What do you do if there is a clog in your drain? You may instinctively go with a drain cleaner to clear it out.
After all, when it comes to clearing out a drain clog, liquid drain cleaners are pretty popular - and with good reason! They are cheap and offer a quick and easy solution to blockage problems.
But you also need to consider that these formulas are made from strong chemicals, which are often highly reactive and corrosive. Thus, continued usage may only lead to a more serious plumbing issue, even if there’s no sign of it initially.
Now that you know this, should you use a liquid drain cleaner for unblocking drains? We have tried to address this by elaborating on the benefits and disadvantages of using it to clean your drainage system.
So, without any further delays, let’s get to it!
Benefits Of Using Liquid Drain Cleaners
1. Easy To Use
The most notable advantage of liquid drain cleaners is that they are straightforward for clearing a blocked drain. In most cases, the instructions for their use are printed on the bottle and are simple. But they are easy to use even without instructions - all you need to do is pour it into the clogged portion and wait.
2. Quick And Effective Action
Liquid cleaners act quickly and are great for cleaning out clogs caused by food, hair, soap or residue buildups in your plumbing system. The liquid drain cleaners dissolve clogs by creating heat inside your drain pipe (often with hydrochloric acid). Typically, they take action within 15 to 20 minutes, removing the clog entirely without leaving any trace of the substance.
3. Highly Affordable
Using a liquid drain cleaner is considerably cheaper than clearing out clogs from drains. You can buy them at low prices from any convenience store or online platform. In contrast, hiring a plumber to clear drain blockages will cost you more money and time than using this DIY method.
Disadvantages Of Using Liquid Drain Cleaners
1. Damages Pipes And Bathroom Fixtures
As mentioned before, most liquid or chemical drain cleaners are made from reactive and corrosive chemicals. While the effects of these chemical drain cleaners cannot be observed immediately, if you keep using them, you will start seeing their impact.
Using chemical drain cleaners can cause your bathroom fixtures to become discoloured and lose their glossy shine. Due to their chemical reaction, they may also corrode the inner linings of your pipelines, which will eventually cause them to develop cracks and rupture.
A septic tank or, if you have a septic system, a drain that is completely blocked and those attached to garbage disposal should not be cleaned with chemical drain cleaners since they can cause damage to your pipes and cause further plumbing problems.
2. Not Effective For All types Of Drain Clogs
Often, drain pipes and kitchen sinks may become blocked due to plastic objects getting trapped inside them. A liquid drain cleaner just won’t cut it in such a case. While they can effectively remove food, hair, or other chemical residues in metal pipes, they are ineffective against plastic PVC pipes.
3. Not Very Eco-Friendly
The chemicals and solvents typically used in liquid drain cleaners are non-biodegradable, implying that they don’t decay quickly. So, if you keep using them regularly, these non-biodegradable chemicals will accumulate in the environment, leading to adverse consequences.
Besides, they are used in highly concentrated forms, which is incredibly harmful if they come in contact with living tissues. This means that using these chemicals can be extremely dangerous to your health.
Should You Use Chemical Drain Cleaner?
And those were the pros and cons of using a liquid drain cleaner, especially a chemical drain cleaner. Now the question arises, should you use it to solve your clogging problem?
To answer that question, we would say that yes, you can. But make sure you don’t use it regularly. You can safely use a liquid drain cleaner if you have a minor clog or some food or hair is stuck inside your drain.
In addition, caustic drain cleaners contain lye, which releases heat and dissolves grease. You can use this to remove clogs or more heavy-duty clogs. It is also possible to make homemade drain cleaners by mixing baking soda with lemon juice and hot water or mixing baking soda with distilled white vinegar.
However, if your drains get clogged frequently or a piece of plastic is blocking the drain, it’s best to call an experienced and licensed plumber to take care of it. In such cases, using a liquid drain cleaner will do more harm than good!
If you need a plumber in Perth to help unblock your drains, please speak to the Woolf Plumbing & Gas team. We are the drainage repair and blockage specialists!
Now that we have arrived at the end of this brief article, we hope that this information will prove helpful for you when clearing a blocked drain.
With that said, it’s time for us to sign off. Until next time!