3 Reasons to Not Use Store-Bought Drain Cleaners

There is a lot to be said for taking a DIY approach, which is why it’s often a popular choice. It’s important to know how your household appliances and various mechanical parts work and operate in order to maintain them correctly. However, these tasks can be dangerous and should only be left for experts to handle these repairs, especially when it comes to your plumbing system.

Using store-bought drain cleaners in most cases can lead to adverse outcomes, so it’s best not to use them even if people recommend them. Unless you have a professional plumber looking over your shoulder, there’s no guarantee that they will do their job properly.

Let’s talk about some of the reasons why store-bought drain cleaners are certainly not a good thing to use for your plumbing.

Long-Term Damage to Your Pipes

Many people think that purchasing liquid drain cleaner from the supermarket is an adequate solution for clogging drains, but it is important to make sure that you are using a product that matches your plumbing and the specifics of your drainage system. This method may work to unclog a drain or toilet, but it can also damage the pipe and make your clogged drains worse for future use.

Liquid drain cleaners are a “quick fix” for blocked pipes. In reality, you are damaging the pipes and shortening their lifespan. Pipes corroded by the dangerous chemicals can create leakage and flooding both inside and outside the home. 

You might save money on a cleaning service at first, but you will have to pay more later on when the damaged pipes need to be replaced. You should hire a professional from the start so that you aren’t stuck with a big bill or even worse – flooding your property.

Toxicity – Harmful for You and Everyone at Home

There are around 3,000 reported emergency room visits every year due to drain cleaner injuries. When pouring a liquid, anyone within the range of fumes is susceptible to respiratory problems. These include bronchitis and pneumoconiosis. The liquid doesn’t need physical contact to cause damage & can linger for hours and even longer if it contains harmful chemicals or dust particles.

Commercially available drain cleaners products can be dangerous and contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals will break up blockages in drains and clog pipes, but at a serious cost to your health. These chemicals are so dangerous when they are used together that they can burn your skin, leaving permanent scars.  

Store-Bought Drain Cleaners Don’t Do Much of Cleaning

Chemical drain cleaners typically won’t get through a thick clog. They’ll only be able to break through the buildup, which may be caused by hair. And if the problem behind the clog is something else wrong in the plumbing, drain cleaners will not fix it at all.

Drain cleaners only work in the range of the clog that they can contact with, and then move down to remove a portion of the blockage. If a pipe clogs, it will likely happen again in the near future. You’ll be forced to buy more drain cleaners, which puts your health at risk and adds further to the damage done to your pipes over time.

How Do Drain Cleaners Work?

There are many store-bought drain cleaners on the market. These cleaners are typically composed of chemicals that dissolve and break down the clog. They usually contain a chemical compound called sodium hydroxide, which is also known as lye. 

Sodium hydroxide is a powerful chemical compound that can be used to neutralize and dissolve grease and other organic materials in the drains. However, these chemicals can be harmful to the environment and cause health issues.

What Types of Drain Cleaners Can You Buy in Stores?

There are three different types of drain cleaners that you may use in your home. One is a chemical drain cleaner, which can be hazardous to the environment if used improperly. The other two are acid and oxidizing solutions.

The difference between these types of cleaners is what they are made of. Some break down clogs or cause electrons to be lost from organic material whereas others work by heat.

Acid Drain Cleaners

Store-bought drain cleaners may contain hazardous ingredients like sulfuric acid. Always be mindful and use a chemical cleaner responsibly. In the wrong hands, a drain cleaner powder or a liquid drain cleaner can cause a lot of damage and negative side effects, such as hydrogen gas. So, identify what type you’re using carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are some of the most commonly found products for removing clogs. They are typically composed of lye, caustic potash and bleach-like chemicals. Lye removes the chemical bonds of oils, leaving behind soapy residue.

If a surface is clean and free of oil or grease, only 10% of the product will be wasted in the process. It’s easy to find at most hardware or drug stores. This type of drain cleaner is normally sold in the form of a liquid, but due to its weight, can make its way to clog through other liquids.

Oxidizing Drain Cleaners

Some drain cleaners can create their own solution that eliminates clogs, while others use a chemical formula that encourages the release of gasses. Oxidizing chemicals are common in household cleaning products and differ from chemical drain cleaners because they are typically composed of a bleach, nitrates and peroxide cocktail which work together to tackle bad odors caused by oil and grease.

Want to DIY a Clog? Here’s What You Can Do Without Using Chemicals!

The best way to clean a clog is by using a plunger or a vacuum cleaner with an attachment that has a rotating head. This method is usually effective because it uses suction to pull water out of the drain and clear out any debris in the pipe.

A plunger or vacuum cleaner with an attachment that has a rotating head can be used to unclog drains without using harmful chemicals.

At Full Spectrum Plumbing Services, we can help you deal with stubborn clogs. Our team of skilled and experienced professionals are ready to help you with any issue you may be having in your house or business. 

Our plumbers are trained in handling all types of clogs and we can help with anything from toilets, sinks and showers to water heaters, gas lines and more.

Give us a ring to learn how we can help you!