When you discover that you have a clogged sink, toilet or shower drain all you want to do is get the water flowing as quickly as possible. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is with a chemical drain cleaner. Seems harmless enough, all you do is pour the solution into the drain let it sit and was it all away with some hot water. But did you know that this easy drain cleaning option can actually cause your plumbing a lot of damage?
Should You Use A Chemical Drain Cleaner?
While chemical drain cleaners are tempting, you’re probably better off avoiding them. Chemical drain cleaners are always a threat to your plumbing, but especially when:
You have older pipes in your home
You use them with plastic pipes
You use it on a completely blocked drain
These cleaners work by creating heat which turns the clog into a more liquid form so that it can slide through your pipes more easily. However, because they generate heat they can melt plastic pipes or deteriorate your older metal pipes.
What Are The Alternatives?
Instead of using these harsh and toxic chemicals, try some of the following the next time you come across a clogged drain.
Dish Soap and Hot Water
This tip works best on grease clogs, so should probably be limited to kitchen sink clogs. Boil about 2 liters of hot water and then add a few tablespoons of dish soap, once you’ve done this pour it slowly down the drain. The heat from the water will turn the grease back into a liquid and the soap will work to loosen it.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Another option for clearing a drain is vinegar and baking soda. They work in a similar fashion to the chemical cleaner without toxic chemicals. Sprinkle some baking soda into the drain and pour in some vinegar to top it off. You’ll hear it bubbling and should be able to clear the clog within 10 - 15 minutes.
Generally, a plunger will work but if it's a stubborn clog you may need to try something else. If you’re plunging and plunging and nothing is happening, the clog may be getting pushed further into the piping making it harder to reach. In extreme cases of clogged drains, calling a professional might be your best bet.
If You're Not Getting Results Call a Pro
If plunging and homemade drain cleaners didn’t work, then it's time to call in a professional to clear that clog. They may need to snake the drain with an auger specially made for pipes to clear out hard-to-remove clogs. Most of the time a plunger will clear the clog after a few tries, but if not you should call in a plumber to get the problem taken care of quickly and efficiently.
If you have a clogged sink or toilet and need help, call Brownie’s Septic & Plumbing. Brownie's has been serving the residents of Orlando for over 70 years. Our 24-hour emergency service is available whenever you need it.