Effects of Chemical Drain Cleaning on Your Plumbing System
Clogged drains can be a headache. When the water stops draining in your system, it is natural to want to fix the problem quickly. Buying and using chemical drain cleaners has become a popular remedy to the situation. However, some chemical drain cleaners can be hazardous on your pipes. They can even lead to more expensive trouble later on. This is why it is important to understand the effect that chemical drain cleaners can have on your pipes. It can also be helpful to know what you can use as an alternative drain cleaner to prolong the age of your pipes.
How Drain Cleaners Work
There are a variety of chemicals that brand name drain cleaners use in their solution; these are sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium hypochlorite (bleach), sodium chloride (salt), sodium nitrate, and aluminum. Depending on the mix, the chemical reaction that is responsible for clearing your pipes happens in different ways. For example, lye and aluminum will create heat that can speed up the decomposition of buildup.
Drain Cleaner Damage
Drain cleaners are made with strong chemicals. These chemicals are caustic or oxidizing, which means that long-term use can damage your pipes. If you have an older plumbing system, drain cleaners can cause degradation. For those with plastic pipes, the heat created by drain cleaners as they work through your pipes can cause warping or melting. This, in turn, can cause plastic pipes to leak.
Furthermore, chemical drain cleaners are toxic to the environment. They can be dangerous to wildlife and a risk to the safety of our water supply. Chemical drain cleaners can also create damage to septic tanks. Their strength causes them to destroy the good enzymes and bacteria in your tank. These are the things that help break down the waste.
These chemicals can also be hazardous to your health. Drain cleaners begin emitting fumes as soon as they are poured into the sink. These fumes can irritate your eyes and skin and may even cause breathing problems. Although the chemicals start their cleaning process right away, the fumes can still be seeping out of your pipes for days to come. This can be a particular problem if there are kids or animals in your home.
For all the above reasons, you would be better off using alternative drain cleaners or hiring a professional plumber to take care of the problem. This is the sure-fire way to get your clog taken care of without harming your pipes. Hiring a professional plumber is also the safest choice because there can be a variety of reasons that your drains are not working properly. Leaving it in the hands of the professionals can save you a lot of repair expenses down the road.
Tips to Keep Your Drains Clear
One of the best ways to keep clogs from giving you trouble is to practice some preventative maintenance of your drains. Some of the ways you can prevent buildup from happening in your pipes include:
- Use a drain strainer that can help keep hair, soap, shampoo, and other elements that clog up drains from getting into your pipes.
- Prevent food scraps from being washed down the drain. You can keep a compost container to reduce the amount of organic waste that gets put down your sinks or toilets.
- Twice a week, flush your drain with hot water, which can help reduce greasy buildup. You can also follow it with baking soda to reduce any odours.
- Don’t pour grease down the drain. Rather, collect it in a container to discard later.
- Choose an enzyme culture drain cleaner and use it once a month on your drains and septic system.
- Every year, remove and clean your drain trap to reduce the chances of buildup causing problems.
For more information about professional plumbing services, call Brothers Plumbing at 1-800-742-0018 or contact us here.
Posted By Brothers Plumbing