Drain Cleaners: Are They a Good Idea?

If your pipes aren’t draining the way you’d like, you may be tempted to pour one of those chemical drain cleaners down the drain and be done with the problem. After all, the bottled cleaners all claim to replace the services of profession plumbers. Before you pour your hard earned money down the drain, however, read on and learn more about these so-called plumber substitutes.

Liquid Drain Cleaners

The liquid chemical drain cleaners on the market are made up of extremely caustic chemicals that can basically eat through anything – including your pipes. While the chemicals might make a dent in your clog, they’re also doing a number on your pipes in the process. Whether your blockage is comprised of organic matter, inorganic matter, or a combination of both types of matter, a chemical cleaner probably has the capacity to make its way through the obstacle, but there’s an important caveat: It’s a stopgap measure that is hard on your pipes and that will likely cost you extra time and money in the long run.

The Truth of the Matter

Even though the chemical cleaner might make it through the clog, it doesn’t mean your clog is gone. Typically, these cleaners tunnel a hole through the mass of debris that’s built up in a pipe, which allows water (and the drain cleaner) to pass through. The problem is that the new opening will probably close over again very quickly. Further, the initial results are unlikely to be satisfactory; typically, you’ll experience improved – but not great – drainage after using a chemical drain cleaner. Finally, the chemicals in the drain cleaner only work as long as they come in contact with the problem in your pipe; once they eat a hole through the mass, the chemicals drain through the opening and do no further work – except to wear away at your pipes as they move through them.

Corrosive Chemicals Are Damaging to Pipes

Liquid drain cleaners contain corrosive chemicals, and corrosive chemicals are damaging to your pipes. When you pour these chemicals down a slow drain, your drainage might be somewhat improved, but there is also a price to be paid. The pipes that make up your plumbing system are not immune to the effects of wear and tear, and pouring toxic chemicals into them simply isn’t a great idea. Taking care of your pipes now can go a long way toward keeping them in good working order for many years to come.

Bacteria Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners aren’t the only option; there are also drain cleaners comprised of bacteria that eat away at organic materials. These cleaners are far less harsh than chemical drain cleaners, and they can help with maintaining clean pipes, but they are less effective at busting through heavy-duty clogs. Further, bacteria-based drain cleaners have no effect on clogs comprised of inorganic material.

You’re Better Off with the Services of a Professional Plumber

If you’ve got a clogged drain that you’re tempted to pour a caustic drain cleaner down, think carefully about the consequences. You may eke out a temporary fix, but at what cost? The toxic chemicals in drain cleaners simply can’t discriminate between the clog in your pipe and the pipe itself – and they go to work on both. In the end, you could cause more harm than good. Don’t waste your time and money on harsh drain cleaners; call in an experienced St. Cloud plumber at the first sign of a clogged drain instead.

Professional Drain Cleaning Methods

Experienced St. Cloud plumbers have the skill and knowledge to implement professional cleaning methods that safely and efficiently clear your pipes:

  • Professional mechanical snakes and rooters that break through even the toughest clogs
  • High-tech video and camera equipment that identifies the exact location of the clog and what’s causing it
  • Hydrojetting, which is a powerful spray of water that safely blasts your pipes clean

An experienced plumber has not only the professional tools but also the necessary skills to help keep your drains running smoothly.

Chemical Drain Cleaners Can Damage Your Pipes; Contact a St. Cloud Plumber Instead

Chemical drain cleaners are somewhat effective only because they contain extremely caustic chemicals that can eat through nearly anything, including your pipes. Instead of pouring these toxic chemicals down your drain next time you have a clog, save yourself time and money by calling in an experienced plumber. At Neighborhood Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Electrical in St. Cloud, our dedicated plumbers have the experience, skill, and knowledge to help you with your drain troubles. In fact, we’ve been providing St. Cloud residents and businesses with quality plumbing services for over 60 years, so please contact or call us at 800-570-4328 to schedule an appointment today.

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