For most people when a drain gets clogged it’s a huge inconvenience and they want it cleared immediately. Most often, a drain clog occurs in either the kitchen or the bathroom resulting in water backing up and sometimes overflowing. In both the kitchen and the bathroom the overflowing water likely contains organic materials that have begun to decompose and are growing bacteria. When the water of the affected basin overflows due to a drain clog, the bacteria in the water can pose a serious health risk.
Many homeowners are seduced by the commercials and the claims that on the shelf of their local home improvement store sits a product that can relieve all of their clog problems, and all they have to do is pour a jug of the stuff down the drain. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.
Here are 3 reasons to not use over the counter drain cleaners:
The chemicals in over-the-counter drain cleaners are highly toxic. When they are used they emit fumes that are harmful and can exacerbate symptoms of asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Even after the cleaner has been poured down the drain, it will still give off gases and fumes. These chemicals are also harmful if they get into your eyes or on your skin.
The chemicals in over-the-counter drain cleaners are highly caustic and can damage your pipes at the same time that they are “cleaning” them. The primary ingredient in these cleaners is hydrochloric acid, which will corrode pipes and create weaknesses and potentially cracks. In an effort to clear a drain clog or, clean your pipes you could be creating a major plumbing disaster by weakening your pipes leading to a burst.
The chemicals in over-the-counter drain cleaners are terrible for the environment. These chemicals are poured down the drain and then taken out to the sewage treatment facility. This puts the environment at risk because the sewage treatment facility is not configured to remove all traces of these chemicals. Also, trace amounts of these chemicals are left in the bottles, which are tossed into landfills.
Having a clogged drain is the last thing that anyone wants to deal with. There is never a good time for these messy inconveniences to occur and getting the situation fixed immediately is priority number one. However, the best way to clear a clogged drain is to call a plumber who will bring the proper tools. Using an over-the-counter drain cleaner could do you more harm than good.