Dealing with a clogged drain is frustrating, to say the least. However, not every home owner is aware of how dangerous many drain clearing products can be. Using drain cleaner can remove a frustrating clog, but this chemical can cause more costly problems down the road. Drain cleaner can cause pipes to deteriorate when not used properly or if used too frequently. There are also specific types of drain cleaner that are only meant for specific types of drains. Many home owners destroy the plumbing in their home by using the wrong type of cleaner. An otherwise easy fix turns into a serious problem that cannot be ignored, and is costly for the home owner.
What Goes Into Your Drain?
Many things cause drain clogs. Soap scum, grease, and hair are the most common causes of a clog. Drain cleaners are designed to break these materials down, but many companies do not consider how these cleaning products actually affect the pipes. The heat produced by the chemicals in these cleaners can corrode the surrounding pipes and eventually lead to leaks and water damage. Fixing a broken pipe is hard enough without the added damage caused by pooling water.
The corrosive chemicals in a drain cleaner will destroy the materials used to make faucets and the sink itself. For instance, porcelain deteriorates very easily when exposed to such chemicals.
Drain cleaner is denser than water. This is what allows it to reach the clog, but this can also cause the chemicals to spray when poured carelessly into the drain. It is important to pour drain cleaner as carefully as possible to avoid damaging the sink or even the walls and floor.
Avoid Damaged Pipes
Every home owner should know what type of plumbing is in their home. The chemicals in a drain cleaner do not react well with plastic pipes. Plastic pipes are vulnerable and should be treated with care. Even metal pipes can be vulnerable, especially in older homes. Aged pipes can corrode on their own for many reasons. Drain cleaners should be avoided when living in a home that is older than twenty years or has a history of plumbing problems.
Protect Your Family From Toxic Fumes
Drain cleaning products require strong chemicals in order to be effective. However, these chemicals create fumes that get into the air and contribute to an unhealthy environment. Many families suffer from the dangers of toxic fumes every year.
Combining two separate cleaning products can create an even bigger problem. Certain types of drain cleaner can combine to create a poisonous gas that can kill a human being. It is best to choose one method of cleaning and stick to it.
There are also drain-cleaning methods that do not require any chemicals at all. The metal snake is a common type of non-chemical drain cleaner, but many people find it less effective and more difficult to use. Chemical drain cleaners are often inexpensive and provide a convenient solution to a clogged drain. However, this solution can come at a serious cost.
Chemical drain cleaners can also be harmful to pets. Many dogs drink from the toilet or sink when their owner is not looking. Drain cleaning products leave a toxic residue on the surfaces they touch. Protect your family and your pets by cleaning responsibly.
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Maureen Quinn is a freelance home improvement blogger and Doug Turner Plumbing writer. She has eliminated all dangerous drain cleaning products from her household cleaning regiment.