Dangers of Drain Cleaners and Why You Shouldn’t Use Them

Today we’re going to talk about different drain products that you can use to try to clear some of your own drain problems.

Everyone’s heard of Drano. They advertise quite heavily. The truth is all drain products have an acid base, and the purpose of that acid is to eat whatever’s in the line. It’s supposed to dissolve the block so your line clears out.

It looks really good in the commercial. If it works like they say, you should never need a plumber. But the truth is, the only thing I’ve ever known those products to work on are hair plugs.

Metal Pipes + Drain Cleaners = Holes

The only pipes in your house that can get plugged up with hair are your bathroom sink, your bathtub and shower. So these acid products can work on those. The problem with them is that, as I said, these products are acids so they also eat metal. Acid eats metal very quickly.

If you have any metal drain lines, like those chrome drain lines underneath your sink, or even cast iron underneath your house, they are susceptible to damage from these acids.

If the drain cleaner does not immediately clear the line, the acid sits there in each of your pipes. I have literally seen pipes dissolve and become full of holes because the acid sat in there too long.

But again, the only thing I’ve seen these products ever work for is hair plugs. They will never work for a kitchen sink because they don’t work on the material that commonly plugs up kitchen sinks. The only thing that will work on that is to clean out the sewer line with a sewer machine, or what’s called a hydro jetter, that cleans it out with high water pressure.

Are Your Pipes Metal or Plastic?

Basically, we’re recommending that you don’t use those acid products in your lines if you have any metal pipes. If you know you have all plastic PVC pipes, they won’t hurt the pipe. So it wouldn’t hurt to try. But if you have metal pipes, we’re asking that you don’t use them. They won’t work. They’ll cause more problems than they’ll solve.

Now there are other products you can use. You can go buy your own little sewer machine that they sell and it works like a drill. They actually have this little thing at the Dollar Store that you can stick down the drain of your kitchen sink. Lots of times it’ll pull up the hair that plugs it. Usually it’ll solve the problem and save you a plumbing bill. If you want to try it, go right ahead.

If you don’t want to mess with it or see what’s in there, then call Rocketman Plumbing at 505-243-1227 and we’ll come out and take care of it for you.