Commercially available drain cleaners like Drano are an ugly monster—they are made of an extremely harsh chemical that can potentially be unsafe—harming people, pets, and the plumbing itself. Aside from being very easy to misuse, Drano is also often difficult to dispose of properly.
There have been situations where we visit a home only to find that they’ve poured Drano into a sink that’s full of water. Not only did it not cause the drain to clear, but it also turned the sitting water into a toxic mess. This large volume of liquid is now a hazardous chemical that must be disposed of properly. As a rule, never pour Drano into an area with standing water.
In the drain system, certain kinds of bacteria can be beneficial—good bacteria will gradually break down organic material. If you pour chemicals that kill bacteria down the drain, you’re ultimately hurting your drains. Once these chemicals enter the public sewage treatment plant or the septic system, they will cause damage there as well. Aside from being caustic, chemical drain cleaners result in tangible environmental repercussions.
Drano is used very often since it’s a convenient do-it-yourself option that’s available at any hardware store. While it does have its applications (like for clearing hair stuck in a tub drain), it’s important that all proper precautions are taken. Just as you wouldn’t simply dump bleach into the laundry without following the indications, you shouldn’t use a commercial drain cleaner unless you know all the proper safety and usage instructions.
Gloves and a respirator are necessary items that must be worn at all times to prevent accidental exposure. Additionally, it’s important that all traces of the chemical are flushed completely. Any remaining chemical would otherwise sit stagnant and eat away at the pipes. All specific instructions on the product label should always be followed carefully (remember, safety instructions will vary from product to product).
When we visit someone’s home, we’ll often ask if they’ve done anything to the drain. If we were to open up a drain without knowing that it had potentially harmful chemicals in it, the situation could quickly become dangerous. Aside from harming the technician, any cables or tools they use would quickly become damaged. We have to be made aware if any chemical drain cleaners have been used so we can make adjustments accordingly.
Just like with almost everything else, a quick fix will end up costing you more in the long run. We highly suggest that you investigate the alternatives before choosing to use a chemical drain cleaner in your home. Call a professional today at (540) 483-9382 if you’d like to get your plumbing fixed by professionals. While chemical drain cleaners may or may not offer a temporary partial fix, we stand behind our work at Wisler Plumbing and Air.