Are Chemical Drain Cleaners Safe?By Winters Home Services
Clogged kitchen, shower, sink, and bathtub drains are a problem. As soon as they occur, your daily life is interrupted. You can’t wash dishes. You can’t wash your hands. You can’t take a bath, and you can’t shower without standing in foul-smelling, dirty water.
So, what are you to do? Run how to your nearest store and buy one of those harsh chemical drain cleaners you’ve seen on TV? Are they effective, but more importantly, are they safe for your family?
1. Are chemical drain cleaners effective?
Whether you go for the gel, powder, or liquid form, most of the chemical drain cleaners at superstores and home improvement stores are made out of harsh, toxic chemicals. Without getting too scientific or technical, chemical drain cleaners generate heat, which breaks down hair, grease and soap scum in drains so they can be easily dissolved.
The three main types of chemical drain cleaners include caustic (they may contain lye and caustic potash), oxidizing (these typically contain bleach, nitrates, and bleach), and acid drain cleaners (they usually have high concentrations of hydrochloric and sulfuric acid).
While harsh chemical drain cleaners may be effective in the short-term, ask any plumber and they’ll quickly say that they are not permanent, nor ideal solutions. For one, since they generate heat, they can soften PVC pipes, which are installed in most modern homes. However, it’s more likely that they’ll damage metal pipes used in older homes. The real concern...is safety.
2. Are chemical drain cleaners safe?
When you use harsh chemical drain cleaners, you run the risk of them damaging your plumbing pipes, but the other concerns are over “safety.” Chemical drain cleaners are very toxic, especially if they are swallowed. They also:
- Burn the eyes
- Burn the skin
- Burn the mucous membranes
- Eat through clothing
- Can release dangerous fumes
- If used improperly, they can cause an explosion
- Can harm septic systems because they kill good bacteria
- Damage bathroom and kitchen fixtures
Our advice is to avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners and to contact Winters® Home Services for professional drain cleaning services in Boston and Boston that are non-toxic and chemical free. With a professional drain cleaning, you have a long-term solution, not a quick, but extremely toxic fix that puts your family’s health at risk.