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Why you should avoid liquid drain cleaners

Almost every homeowner has been in this situation.  An unexpected clog has happened in your toilet, shower or bathroom sink.  This is an annoying problem and one that we all want to fix as quickly as possible.  Many people quickly look under their kitchen sink for a bottle of liquid drain cleaner.  It all seems so easy.  Simply pour the drain cleaner down the drain, wait the recommended amount of time, and flush down hot water.  Hopefully, this will remove the clog and we can continue using our appliances and faucets as normal.  Although this process seems easy, our Salt Lake City drain cleaning experts have several reasons why you shouldn’t use common drain cleaner solutions.

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Here are some potential damages these chemicals can have on your pipes

    1. Chemical drain cleaners are toxic to humans and animals. Nearly all common liquid cleaners that can be purchased at grocery and hardware stores use abrasive chemicals. When these materials are dissolving the blockages in your pipes they are creating harmful fumes. These gases can be harmful to breathe in. It is quite common to experience eye, nose and throat irritation when you are exposed to them. These chemicals are also harmful to our water supplies.
    2. Most drain cleaners will eat away at your pipes. The most common ingredient in liquid drain cleaners is hydrochloric acid. This chemical compound will eat away at nearly anything it touches. Frequent use of over the counter drain cleaners can cause serious damage to your plumbing pipes. This causes larger issues than a stubborn clogged kitchen sink. They can cause steady leaks behind your walls and under flooring that can be difficult to detect until they have caused structural damage to your home or business.
    3. These products don’t always work. Only certain clogs are created by hair and soap scum. The truth is, you won’t always know what is causing your drain or toilet to stop working properly. Sewer and water mains can become damage and cracked for a variety of reasons. This is why it is highly beneficial to have a professional perform a camera inspection on your pipping system. This will allow you to visibly see the cause of the clog and properly assess what needs to be done to solve the problem.

What can you do about a clogged drain?

Just because you shouldn’t use chemical drain cleaners does not mean that you are completely helpless to fix a simple clog.  Below are some non-hazardous solutions that you can try before you call a drain cleaning company near you.

Try using vinegar and baking soda.  Vinegar is a slightly acidic liquid but it will not cause damage to your pipes.  Baking soda is a natural cleansing product.  When you mix these two together is will create a fizzing solution of bubbles that will gently move and dislodge smaller clogs.  You can feel free to leave this solution in the clogged drain overnight and wash it down with hot water in the morning.

Boiling water and dish soap can also be used.  Start the process by boiling tap water on the stove.  Once it has reached a boil mix in a few teaspoons of regular dish soap.  Then slowly pour the mixture down the drain.  The hot water may liquify the clog, while the soap will help to slide it down the drain.

Trust a reputable rooter company

If you have tried the above mentioned remedies with no luck, we are on your side.  Our rooter experts are here to hanlde any clogged drain, no matter how large or small.  If you live in or around Salt Lake City we invite you to call Plumbing Utah Heating & Air at (801) 601-1298 to schedule a professional drain cleaning.  We will include a coupon at the bottom of this article to help you save some money on your service call.


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