Pros and Cons of Chemical Drain Cleaners

One of the most common plumbing problems is a clogged drain. If your sink or tub is draining slowly, you can call a plumber, or try a plunger. Some people like to use a chemical drain cleaner. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of this method.

Pros of Chemical Drain Cleaners

  • Cost – most chemical drain cleaners cost less than ten dollars,
  • Convenience – these products are widely available and easy to use. Just pour them slowly into the drain.
  • Speed – they usually work in ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Clears common impediments – they’re pretty effective on hair, grease and food, all common causes of clogs.

Cons of Chemical Drain Cleaners

  • Risk of exposure – these chemicals can damage your skin or eyes, so use them carefully.
  • Not for toilet clogs – the material is too heavy to travel up the curve of the toilet drainage pipe.
  • Some cleaners can damage PVC pipes. Read the information on the packaging.
  • Residue – if used too much, these chemical cleaners can leave a sludgy residue like grease.
  • Plumbers and septic tank servicers warn against using chemical cleaners in homes with septic tanks, fearing damage.
  • Can’t be used on totally clogged pipes – this just puts harsh chemicals on top of the problem, which can lead to exposure.
  • Not to be used with sink disposals – these devices can spew those harsh chemicals into the air, and the chemicals can cause damage to the device.
  • Doesn’t work on solid objects or mineral deposit buildup.

Alternatives to Chemical Drain Cleaners

If you want to avoid the aforementioned drawbacks of chemical drain cleaners, here are a few other choices

  • Try a plunger. If you already have a plunger, you can try it out on the clog instead of driving the store and spending money. It’s good to have a regular plunger for toilets and shower drains, and a small plunger for sinks. Unlike chemical cleaners, plungers work on solid objects, and don’t use any harsh chemicals. They do get pretty gross after use, so buy a plunger with a base to rest it in or on, instead of just sitting it on the floor. And clean it after each use.
  • Try a homemade drain cleaner of vinegar and baking soda.
    • Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.
    • Dump about half a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes.
    • Pour a mixture of about a half cup of vinegar and a half cup of very hot water down the drain on top of the baking soda.
    • Cover the drain with a drain plug to keep the reaction below the surface. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
    • Rinse it all down with another pot of boiling water

For all your plumbing needs, including drain cleaning services, call Hoover Electric. Established in 1980, Hoover Electric, Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling has been serving customers in Southeast Michigan ever since, offering courteous, professional service. Because we offer all the services you need for residential maintenance under one roof, we’re able to offer extremely competitive pricing while maintaining great customer service and guaranteed satisfaction. When you’re looking for top-quality electrical, plumbing, heating, or cooling services in Clinton Township and Troy, MI, contact Hoover through our website or call 586-232-9204 today.

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