Soap. Grease. Hair. Mineral build-up. 

There are so many potential causes for a clog in your drain. And, if you have one, you may think it’s best to use a chemical drain cleaner to quickly and cheaply fix the problem.

However, as you go to pour those products down your sink or shower, you have a thought: is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners? Here’s what you should consider — and what the alternative is.

How Do Chemical Drain Cleaners Work? 

Regardless of the form, your chemical drain cleaner takes — liquid, crystal, etc. — it will work in much the same way. These products are designed to react with the components of whatever is blocking your drain. As the chemical reaction takes place, it creates gas and heat, which breaks down the clog and clears out the drain pipe.

What Harmful Chemicals Are in Drain Cleaners?

However, your drain cleaner has to contain chemicals to get this reaction. These can be harsh additives, such as bleach, lye, peroxide or caustic potash. These names may not all be familiar to you, but they have similar clearing effects on your drain — and potentially damaging effects on your home and health.

Is It Safe to Use Chemical Drain Cleaners?

A drain cleaner isn’t convenient, but ultimately it’s not the best option for clearing your drain.

For starters, these chemicals aren’t always safe for you to use. If you touch them, they can irritate your skin. If you breathe them in, they can be toxic.

Plus, a chemical drain cleaner can’t discern what’s a blockage and what isn’t. So, the chemical reaction that eats away at a clog might also start to eat away at the pipe surrounding it, causing damage to the integrity of your plumbing.

This is especially problematic if you have older pipes or pipes made of PVC. These materials may not be able to withstand the chemical reaction, especially if it misfires and starts reacting with the pipe instead of the clog.

Have you ever poured a chemical drain cleaner down your sink and found that it did not affect the clog at all? This is an even worse scenario than the one described above!

It means that the chemical cleaner hasn’t broken down the clog. As such, the chemicals are just sitting in your pipes, likely wearing away at the material surrounding them. 

In this case — and the case of any other clog — your best bet is to call in the experts. A professional drain cleaning is a much safer option for your home and your family’s health.

Who Can Help Me With My Clogged Drain?

Now you know the answer to your question, is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners? And, knowing what you know now, you’re probably keen to find another option for your clogged drain.

We’re here to help with all of your plumbing needs. Click here to contact us today.

Browse our blog to see a few articles on the plumbing industry.

NJ Drain Cleaning Signs and Solutions

6 Types of Drain Pipes and What is Best For Each Need

NJ Outdoor Sewer and Drain Cleaning