Use Caution with Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are often used as a quick fix for slow moving drains, but they may be doing major damage to your plumbing. Plus, they pose serious health hazards.

Here’s why you should think twice before dumping harsh chemicals down your drains.

Chemical Reactions Possible

Certain liquid drain cleaners produce toxic vapors. If inhaled, these vapors could cause severe skin reactions, shortness of breath and eye irritations.

That’s why labels on the bottles instruct you to use the chemical drain cleaner in a well-ventilated area with gloves. You’re also warned never to mix two or more drain cleaners together because of volatile chemical reactions, and to always wear rubber gloves, an eye mask and face protection when dealing with the product.

Even if you follow all these safety precautions, it’s best to steer clear of the stuff altogether. That’s because they can burn through the interior of the pipe, compromising the performance of your plumbing system. Call a plumber instead. Professionals use specialized tools, such as augers, plumber’s snake and hydro-mechanical jetting to bust up clogs without causing undue damage to your plumbing.

Environmental Impact

There's always the danger that when you use chemical drain cleaners, harmful chemicals will enter the local water supply and harm the ecosystem. What's more, chemical drain cleaners can potentially be filtered through your home's septic tank and eventually make their way back into your family's ground water, which is potentially used for bathing and drinking. Who needs that?

Safer Alternatives

Consider natural alternatives, such as enzyme-based solutions. This type of product has bacteria that will eat away at the gunky build-up. You can also use a vinegar and baking powder solution. Neither option is tough on clogs exactly -- you’ll need a professional to deal with those. However, this approach can help maintain clean pipes, preventing clogs from developing in the first place.

For all your plumbing needs, contact Anderson Plumbing, Heating and Electric at (334) 231-6980.