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Are Chemical Drain Cleaners Safe?

Are Chemical Drain Cleaners Safe?

Drain clogs are dirty business and they always happen at inconvenient times. If you’re like a lot of homeowners, you may think the best way to resolve a clogged drain is to run out to your nearest superstore or home improvement store and buy a bottle of harsh chemical drain cleaner.

But is this what an experienced plumber would do if he had a clogged drain in his own home? Never mind having the tools and the technical knowhow, but is this the solution a professional would pursue? Just about any professional plumber would say, “Nope, I wouldn’t dare use a harsh chemical drain cleaner in my pipes!” But why is this?

They’re Extremely Toxic

Whether the chemical drain cleaner is made out of powder, gel, or liquid, it’s toxic, very toxic. The drain cleaners you buy on store shelves are made out of harsh substances, such as bleach, lye, potash, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. While these substances can produce heat and essentially melt clogging substances so they can drain better, they can be very toxic and therefore very hazardous to your family’s health.

Since the substances in harsh chemical drain cleaners generate heat, they can soften the PVC pipes, which most modern homes use for plumbing. However, damage is more likely to occur to older homes that still use metal pipes.

Perhaps the biggest concern is how toxic chemical drain cleaners are. Remember, they are extremely toxic if they are swallowed. They can burn the eyes, the skin, and mucous membranes. They can eat through clothing and release noxious fumes, and if they are not used correctly, they can even cause an explosion!

Non-Chemical Drain Cleaning

What would a plumber do if he had a clogged drain? He’d clear the clog the old-fashioned way, with his tools! When a skilled plumber clears a clogged drain, he uses non-toxic methods that do not pose the danger of splashing or creating toxic fumes. They also don’t run the risk of damaging the plumbing pipes.

If you have a clogged drain, it may be cleared easily by a professional plumber, but if you have been having recurring clogs, it could mean you need a professional drain cleaning. Generally, it’s recommended to have your drains professionally cleaned once a year.

Next: When is the Best Time for Drain Cleaning?

For professional assistance with a clogged drain, contact our Georgetown plumbers!

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