This is an extremely common question asked by homeowners all over the world. Most liquid or chemical drain cleaners will combat the problem temporarily, but hardly any provide a long term fix. The chemicals used can also be harmful to pipes, causing corrosion and damage to your pipes in the long run.
The easy solution to all of this is to call in a plumber. However, we understand that this is not the quick fix you’re looking for. Here’s how liquid drain cleaners can cause damage to your pipes and some ideas for home plumbing:
How liquid drain cleaners can damage your pipes:
The liquid drain cleaners you find in any super market work by causing a chemical reaction once poured inside your pipes. This chemical reaction can cause heat and fumes that are not only harmful to your pipes but to your health as well.
The heat can be very corrosive to pipes, especially if it does not do a good job of clearing the clog (and instead stays concentrated in one section of the pipe!). Liquid drain cleaner can actually melt plastic pipes to the point of leaks and floods. If you do use liquid drain cleaner, be sure to run warm water down the pipe for a good few minutes, if further corrosion occurs, call an emergency plumber near you.
How liquid drain cleaners can harm your health:
If these chemicals can do that sort of harm to your pipes, think about what harm they can do to your health! The fumes from most liquid drain cleaners can sting and irritate the skin, nose and eyes. The fumes also linger for a lot longer than most people think after using it. We would advise wearing washing up gloves and goggles when using liquid drain cleaner but if you do come into contact with the substance, be sure to contact your local GP.
Home plumbing alternatives:
So what can you do to clean your pipes without liquid drain cleaner? Go the old fashioned way and try unclogging your drain with a plunger. They were made specifically for this purpose, are safe to use and don’t come with a health warning! Check out the proper technique to using a plunger for optimum effect.
If you’re DIY savvy then you might want to invest in a plumbing snake, you can buy home versions online. They might not work as well as the professional ones we use, but at least they don’t melt away your pipes!
If all else fails give us a call. We provide emergency plumbing services in Essex and London and we also come laden with great chat!