There are a few common plumbing habits that can actually be quite risky or even destructive to your home’s plumbing system, and one of the most common is within the realm of drain clogs and chemical cleaners. Many people naturally reach for Drain-O or a similar chemical drain cleaner when they have a clog – but there are actually several key reasons why this shouldn’t be your normal approach here.
At Green Line Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’re here to offer a wide range of plumbing services to clients around Herriman, South Jordan and Bluffdale, including drain cleaning and main sewer line services for any clog you’re dealing with. Here are some basics on how chemical drain cleaners work, why they’re a risk to use regularly, and some alternatives that tend to be much more robust.
How Chemical Drain Cleaners Work
Chemical drain cleaners come in several forms, including liquid (the most common), powder, crystal, and gel. Through various combinations of gas, heat or pressure, they are meant to break down and dissolve clogs.
Different chemicals can be more effective for different types of clogs, but generally speaking they will work by producing hot gas that will cause the blockage to break apart or dissolve in water, allowing it to flow freely down the drain.
Why is this potentially a problem in your plumbing system? Our next several sections will go over the key reasons.
Perhaps the single largest issue with chemical drain cleaners is that they can potentially damage your pipes. This is because many of the chemicals used in them are quite caustic, and as these substances move down the pipes, they can erode away at the material inside, leading to cracks or other structural issues.
Over time, this can lead to more clogs (as the pipes become narrower), and it can also cause water to back up into your home, leading to a range of potential issues.
Chemical drain cleaners can often be effective at breaking apart clogs in the short-term, but they may not solve the underlying issue that caused them in the first place. In some cases, if the clog is caused by items such as tree roots or grease buildup, chemical cleaners won’t be able to provide a full fix.
They may also not be able to reach certain areas of your piping system where the clog is located – meaning that you’ll need to call in professional help anyway.
In part two of our series, we’ll look at some other major drawbacks to using chemical drain cleaners, as well as some alternatives that you can use instead. At Green Line Plumbing, Heating & Air, we specialize in all forms of plumbing services, from drain cleaning to main sewer line services – so give us a call today if you’re dealing with a clog!