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Drain Cleaners and Plumbing: What You Need to Know


Stephens Plumbing

December 27, 2022


Drain cleaners are often used to clear stubborn blockages in plumbing, but ask any experienced plumber if drain cleaner is safe to use, and you’ll likely get a resounding “No.” But why, exactly?

In this article, we’ll discuss why drain cleaners should not be used as a first resort for dealing with clogged drains and what alternatives you have available.

Are Drain Cleaners Safe for Plumbing?

Drain cleaners are a class of chemical compounds that, when added to water, react with substances like calcium and grease to break them down. This reaction can be extremely powerful, allowing the drain cleaner to clear the blockage in the pipes.

However, while this may sound appealing on paper, there are several potential dangers associated with using these harsh chemicals in your plumbing.

The most immediate issue is that these cleaners can be harmful to you and those around you. The active ingredients used in drain cleaners are often caustic and corrosive, meaning they can cause severe skin burns if not handled properly.

Additionally, the reaction of the drain cleaner with organic material can produce toxic fumes, which can be hazardous to your health and that of anyone else in the vicinity.

Health issues aside, the primary problem with using these cleaners is that they can damage your plumbing system. As mentioned previously, drain cleaners are very powerful and can react with the material inside the pipes, potentially damaging them beyond repair.

And if too much cleaner is used or left in the pipes for too long, it can leave a thick coating of chemical residue that can restrict water flow and cause further damage.

Finally, drain cleaners don’t always work. The chemicals may not be able to dissolve the blockage, or the pressure generated by the reaction may be insufficient to clear it. In these cases, you’ll still have a blocked drain with the added problem of potentially damaged pipes.

Alternative Solutions

Fortunately, several alternatives to harsh chemical drain cleaners can be just as effective at clearing a clog while being much safer and gentler on your plumbing system. 

There are various options available, from bio cleaners and drain snakes to baking soda and plungers.

In many cases, these methods are more effective and reliable than chemical drain cleaners and much safer for your plumbing system and those using it.

So the next time you deal with a blocked drain, consider using one of these alternative solutions instead of harsh chemical cleaners. In doing so, you can potentially prevent damage to your plumbing system, ensure the safety of those around you, and save yourself time and money in the long run.

Not Sure What to Do? Call Stephens Plumbing Today

At Stephens, we’re committed to providing our customers with the best possible service.

If you’re dealing with a blocked drain or need help deciding on the best solution for your plumbing needs, don’t hesitate to contact us today. 

Our experienced plumbers will ensure your plumbing system is in top condition and that you’re safe from any potential problems.

So don’t let a clogged drain ruin your day—Contact Stephens Plumbing for experience and expertise you can trust.


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