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When You Use a Store-Bought Drain Cleaning Solution, You Could Be Playing With Fire!

Dealing with a clogged pipe or slow-moving drain rates pretty high on the “ick” scale for many homeowners. Seeking ways to clear clogs without actually having to touch any undesirable substances, most of us reach for commercial chemical drain cleaning solutions. But while these over-the-counter liquid drain cleaners may be affordable and easy to use, they can ruin your plumbing, cause physical injury to you or your pets, and may actually do more harm than good if used incorrectly.

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Most drain or pipe clogs are caused by hair, grease, soap, human waste, or other debris that collects in the plumbing. Store-bought chemical drain cleaners work on clogs by creating heat that dissolves the blockage. However, if the substance gets on porcelain, stainless steel, or aluminum bathroom fixtures it can cause corrosion that will ruin these surfaces. To prevent damage, pour the drain cleaner as close to the drain as you can and never use more than the minimum amount necessary to impact the clog. Most drain cleaning chemicals require that you add water to the cleaner or put the cleaner in standing water; do this slowly and carefully to avoid splashing.

Damage PVC or Corroded Pipes

Chemical drain cleaners can also damage PVC, old, or corroded pipes. If you have or think you have this kind of plumbing, an enzymatic drain cleaner is probably a wiser choice to resolve a clogged drain. While enzyme cleaners are sometimes less effective at dissolving clogs, they are much less corrosive to pipes and plumbing. You can also try a pipe snake if you’re nervous about using a drain cleaning solution.

If you have ever used a chemical drain cleaner, you know how noxious the fumes can be. To avoid breathing in these harmful gases, open the windows and doors in your bathroom and stand back as soon as you pour the cleaner into the drain. Never stand close to a clogged drain and watch the cleaner work.

Chemical Reaction

Chemical drain cleaners contain a variety of different chemicals that can react severely if mixed. If you try one brand of cleaner and it doesn’t work, don’t try another kind. You could unintentionally set off a chemical reaction, release toxic fumes into the air, or even cause a sudden eruption of chemicals from your drain. Mixing different kinds of cleaners can also create reactions inside the pipes that will make it much more difficult—and in some cases even impossible—to remove clogs later manually.

Never, ever mix chemical drain cleaners with any product containing bleach. This can create deadly chlorine gas that is toxic to people and animals.

As with many things, you get what you pay for with chemical drain cleaners. An attractive price tag often hides an ineffective product with a low strength chemical mixture or unstable combinations of substances. You may actually spend more when you buy a discount brand product, as you’ll probably have to use many applications of it before you see results. It’s better to choose a mid- to high-priced product with a recognizable name and reputation for quality. An even better idea? Call a reputable drain cleaning contractor like Horizon Services. The drain cleaning pros at Horizon Services can unclog any blocked-up household drain quickly, cleanly, safely and inexpensively.

Contact Horizon Services

With over 20 years of service experience, we have helped thousands of homeowners in the Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Gloucester, Camden and Burlington County NJ and Northeastern Maryland areas with their plumbing needs. Our team of plumbing professionals consists of some of the most experienced and most qualified plumbers working today in the Delaware Valley. These are top-notch plumbing technicians who can accurately diagnose and quickly fix any and all plumbing problems. Plumbing emergencies are our specialty!


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