Blocked drains are considered a typical plumbing nuisance. They can be caused by various agents such as grease, food residues, hair, toiletries, and other debris indiscriminately or accidentally flushed down the drains.
Aside from plungers and augers, the common way to neutralise blocked drains is to use chemical-based drain cleaners. They are easy to use, affordable, and available in almost all local commercial stores.
However, chemical-based drain cleaners that lure you of their user-friendliness may prove to be dangerous to your pipes after all. Their harsh compositions, as well as there limited competence in getting rid of major blockages, are just one of the few drawbacks when it comes to using drain cleaners.
Read on to know more about the double-edge effects of using chemical-based drain cleaners so you can protect your pipes from further damage due to misleading maintenance.
- Corrosive Properties
Do you know what makes those chemical drain cleaners dissolve and disintegrate blockages like grease, oils and hair? Obviously, their caustic composition allows them to do so. However, your pipe linings are not exempted from these aggressive properties. When drain cleaners are used to clear out the congealed and hardened build-up, they do not just clear out the blockages, but also eat up your drain pipe linings. Regardless of the material the pipe is made of, the harsh substances will corrode the pipes. Soon, the pipes will have cracks and leaks making your drainage system vulnerable to intrusive roots and other abrasive elements.
- Requires Careful Handling
Drain cleaners are capable of corroding your pipes made from the sturdiest materials. Using chemical-based drain cleaners requires extreme caution in handling them to prevent burns and accidents. They should not be inhaled for quite some time since they can irritate your respiratory system. Most of all, they should be stored in a safe place away from the reach of children and exposure to fire.
- Limited Capacity in Removing Stubborn and Colossal Blockages
Liquid drain cleaners may seem effective when it comes to minor build-up. Stubborn deep blockages and solid debris are different cases though. No matter how caustic the substances are, they will just permeate uselessly through the blockage and debris.
If drain cleaners are not sufficient in clearing the congested drains, manual removal may be needed. Now the hazard of using chemical-based cleaners manifests when the chemicals that get suspended in the pipes stream back during the manual clearing. The harsh chemicals may splash directly onto your face that will cause serious burns and eye irritation/blindness.
- Environmental Hazards
Liquid drain cleaners consist of a great deal of toxic substances. When these substances are leached into the soil or bodies of water or absorbed by proximate vegetation, they will certainly harm the environment and public health.
Moreover, chemical drain cleaners that reach the sewage system will kill the friendly bacteria that dwell in the septic tank. The treatment of wastewater and sewage will be drastically affected since the bacteria are responsible in decomposing the wastes. Worse, if the toxic substances will leak from the tank, more environmental concerns will arise.
With all the above-mentioned negative effects that chemical-based drain cleaners entail, it would be wiser if you use homemade drain cleaners in your regular maintenance instead. Baking soda and vinegar proves to be effective and safe in unblocking your drains. Furthermore, the use of enzymatic drain cleaners is also an eco-friendly alternative since they are harmless to septic bacteria.