When your bathtub or kitchen sink gets clogged, what do you do? Most homeowners reach for a can of the leading drain cleaner and dump it down the drain, letting it eat away at the clog.
Commercials for these products make them seem very effective and very safe, but in truth, chemical drain cleaners are dangerous for your home, for the environment, and even for your own health. Consider why they should be avoided.
Dangers to the Pipes
These chemical drain cleaners use corrosives to eat away at whatever it is that is clogging the drain, but this also causes them to eat away at the pipes. Older pipes are especially susceptible to this corrosion, and using chemical drain cleaners can cause water leaks which in turn can lead to mould in the home.
Repeated use of chemical drain cleaners can cause permanent damage and the need to have pipes replaced completely. Mould build-up can also result in severe damage to the walls of the home.
Danger to the Environment
Chemicals that you put down the drain wind up in the water supply just like everything else, and these chemicals can build up and be dangerous.
There is not always a good way to filter and clean the water in a city’s supply and chemicals that are strong enough to eat away at hair and grease in a drain are strong enough to damage the environment in the city water supply.
Danger to Health
Because of their corrosive nature, these chemical drain cleaners can also be damaging to your health.
You may note that cans of cleaner will advise the wearing of thick gloves and even a dust mask when you use these cleaners because of how they hurt the skin, and the lining of the lungs.
Breathing in the fumes of these cleaners can wear away at the delicate lung tissue and cause breathing disorders especially when used repeated. They can also cause burns on the skin.
It’s always best to handle drain clogs with natural products when possible, and to call a plumber when necessary. Simple tools like covers for the bathtub drain to keep out hair can help, and when a garbage disposal is clogged, removing the pipes under the sink can clear it. A plumber can handle even simple jobs like this if you want to protect your home, your health, and the environment.