Liquid Drain Cleaners are Dangerous

Aug 20, 2011 | Helpful Plumbing Tips, Pipes, Drains & Valves

drain-cleaners-danger-article

Liquid Drain Cleaners are a quick, inexpensive, convenient solution for many people with a slow or a clogged drain. Chemical drain cleaners are easy to find and relatively cheap, particularly when you compare the price of a bottle of drain opener to the cost of one visit from a plumber. However, these popular products could end up being very expensive in the long run, as they are dangerous both to pipes and to people.

These liquid drain cleaners are caustic chemicals that are best used to dissolve soft clogs like hair or grease. While most of these are available to anyone in your local discount store, some are very heavy duty and should only be used by licensed plumbers. These chemicals eat away at these soft clogs near the surface of the drain opening, but they can eat away at other things.

Liquid drain cleaner can cause a lot of damage to you if it gets on you or in you. These chemicals can burn you if they come in contact with you externally or internally. If even a little splashes back on you during use, be sure to wash it off immediately (or to follow any other protocol the manufacturer lists on the packaging), if it is left on your skin it could cause some serious burns. If ingested, liquid drain cleaner can be fatal; this is why it is important to keep these products away from children and pets. These are some of the most hazardous items that the public can easily and readily purchase.

While these drain cleaners can often be effective, they may not always unclog your drain, particularly if the clog is deep. Shallow clogs near the surface work best with these products. If you have used chemical drain opener with no success, you will have to manually unclog the sink. If these caustic chemicals remain in the pipes behind a deep clog, they may be stirred up by your further unclogging efforts. This means that these chemicals might come up the drain and could splash back onto your skin or even in your face.

Your items can also be damaged by liquid drain cleaner. These are caustic chemicals designed to dissolve clogs, like hair, meaning they can dissolve other things as well. Liquid drain cleaner can cause damage to a variety of items like wood, fiberglass, paint, and fabrics.

Liquid drain cleaners can be dangerous to your pipes as well. These cleaners can dissolve clogs, but they could easily dissolve much more. Old plumbing is particularly susceptible to further problems when these drain openers are used. Metal pipes can be eaten away by liquid drain cleaners. If you use these often, or if your pipes are otherwise compromised, the cleaner can create a hole in the pipe, and this, in turn, leads to a much bigger plumbing problem. You may have started out with a common clog, but you could end up with a large leak inside a wall and an even larger bill for a plumber, carpenter, and other contractors to repair the damage.

While liquid drain cleaners may seem like a good, quick, inexpensive way to fix a clog, they are incredibly dangerous and risky. Not only could you or a loved one get hurt by using these caustic chemicals, but you could also do damage to you property. Most often, however, the danger is to your pipes. While you might not know it now, repeated use of liquid drain openers could be causing your pipes to slowly be eaten away, leading to a much larger job than a simple clog. To avoid these risks, avoid liquid drain cleaners and use more traditional methods to unclog drains, and consider getting a professional plumber involved.

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Jennifer Newsome
Jennifer Newsome
01/11/2021
Verified
We had a leak in our basement on a Sunday evening and Narrow Path Plumbing sent out Terry ASAP! He quickly found the leak, repaired it, checked all faucets to ensure good pressure. He cleaned everything up and it was like he was never even here. I appreciate this company sending out someone late on a Sunday and also doing such a great, fast and professional job!! Great job Narrow Path Plumbing!!
Mad MO
Mad MO
22/10/2021
Verified
Have used Narrow Path for multiple jobs on multiple properties. They have always been extremely informative, punctual, and reasonably priced. I highly recommend them.
Vicki Singer
Vicki Singer
05/10/2021
Verified
Mike & Terry remodeled 2 of my bathrooms along with the drywall finisher and did a beautiful job. Had multiple leaky shut off valves replaced & a kitchen faucet replaced. Had lines run so I could move my laundry up out of my basement & poor Mike had to run wiring through my attic on a 90 degree day. I was so worried he would have a heat stroke but he never complained once. Also had a whole house filter replaced & a valve replaced on my hot water tank by another plumber whose name I can't remember but they all were polite and did professional work.
Michael Brice Keller
Michael Brice Keller
10/09/2021
Verified
The whole team was great. Joe, Glenn, Justin, Mike and Terry. Thanks for an awesome new bathroom addition
David Brown
David Brown
09/09/2021
Verified
Josh S cleaned a tankless hot water system, repaired two toilets, and unclogged a drain in a little over an hour. He was professional, listened carefully, and was very personable. We have never had a bad experience with Narrow Path, and we highly recommend them.
Patricia Mullins
Patricia Mullins
03/09/2021
Verified
Toilet leaking from the tank. Not good 😪. Enter Tom and Drey. I love these guys. New toilet replaced and new shut off valve. Everything is perfect now. These guys are a 10 star team. Polite, professional, clean and neat. Same day service at a reasonable price. Can't beat them. Highly recommend. Give these boys a bonus!!