerously toxic household items. Just a small spill on your skin can cause severe burning. The fumes are harmful to lungs and eyes, and it’s not limited to people—it also affects pets. If there isn’t a good reason to have these chemicals around, they shouldn’t be around.

They are harmful to the environment

The empty plastic bottles of chemical drain cleaners that go into landfills aren’t really empty. They have plenty of chemical residue inside them, and it will seep down into the groundwater.

The manufacturers of these “drain cleaners” spend millions of dollars every year trying to convince people they’re products are the quick answers to clogged drains. But they aren’t. You have tools you can use at home that can help, and if those don’t work, calling professional plumbers ensures the problem is solved effectively and without danger, damaged pipes, or poison in the landfills.

Call on Snellville Heating, Air and Plumbing to handle your drain woes. Your Comfort Is Our Business.

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