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Have a Clogged Toilet? Don’t Reach for the Drain Cleaner

If you’re like many homeowners with a clogged toilet, your first instinct might be to reach for the trusty bottle of drain cleaner in the garage. However, a quick glance at the instructions on the manufacturer’s website reveals something many homeowners don’t know—not even the manufacturer recommends using drain cleaner in a toilet. The experts at Mr. Rooter Sacramento agree, and caution against using drain cleaner for these reasons:

It Can Harm Your Toilet

Most drain cleaners use corrosive chemicals—primarily sodium hydroxide—that function to remove clogs from sink and shower drains by dissolving them. Depending on where your toilet clog is located, these chemicals will need to sit for some time to generate the chemical heat needed to address the clog. The resulting chemical reactions can pit your toilet’s porcelain and crack the underlying pipes.

It May Not Work

Unlike the hair and grease clogs found in sink and shower drains, toilet clogs are often much more solid in nature. Often, even the harsh chemicals of a drain cleaner can’t touch toilet clogs. In addition, something a drain cleaner won’t address, such as a tree root in your sewer system or a faulty septic system, could be causing your clog.

It Can Harm You

As mentioned, drain cleaners consist of caustic chemicals. If you fill your toilet bowl with drain cleaner, realize your strategy isn’t working, and then decide to remove the clog in some other way, you chance splashing these chemicals onto your body. Unfortunately, these chemicals frequently cause burns and other chemical damage when they touch human skin.

What Should You Do Instead?

If you experience a toilet clog, start by using a bell-shaped plunger; fit the plunger’s flange around the toilet’s inlet and plunge with as much force as you can. If plunging doesn’t work, however, your best bet is to contact Mr. Rooter in Sacramento. Mr. Rooter has the tools you need to diagnose the source of your clog and release it without damaging your plumbing.