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  • Writer's pictureDean's Plumbing

Are Drain Cleaners Safe For Plumbing?

Updated: Apr 26

A clogged drain is a surefire way to make your day infinitely more inconvenient for any household in Beavercreek, OH. It could be in your kitchen sink or your bathroom shower — regardless of its location, it manages to be a real pain for anyone. 


Drain Cleaners Safe For Plumbing


So maybe you should just grab a trusty bottle of drain cleaner and dump that chemical sludge down your drain to eat whatever is causing the clog. These products advertise themselves as being able to break down anything, so what’s the harm? 


Believe it or not, chemical drain cleaning does far more harm than good. It usually isn’t even the best strategy to remove the blockage in question. Keep reading to find out more about the truth behind these seemingly simple cure-all products. 


Varieties of Chemical Drain Cleaners

When you buy any form of chemical drain cleaning, you’re told that the solution inside that brightly-colored bottle can eat through any obstruction. But there’s not just one kind of cleaner. Looking a little closer at the packaging, you’ll find that these products fit into three distinct drain cleaning categories: acidic, oxidizing, and caustic solutions.


Acidic Drain Cleaning Products

These products are the harshest method, with ingredients like sulfuric or muriatic acids that break down clogs. They may need several applications to work effectively and are most commonly used for obstructions formed by hair. 


Oxidizing Drain Cleaning Products

These products are less harsh and built around substances like bleach, peroxide, or certain nitrates. They’re less useful for severe cases, but given time they can break down a clog formed from organic material such as food waste.


Caustic Drain Cleaning Products

These products are on the opposite end of the spectrum from acidic cleaners, but they both work similarly when breaking down certain materials. They have a higher pH and are made from lye or potash, ostensibly for fighting grease-based blockages.


The appeal of pour-in drain cleaning is that it claims to be a quick and easy way to work through a clog without the need for professional help. But are they worth it? If you ask any qualified plumber, you’ll find that a majority think otherwise.


Consequences of Aggressive Drain Cleaning

Chemical drain cleaners, regardless of the variety, are all made of highly corrosive ingredients. The consequences of using these substances go much farther than a simple bulk of hair or grease. 


Physical Consequences

The ingredients that dissolve clogs will have a similar effect on clothes or exposed skin. If misused, you can expect irritation, rashes, and perhaps even chemical burns on any skin it makes contact with. This damage also happens if they escape the pipe via leaks.


Environmental Consequences

Even trace amounts of chemicals used for drain cleaning can cause untold damage if released into the ecosystem. Something as simple as recycling a drain cleaner bottle without rinsing it out can feed into tainting your local groundwater.


Plumbing Consequences

Assuming that your chemical drain cleaning does eat a clog, it’ll also erode the piping material around it. This corrosion weakens your plumbing in the long term and leaves it vulnerable to leaks and future ruptures.


Some Better Alternatives

So you have a clog, and you still want to try and treat it yourself. That’s okay! There are things you can try before you call someone like us. Depending on the material of your clog, you may find success in something as simple as running near-boiling water down the drain and following it with a cold rinse. 


You can also mix baking soda and vinegar and let them sit in your drain overnight. This approach creates a similar chemical reaction as those grocery store drain cleaners without any toxic side effects. 


If you rinse it out and you find that your plumbing is still backed up, that’s when it’s time to look into someone like the team at Dean’s Plumbing.


Calling a Professional Plumber

When searching for “plumbers near me” in and around Beavercreek, OH,  you’ll find the best provider is Dean’s Plumbing. We’ve been around since the 1990s, and ever since then, we’ve valued both the family we’ve made and the ones we serve every single day. 


We’re a local business that’s been growing with every generation, and we hope to use our spirit to make your home more comfortable.  


Our team has the equipment and training to identify a clog and remove it in the most efficient way possible. You won’t get a repeat blockage when we’re done, and you can get back to using your plumbing with confidence. So for blocked clogs in Beavercreek, Xenia or Dayton, trust Dean’s Plumbing to clear things right up!

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