WIll Drain cleaner Damage My Pipes?
As a homeowner, you most likely will encounter a clogged drain at some time. Your first inclination might be to go to the store and pick up some drain cleaner. This may seem like a simple solution, but can cleaning products damage your pipes?
How They Work
There are three different kinds of chemical cleaners:
- Oxidizing - includes peroxides, bleach or nitrates
- Acid - muriatic acid or sulfuric acid
- Caustic - caustic potash or lye
These cleaners use an electron transfer process to either give or take away electrons from the organic substances blocking the pipe, thereby creating heat, which breaks down the materials and clears the clog. This process can, however, cause harm to your pipes.
How They Cause Harm
The heat from these chemicals can warp or soften the pipes, especially when they are older metal pipes or plastic pipes. There's a higher danger of damage if the clogged drain is completely blocked. If there's nowhere for these caustic chemicals to go, they will just sit in the pipes, eventually eating through them if not removed.
Besides harming your pipes, these chemicals can be harmful to you and to the environment. They can irritate your throat and eyes, and if improperly handled, can cause burns. Once they go down the drain, they can end up in waterways and landfills, causing harm to wildlife.
Before using a chemical in the drain, try to clear the blockage using a snake or augur. If this doesn't do the trick, try using a non-toxic solution such as an enzymatic drain cleaner. These cleaners work by actually eating the clog with bacteria or enzymes. They work best on organic blockages such as soap or hair, but can take as long as 24 hours to work.
If you are not able to clear the clog by yourself, it's best to call a plumbing professional to assess the problem and clear the clogged drain. If the blockage is further down the pipes, they can do a thorough sewage cleaning to make sure your drains stay clear for a good, long time.
For water damage repair and restoration, call SERVPRO of Texarkana 903-832-4400