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How Harsh Chemicals Can Harm Your Plumbing System | Mr. Rooter Katy, TX

When your sink backs up, your shower fills with water, or your toilet overflows, you have a problem. In most cases, excess hair, waste, or other debris cause clogs, and Mr. Rooter of Katy advises addressing these immediately before more water has the chance to damage your floor. However, one of the most used clog solutions could be harming your plumbing system.

Drain Cleaner Problems

Drain cleaners exist in many different formulations and under several brand names, but almost always consist of caustic chemicals. Among the chemicals used are sodium hydroxide, potash, bleach, peroxide, and sulfuric or muriatic acids. While each works a bit differently, all cause a chemical reaction inside your plumbing system designed to eat away at the source of the clog.

Unfortunately, these chemicals can cause several problems within your plumbing system. The chemical reactions they produce causes heat to build up inside your pipes, which can cause your pipes to swell, crack, warp, or even burst. In some cases, drain cleaners often don’t manage to break up the clog completely, causing it to travel further from the source and rendering it unreachable; worse, since the drain cleaner cannot drain from the system due to the clog, the effects on your pipes can increase exponentially.
 

What to Do Instead

Instead of reaching for a bottle of caustic drain cleaner the next time you have a clog, start with these gentler solutions:

  • Plunging. Using the appropriately sized bell-shaped plunger, fit the rubber flange firmly within your sink or toilet. When you’re sure no air can escape, plunge vigorously until the clog moves on its way.
     
  • Augering. Using a toilet or sink auger, thread the wire into your toilet or drain and manually break up the clog. Flush with plenty of water.
     
  • Enzymatic drain cleaners. While using drain cleaners in a toilet is rarely necessary, if you have a sink clog, you can try an enzymatic cleaner. These natural drain cleaners utilize living bacteria to eat away at organic clogs and will not affect your pipes.
     

If all of the above options fail to allow the water to drain from your sink or toilet, contact Mr. Rooter of Katy. Our professional team can perform an inspection to determine whether a clog or a problem further down the line is causing your issue. Then, we’ll address the problem while keeping your system safe and healthy.