Ask an Austin Plumber: The Drawbacks of Drain Cleaning Chemicals


Powerful drain cleaning chemicals are scarcely used or recommended by plumbing professionals. Why?

While it’s true many of these harsh substances perform as advertised (at least temporarily), the high levels of damage they inflict on your pipes and their fragile interiors are often overlooked. Any reputable drain cleaning professional will steer you away from the use of chemicals that contain harsh acids like Liquid Plumber or Drano, so let’s take a look at four reasons drain cleaning professionals steer clear of chemical drain cleaners:

  1. Damage: Although these powerful chemical may seem to clear up your pipe problem (at least in the short term), they ultimately do much more harm than good after repeated use. These are extremely corrosive substances that unfortunately are more likely gradually to dissolve and erode your pipes than break up the food and debris that is the real cause of the blockage. This can result in holes or breakages in your drain lines. We have even seen these chemicals cause this amount of damage after just one single use. This isn’t likely to happen to you after just one use, but as a general rule of thumb, protect your pipes by keeping drain cleaning chemicals out of them at all times.
  2. Effectiveness: For the most part, drain cleaning chemicals are highly ineffective. This is especially true when you compare the results of a drain cleaning chemical regimen with the results of one of our cabling or water jetting jobs. Although chemical drain cleaners can do the trick when it comes to dissolving simple hair or grease clogs, their effectiveness decreases significantly when it comes to heavier clogs. The best way to clean drains is with a cabling or water jetting machine depending on the severity of the clog. Bottom line: our professional drain cleaning services are more effective than a chemical drain cleaning regimen and best of all—we won’t harm your pipes!
  3. Groundwater Contamination: Here is some news that shouldn’t shock anybody: chemical drain cleaners are absolutely awful for the environment. You wouldn’t flush any other harsh, corrosive chemical down your drain, so why this one? Flushing hazardous drain cleaning chemicals like this is on par with pouring paint thinner down the drain! These chemicals are bad news for your local ecosystem—they can seep into the ground around your home or even reach public water sources through your city’s sewer system. What’s more, the presence of these chemicals can be hazardous to the drain cleaning professionals you inevitably have to call in to fix the shoddy, incomplete work the chemicals did on your lines.
  4. Costs: Let’s look at the numbers: the cost of having your drain professionally cleaned is relatively low compared to what you’ll be paying to repair the pipes you damaged with copious amount of chemical substances. The cost of professional drain cleaning services is typically in the low hundreds, while the cost of completely replacing your chemically corroded drains can shoot up into the thousands depending on the extent of the damage.

Convinced yet? If not, call Radiant Plumbing today and let our experienced drain cleaning team talk some sense into you! Trust us, our professional drain cleaning service will trump chemical substances every time.

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