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Are Drain Cleaners Safe for My Drains?

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Every homeowner has faced a clogged drain of some kind, whether a small bathroom sink drain, toilet, or shower drain. Most of us whip out our faithful plunger and have at it! However, a plunger won’t get to the bottom of drains because they have bathroom products and hair combined that get wrapped around our bathroom stopper and shower drains, and in most instances, the plunger won’t get to them. In that case, a homeowner will want to purchase a drain cleaner. So, what is the real scoop on drain cleaners? I hope we can all use common sense regarding drain cleaners. 

Ask most plumbing companies what they think about commercial drain cleaners, and you’ll usually get an answer like this:

  • First, they will harm your pipes. 
  • Second, they’re bad for your septic system.
  • Third, it will ruin the finish on your faucets.

And the list goes on! Can you imagine if this was even partially true for products like Draino and Liquid Plumr? These companies would have never lasted for the past sixty years if the products served the purpose of clearing minor clogs in your kitchen, shower, and bathroom drains. The key is “MINOR.” Drain cleaners never were designed to clear a tough clogged drain. Do not use drain cleaners on clogged toilets. As a side note, it’s always best to use a plunger before chemicals.

Drain Cleaners

Your Drain Cleaner is Very Helpful if Used Correctly

Drain cleaners used responsibly are very helpful for the average homeowner; in fact, for heavily used bathroom drains, a small amount for maintenance once a month will stop black slime from growing in the drain. Carefully read the directions and strictly follow them. Stick to branded cleansers such as Drano and Liquid Plumr. Better yet, consider a non-caustic cleaner that is safe for the environment.

The Majority of Drain Cleaner’s Active Ingredient is Lye

Sodium hydroxide, sometimes referred to as caustic soda or lye, is the main component in Drano, as well as other common drain cleaners. It is a synthetic substance utilized for its corrosive qualities. However, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the material is not regarded as a pollutant since it splits into relatively innocuous components when discharged into water or damp soil.

Sodium hydroxide is an irritant that can irritate your skin if not removed quickly. In addition, inhaling sodium hydroxide through mist, aerosol, or dust can aggravate the nose and throat if breathed in respiratory airways, so it’s best to avoid contact, according to the CDC. Finally, keep it away from the reach of children since, if swallowed, it will probably cause vomiting and chest or stomach pain, making swallowing difficult.

Other Alternatives are More Effective

There are other alternatives available for people who want to avoid these toxins completely. With a little elbow grease, plunger, or small drain snake, obstructions may frequently be cleared just as effectively and, in some cases, even better than sodium hydroxide solutions. For small bathroom drains, pouring a 3/4 cup of baking soda combined with a 1/2 cup of vinegar into the drain, then immediately flushing it with hot water, is another effective home treatment.

Maintain Your Plumbing System with natural drain cleaners

Non-Caustic Alternatives are Available

Another alternative is to select one of the many enzyme biological drain cleaners currently available at your local home center or Amazon. A couple of environmentally friendly drain cleaners recommendations are BacOut by Bi-O-Kleen or Enzyme Drain Cleaner. Both drain cleaners use a natural bacterial and enzyme blend to open and clear drains clear. Additionally, they’re non-caustic and won’t promote combustion, unlike sodium hydroxide.

What You Should Know about Drain Cleaners?

You should read the direction carefully because many drain cleaners work on clogs differently. Make sure they will work on the sort of blockage you’re dealing with. For example, scum and hair are more likely to be the source of bathroom clogs, while a grease-cutting solution is typically needed for kitchen jams.

How Long Should It Take to Unclog My Drain?

While some solutions will unclog your drains in twenty minutes, others perform better when left overnight. To prevent wasting money or time, be very attentive to how much drain cleaner you should use and how long you should let it sit. 

How will it Affect Your Plumbing System?

Picking a drain cleaner is especially important if you have a septic tank, plastic pipes, or garbage disposal. Although, not all cleansers are safe for septic tanks or pipes. However, those that are will clearly state it in the directions.

How Do They Work?

Strong chemicals get used in drain cleaners. These chemicals start a chemical reaction inside your drain. Drain cleaners either remove or add electrons to the blockage-causing material, which produces heat and melts grease to unclog the drain.

How Will Drain Cleaners Affect My Septic System?

The majority of drain cleaners include chemicals that will affect the environment in your tank by interfering with or killing the microbes in your septic system. In addition, most drain cleaning products are not approved for septic systems. Read the label before making a purchase. 

The Easiest Approach is to Apply Some Maintenance

The easiest approach to avoid clogged drains is to follow a regular maintenance schedule, as any plumbing technician will advise you. Drains may be kept clear by flushing them with hot water once a week. Additionally, placing a tiny screen called a drain strainer over your drains will aid in preventing the entry of lint, hair, and other obstructing materials into the pipeline. 

#1 For Drain Cleaning And Hydro Jetting in The Inland Empire

Need a highly rated drain cleaning service? Big B’s Plumbing has you covered! We have the latest equipment for tough drains requiring a plumber’s snake or hydro jetting. There is not a drain we cannot clear. We’ve served the Inland Empire, Murrieta, Temecula, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, and surrounding areas for over a decade.  

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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