5 Reasons to Avoid Pouring Chemical Cleaners Down Your Drain

Many people who have problems with their plumbing reach for a bottle of drain cleaner before they do anything else. On one hand, this is perfectly understandable; pouring some Drano down a stopped up sink is about as simple as drain cleaning gets. On the other hand, these products contain harsh chemicals that can damage your plumbing and lead to serious problems down the road if they are overused. Here are just a few reasons why it’s better to call a Pittsburgh plumbing and drain cleaning service instead of resorting to chemical cleaners.

Chemical Drain Cleaners are Highly Toxic

Many of the chemicals in commercial drain cleaners – especially off-brand cleaners – give off toxic fumes that linger after the cleaner itself has gone down the drain. These fumes irritate your nose and eyes, and at their worst they can even sting when they are inhaled. The cleaners themselves can be harmful or fatal if swallowed, so they should always be kept out of reach of children when you have them in your home.

Chemical Drain Cleaners can Erode Your Pipes

Chemical drain cleaners are incredibly caustic; they have to be to be able to break up stubborn clogs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for your pipes if you rely on chemicals to fix every plumbing problem you have. The main active ingredient in many cleaners is hydrochloric acid, an incredibly harsh substance that can erode the pipes in your home, especially older pipes or PVC pipes. You won’t notice this damage immediately, but over time you may notice that your metal pipes become corroded or even leaky, while PVC pipes will become soft.

Chemical Drain Cleaners are Bad for the Environment

After you use a drain cleaner from a plastic bottle, said bottle will always have some chemical residue left inside. When these bottles end up in a landfill, that residue can cause damage to the environment. The one bottle of drain cleaner that you use may not make much of a difference, but try to imagine millions of people using a harsh chemical drain cleaner and throwing out their bottles. That kind of pollution will add up over time.

Future Chemical Reactions can Be Caused by Chemical Drain Cleaners

Just as the chemicals from drain cleaners leave a residue in their own plastic bottles, they also leave a residue on the sides of your pipes. Professional drain cleaning products each have their own ingredients, and using a variety of cleaners will expose your plumbing to several different chemicals. These chemicals can react with each other, sometimes violently and in a way that will damage your plumbing.

Chemical Drain Cleaners Don’t Always Work

Not all drain problems can be solved with chemicals. If your problem has to do with your sewer line or a broken pipe, no chemical drain cleaner will fix your plumbing. All you’re doing is pouring a toxic and corrosive substance down your drains.

Instead of reaching for a bottle of Drano every time your drains are running too slowly, contact the Pittsburgh plumbing and drain cleaning services of Mister Sewer first. Our professionals can suggest a safer solution to your plumbing problem, helping you save time and money with any plumbing or pipe repair. Don’t waste your money pouring damaging chemical cleaners down the drain and contact Mister Sewer instead for all your home drain pipe repairs.

20 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Avoid Pouring Chemical Cleaners Down Your Drain

  1. Thanks for sharing this advice! I had no idea that chemical drain cleaners could be so bad for your pipes. It sounds like you should stay far away from them if you have a clogged drain. In fact, I think I’m going to throw away any chemical drain cleaner I might have. If I ever end up with a clogged drain, I’ll have a professional take care of it instead.

  2. Thanks for the information. I had no idea that pouring chemicals down the drain could do so much damage! Like you said, it can really ruin the pipes. Rather than pouring things like Drano, I think I’ll just have it professionally cleaned.

  3. I will 100% agree that dumping chemical is bad the for environment! I can’t stand it when I see people dumping chemicals improperly. I always think of the end of the sewage line and who it could effect. Great article!

  4. I had no idea that chemicals can wear down pipes. This makes sense when you consider how powerful these chemicals are. That must be why the instructions say to not let the Drain-O sit for very long in the bathtub. Great tips!

  5. Thank you for your post! At our first rental we were using chemical drain cleaners but it wasn’t working. We had a drain cleaning professional come in and it wasn’t working because roots had grown into the clay pipes. So we were ruining the pipes and not taking care of the roots.

  6. It is good to know that there are so many ways that you can keep your septic running properly. That is interesting that chemical drain cleaners are so toxic! I did not realize that just because you use chemicals does not mean that they will work. Thank you for sharing your tips on drain cleaning!

  7. Excellent – thank you! Organic, environmentally friendly drain cleaning products are definitely the way to go – all the advantages of chemical cleaners with none of the drawbacks.

  8. I agree that the natural inclination with a clogged sink is to reach for the drain cleaner. I can see that using Drano every time your sink drains slowly, you could have problems later on. Also, like you said, who knows what chemicals you might use later and what chemical reaction could occur. Thanks for the info!

  9. Thanks for this helpful post on drain cleaning. I have heard that cleaning drains with chemicals can be a bad idea, but thanks for explaining why. I have noticed that a lot of my plumbing seems to be backed up regularly lately. I will be sure to ask a plumber to come fix the situation instead of using harmful chemicals. Thanks for the help!

  10. I had heard that chemical cleaners could help clear out my drains. I didn’t realize that it could be pretty bad for the pipes! There’s also the fact that it’s toxic, and bad for the environment. I’ll make sure that I get a professional to handle it for me instead!

  11. Thanks for the drain cleaning tips. I didn’t know that drain cleaning chemicals were so toxic, so that is good to learn. Is there a better way to clean the drains out if they’re clogged? Are there professionals who don’t use these chemicals?

  12. It makes sense that chemical cleaners aren’t the best choice. I’ve always hated using those cleaners, and I think calling a professional is much better. Our toilet is clogging a lot recently, so I’ll convince my wife to call a pro as soon as we can.

  13. i have been doing research on chemical drain cleaners when i came across this article. this is one of the most informative articles around. i would like to add that the number of cases of poisoning, injuries is around 2 million in the US alone each year. it is a pity that people continue to buy this product, given the potential hazards that are associated with chemical drain cleaners

  14. I didn’t know that chemical drain cleaners could erode my pipes. I’ve been having problems with my drains emptying slowly, so I was just going to poor chemicals down it. It sounds like hiring a plumber would be a better option. Do you have any tips for hiring a great one?

  15. Growing up, a slow drain meant pouring some Drano down the drain and seeing if that is working. We have a drain that is working slowly, we had tried to use Drano but it didn’t work. We’ll have to call drain cleaning services like you said to come out and look at our drain.

  16. It is interesting to me that drain cleaning is a service that you say I should leave to professionals. I never knew how bad the chemicals are for my pipes. I knew that hydrochloric acid is harmful but I did not know what it does to pipes.

  17. This is really good to know since I’ve done this before. I really didn’t know that over time, they could erode the pipes away. I’ll be sure to go with a professional whenever my drains get clogged again.

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