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The Downside of Drano and Other Liquid Plumbing Chemicals

It happened again. Your bathroom sink stopped draining. After unsuccessfully plunging — twice — you head out to the store to pick up a bottle of Drano or another liquid plumbing chemical. According to the commercials, liquid chemicals can remove just about any clogs. Hair. Debris. Nothing is a match for a tough-as-nails plumbing liquid, right?

Drano may be cheap and have great advertising as a DIY plumbing maintenance must-have, but it is hardly a cure-all for drain problems. In fact, using Drano could cause more harm than good. Here are a few key reasons why you should bypass liquid plumbing solutions and call a plumber the next time your drain stops working properly.

1. You Could Get Burned

The recipe for Drano includes plenty of harsh chemicals and toxins. Otherwise, it could never hope to eat away at waste trapped in the sink. Unfortunately, plenty of homeowners have discovered that even a small splash of Drano can cause skin burns.

After using Drano, use extreme caution. You may think that you have washed away the Drano residue, but think twice before sticking your fingers into the pipe or picking up your sink stopper with a bare hand. Drano can linger and still cause skin irritation.

2. You May Damage Your Pipes

Some people stock up on liquid plumbing chemicals to use at the first sign of summer, winter, fall and spring plumbing blockages. However, these chemicals can cause damage to the inside of your pipes. Drano's recipe can corrode pipes, and constant exposure can lead to small cracks in pipes, creating the perfect environment for small leaks and large-scale flooding issues.

3. You Could Put Kids and Pets in Harm's Way

Every year, poison centers receive calls about children and pets accidentally ingesting household detergents and other products. Never keep Drano accessible under your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room or garage sink. Otherwise, it may be easy for your dog to chew on the bottle or your child to investigate the cleaner.

Drano has a child-proof cap, but those caps are not fail-safe measures. If you decide that you want to keep a bottle of Drano in your home, store it on a high pantry or closet shelf.

4. You Could Impact the Environment

One of the most significant downsides to Drano is that its ingredients are unfriendly to the environment. Every time you send toxic products like lye into your sewer, you risk harming the balance of the sewage ecosystem.

If you want to adopt a greener mindset when it comes to managing and maintaining your home, call a plumber instead of using a liquid chemical solution. A plumber's equipment is much gentler on your pipes and the environment.

When in Doubt, Trust a Plumber for Tough Clogs

Is a clogged pipe driving you crazy? Want more plumbing maintenance tips? Request a plumbing estimate and ditch the Drano.