When you turn on a tap or faucet in your home to discover that water is backing up instead of properly going down the drain, your instinct may be to reach for a bottle of liquid drain cleaner you got from the store down the street. These are marketed toward homeowners and renters looking to quickly clear up a drain, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are effective at clearing up drains. In fact, our Wake Forest, NC plumbing experts can tell you—they are not effective at all.
The Problem with Chemical Liquid Drain Cleaners
The problem with chemical liquid drain cleaners is right there in the name: “chemical.” This leads to a number of issues, which we’ve highlighted below.
Most Chemicals Only Dissolve Some Clogs
This is the first thing you should know about chemical, store-bought drain cleaners—they’re formulated to resolve some (not all) sources of clogs. For instance, most can dissolve hair. But grease, grime, food particles, and even soap scum can be hard to completely remove for these “affordable” solutions. Therefore, the clog removal is temporary at best.
The Problem Can Get Worse
The fact is, some of the particles that the chemicals can’t dissolve can get pushed further along in the drain line. You could end up with clogs deep along the sewer line as a result, which require professional tools and equipment to remove. All that leftover greasy residue gets pushed down so that additional buildup can collect and form a large blockage.
There Are Side Effects to These Chemicals
Besides being essentially ineffective, there are side effects to using chemical liquid drain cleaners. They’re toxic to humans and pets—they can cause injury to the skin and eyes. Even just breathing in the fumes is enough to make you sick.
Additionally, they actually can and do damage the lining of drain pipes. This could very well lead to a premature replacement of your drain pipes, something that you’d understandably want to avoid at all costs.
There Is a Way to Remove Minor Clogs Safely
And without the use of chemical drain cleaners! For very minor clogs that don’t necessarily warrant calling in a pro (though we still recommend a professional inspection to ensure your pipes aren’t in danger of leaking or rupturing due to a severe problem), we have a little hack for you.
Add ½ cup of baking soda to your drains. Follow that up with a cup of vinegar, and then wait at least 15 minutes. After that, wash it all down with very hot water. This can sometimes help with food particles and very minor FOG (fats, oils, and grease) buildup.
When your pipes are completely backed up though, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. We use professional-grade tools and methods to get your drains back to… well… draining! This may mean using a drain snake with an auger attached, or even hydro-jetting equipment. We can get rid of your clog and reduce the chances that any clogs will develop in the future!
At One Call Plumbing, we are “Blending Technology with Traditional Values.”
Contact us today for exceptional plumbing services!