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Long Term Effects of Drain Cleaners

Nov 11, 2016 | Plumbing Tips

We’ve cleared many drains over the years in Cambridge, K-W. Much of the time we are called in after homeowners have tried to clear their drains by chemical means. Many turn to liquids that are either chemical or enzymatic when they have a clogged drain. It’s often an easy task and it doesn’t require the expense of calling in a plumber.

These cleaners sometimes work at clearing organic clogs (hair, paper products and foods), it’s when they don’t work – or work slowly that homeowners run the risk of causing further damage to their plumbing system.

The two most common forms of drain cleaners involve the use of sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide. These two are very corrosive to the organic materials as well as the pipes (copper, galvanized, PVC and iron) themselves. If the clog is not cleared quickly, the corrosive solution can sit in the pipes for some time. This will cause premature wear within the pipes and may involve removing parts of the residence to repair and replace.

The effect of these corrosive cleaners on the environment is also unnecessary. Eventually they will make it into rivers and lakes.

Two alternatives to using harsh chemicals are to employ a biodegradable alternative. These enzymatic options are poured down the drain and ‘eat’ organic material. They take longer to work, but they are far safer on pipes and our environment.

The other option is to call a plumber. They have specialized equipment (cameras and rotating snakes) to quickly clear the clog. The camera is often very useful in diagnosing why the clog is happening. It’s possible it’s an unfortunate event, but it may also point to a pipe slope issue that requires fixing. We’ll show you exactly what we see on the camera and we’ll take time to explain the issue to you.

To prevent clogs, remember to not place grease down sinks – let it harden first, then throw out it out in the garbage. You may also choose to install hair traps in tub and sink drains.

If you have a clogged drain, call Chasles Plumbing Professionals. We always use the best methods that are right for our customer and the environment – and we do it all at reasonable prices.