Stubborn clogs in sinks, tubs and toilets are unfortunately all too common. When drains start backing up, it is tempting to grab a commercially available drain cleaning chemical to remove the clog and get back to normal life. Before you reach for that liquid drain cleaner, stop!
The old adage notes that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Treating the symptoms of a drain clog may solve the problem for awhile, but treating the cause can offer a permanent solution. Any time you have a slow drain, standing water or other plumbing concern, having the situation evaluated by a plumber is always the best option.
Commercially available drain cleaners can often do more harm than good. They are popular because their strong chemical compound can quickly eat through drain clogs. Unfortunately, that is not always all they eat. Repeated use of chemicals can weaken your pipes and even burn right through them, leading to a much more expensive repair bill in the long run.
Chemicals can also pose a safety hazard. The thick liquid can stay in your drains for hours or even days while dissolving the clog. If a plumber or family member is unaware of the existing chemicals and attempts to plunge the drain, the chemicals can splash up and create painful skin burns or even blindness if it happens to land in or around the eyes. Because of this significant risk, many plumbers decline to work on a drain that has been treated with any type of drain cleaner.
In the current economy, saving money has become the societal norm. It often makes sense to attempt to do things yourself before calling a professional. In this case, however, the damage done by attempting a quick fix can have unintended financial consequences. Having a plumber evaluate the problem and develop a treatment plan is relatively inexpensive and can save you from a much higher repair bill down the road.
Liquid drain cleaners are bad for pipes and can pose a serious health and safety hazard. Treating clogs at home may seem like an easy fix but the consequences are not worth the negligible savings. Be smart about clogs.