The Health & Plumbing Hazards of Chemical Drain Cleaners

Hand in yellow rubber glove pour sewer pipe cleaner down the kitchen sink drain.

The Dangers of Chemical Drain Cleaners

Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing issues homeowners deal with on a regular basis. However, when it comes to dealing with clogs, chemical drain cleaners may not be the best solution. In fact, their harsh chemicals can cause significant damage to your pipes and septic system.

Chemical-based drain cleaners typically rely on active ingredients that generate heat to dissolve clogs. While this heat is effective at removing possible causes of clogs, it can also corrode PVC pipes over time as the material becomes soft due to the heat produced by the cleaner. Chemical drain cleaners can also emit noxious gases and even cause chemical-laced water to shoot out of the drain.

For these reasons and many more, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Southeast Georgia highly recommends avoiding chemical cleaners whenever possible. Our goal today is to outline why we believe chemical cleaners often cause more harm than good.

Safety Hazards When Using Chemical Cleaners

While chemical drain cleaners are effective at clearing blockages and cleaning out drains, most products at the local home-improvement store contain bleach or other corrosive compounds. Unfortunately, chemical products emit gases that can negatively affect the health of anyone in the vicinity. For example, chlorine bleach emits chlorine gas which is known to cause coughing, wheezing, and other breathing difficulties in healthy adults and children alike.

These chemicals can also cause:

  • Skin irritation
  • Respiratory issues
  • Blindness
  • Asthma attacks

As a result, we recommend never relying on chemical cleaners. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Southeast Georgia, we offer alternative solutions to help residents avoid chemical-based solutions. If you’re hoping to opt for professional drain cleaning and hydro-jetting instead, you’ve come to the right place! Our team will safely unclog your drain with eco-friendly solutions.

If you are determined to proceed with chemical drain cleaners, it is critical to keep the area well-ventilated and to avoid mixing multiple products. You should also follow strict precautions, like wearing rubber gloves when pouring the cleaner and avoiding plungers. Making any of these mistakes can lead to serious health risks.

Chemical Cleaners Negatively Impact the Environment

Most chemical-based drain cleaners contain bleach and other toxic chemicals that release into the public water supply, local waterways, and environment when poured down the drain. Once in the local water supply, these chemical contaminants can have disastrous effects on aquatic wildlife and local ecosystems. Chemical cleaners also create airborne pollutants and emissions. Exposure to these contaminants can cause respiratory issues such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and airway inflammation.

Chemical Drain Cleaners are Not Safe for Septic Systems

Although some chemical cleaners claim to be safe for septic systems, it’s best to check with our professional plumbers before using them - especially if you have older pipes. After all, many chemical cleaners may corrode metal piping over time. If you have a septic system, using chemical drain cleaners can be especially hazardous because they introduce toxic compounds into the septic tank that can upset the bacterial balance and cause further problems down the line. That’s why it’s imperative to use products specifically designed for septic systems to ensure their longevity and effectiveness.

Seek Professional Drain Cleaning and Hydro-Jetting Solutions Instead

Sure, chemical drain cleaners are temporarily effective at cleaning drains and pipes. However, they should be avoided due to the long-term risks associated with their corrosive chemicals and poisonous gases.

We highly dissuade our clients from utilizing chemical cleaners whatsoever. If you don’t heed this advice, we strongly recommend:

  • Reading product labels carefully before usage
  • Keeping children and pets away from the area
  • Maximizing ventilation
  • Never mixing products
  • Wearing protective gear when handling

With proper care taken when handling such items, you can minimize the potential risks involved. That said, if you’re dealing with a stubborn clog, we suggest seeking help from an experienced professional. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Southeast Georgia can diagnose your plumbing issues quickly and provide an appropriate, cost-effective solution that doesn’t involve harsh chemicals.

Our plumbing specialists excel at removing clogs, repairing leaks, and restoring plumbing systems without further damaging the piping and local environment. We apply professional methods, such as our HydroScrub® jetting and Pipe Pull™ services, to eliminate tough clogs from plumbing systems while protecting your pipes from wear and tear caused by corrosive materials or extreme temperatures.

Are you looking for non-toxic plumbing solutions? Call our team anytime!