4 Questions Before Using Drain Cleaners

Posted on: 26 March 2018

Drain cleaners are very common in retail outlets, such as convenience stores. However, one must ask himself or herself several questions before reaching for such a product when faced with a blocked drain. This article discusses some of those important questions.

Is It Safe For Me?

Your health and safety should be a primary concern when you are selecting different household products. Many chemical cleaners emit fumes which are toxic if inhaled. Those fumes may linger in your home long after you have completed the cleaning task. Is this toxicity a price you are ready to pay in order to unblock your drains? Select cleaners which are safe for you and your family. Read the product label carefully in order to ascertain the safety of a given drain cleaning product.

How Will It Affect the Plumbing Materials?

Some drain cleaners can damage the pipes in your plumbing system. It is wise for you to check whether the specific drain cleaner which you want to buy is recommended for the materials from which your plumbing pipes were made. Note that it is rare to have an entire plumbing system made from only one material. For example, sinks are often made from a different material from the material of the pipes attached to that sink. Exercise caution when using the cleaners so that you don't end up damaging the plumbing materials.

Will It Fix The Problem?

Would you use a screwdriver to monitor the temperature of the food which you are cooking? Different tools are designed to perform different functions. You must therefore be certain that the tool or product which you select is suitable for the required task. Drains become blocked for different reasons, such as tree roots and clumps of greasy food residues. You should only use a drain cleaner if you are certain that it will eliminate the root cause of the blockage.

How Will It Affect The Sewage System?

The drain cleaner is likely to end up in your sewer tank and then the drainfield. What effects will it have in those places? Many cleaners kill the bacteria in sewer tanks. This can slow down the rate at which the solids in wastewater are broken down before being released into the drainfield. Other chemical cleaners can contaminate groundwater once they are used to unblock drains. You should therefore think about these potential downstream effects as you select a cleaner to unclog a drain.

Don't select drain cleaners randomly. Use the questions above to help you as you shortlist the products. Alternatively, hire a plumber so that an extensive inspection can be conducted before the best remedy is selected.