Use Caution When Unclogging your Drain

As your Cocoa Beach plumber we know what it takes to unclog a drain. Whether it’s food, hair, grease, or another object that doesn’t belong in the drain we can get that drain flowing again. Many people though, quickly turn to chemical drain cleaners at the first sign of a clog. While these work on close to the surface clogs, they can be at best ineffectual and at worst damaging to your plumbing for other more serious clogs. We want to remind all homeowners to use caution when unclogging your drain.

Chemical cleaners often use caustic substances like lye and caustic potash to dislodge a drain. They use alkaline chemical reactions to clear clogs by turning grease into a soap-like substance by releasing heat, rendering the clog more easily dissolved.

Acid drain cleaners should only be used by professional plumbers as they contain high concentrations of sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. These acids tear electrons from the clog in reactions that create heat causing the clog to essentially “melt.”

Chemical cleaners are very dangerous for human skin. They can cause chemical burns as well as damage clothing, counter tops and other surfaces. Clogs that are close to the surface of a pipe are normally easily taken are of with these types of cleaners, but if the clog is deeper they may be ineffectual. Worse even, the chemical may remain in the drain and when you are forced to manually unclog the drain, it may splash back on your person causing harm.

It is not just your body that can be harmed by chemical drain cleaners though, the reactions they rely on to unclog the drain produce heat. Heat can be damaging to both plastic and old pipes. Old, metal pipes that are corroding are most susceptible to the damage caused by chemical drain cleaners. They can cause further corrosion and subsequent leaks. Plastic pipes are equally at risk by the heat reactions used by these cleaners. They can weaken the pipes and cause extensive damage to your plumbing system.

If you use caution when using chemical cleaners to unclog your pipes, and call your Cocoa Beach plumber when you realized a clog may be too much for you and chemical cleaner, your pipes and drains will thank you. If you have any questions about how best to clear your drains, or when to call your plumber, let us know today.


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