There are few things more disgusting than a drain clogged with hair, food particles, or other debris, so it’s only natural that most would prefer to reach for a chemical drain cleaner rather than reaching in to unclog the drain manually. However, the chemicals in store-bought drain cleaners can be hazardous to the well-being of your plumbing system and even your physical health.
The hazards of chemical drain cleaners:
- Damage to pipes and septic system – While chemical drain cleaners may dissolve the debris clogging your drain, the chemical solutions in them are so powerful that they can eat away at your pipes in the process. Repeated usage can even produce holes in your pipes that will create more serious plumbing problems down the line. Older pipes are particularly susceptible to damage.
- High toxicity – Drain clearing chemicals have extremely high toxicity levels. They produce fumes that linger in the air and are toxic to inhale, potentially burning your eyes or mucous membranes. Residue from these chemicals can also wind up in landfills and water supply, poisoning the earth and any wildlife.
- They don’t work on every clog – Not every clogged drain is caused by a build-up of debris. Pipes can also back up due to broken pipes or problems down the sewer line. Pouring chemical cleaners down the drain won’t do anything to solve either clog. Even the most stubborn clogs caused by debris may be resistant to chemical cleaner, which will risk further damage to your system if it just sits inside the pipe.
- They can cause burns – If drain cleaners make contact with eyes or skin, they can cause serious chemical burns. Even a small splash or a drip down the side of the bottle could harm your skin if not immediately washed off.
- Harmful to septic system – Your septic system utilizes organic bacteria in order to break down waste. Chemical drain cleaners kill these bacteria, which will prevent your septic system from functioning properly. To fix it, you may have to get your entire system pumped out and cleaned.
Chemical drain cleaners are dangerous and can cause problems that will ultimately cost you more time, money, and stress than simply having them cleaned out by a professional in the first place. If your plumbing is backing up and you aren’t able to manually clean it out yourself, one of Bonfe’s professional plumbers will take care of the blockage in a way that protects the safety of your system.