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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Can Drain Cleaner Damage Pipes?

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration Chemical drain cleaners can cause more problems than they fix

Can Drain Cleaner Damage Pipes?

If anyone in your North Des Plaines, IL, household has long hair, you are probably all too familiar with having a clogged drain. When you are trying to use the bathroom sink to brush your teeth, nothing is more frustrating than watching water collect in the basin. Out of annoyance, it can be tempting to grab a bottle of drain cleaner from your local store, but should you? Sometimes, chemical drain cleaners can cause more problems than they fix.

When You Should Not Use Drain Cleaners
Drain cleaners can solve minor issues when it comes to a clogged drain, but you should not use them regularly. Over time, the chemicals inside the cleaner can wear away at piping. That said, there are some instances when you should not use drain cleaner at all on your drains. Examples of these times include:

  • When you have plastic pipes
  • When you have old and/or weak pipes
  • When the drain is completely clogged

If any of these situations apply to you, it is better to contact a sewage cleaning professional to assist with your problem.

Problems With Drain Cleaners
Why can drain cleaners be so harmful? It comes down to how they work. When there is a big clog in your pipe, drain cleaners work through it by using heat. This heat is usually generated through one of three chemicals: caustic, oxidizing or acid. These create powerful chemical interactions that work by corroding away buildup. In the same way, they can also cause corrosion to the pipe. Another problem that arises is having a clog caused by fats, oils or grease. Referred to as "FOG clogs," these kinds of drain clogs can lead to further blockage because the clog is simply pushed further down the pipe into a harder-to-reach location.
While drain cleaners can sometimes be useful, it is important to think about their risks. It is always wise keep your home's unique piping conditions in mind before pouring any chemicals down a clogged drain.

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