How many times have we done it (I know I used to): Poured a major drain cleaner down our drains to clean out all the gunk in our sink or bath tub pipes.
It’s so easy. We just wait twenty minutes (sixty if it’s “really, really bad”) and then run hot water down the drain to “flush it out” and, ta-da, it’s magically unclogged!
Well, I’m here to tell you that that it is not a good idea. In fact, you may end up doing exactly the opposite.
That $4.98 drain cleaner is harming your pipes, especially if you use a chemical drain cleaner. Let me tell you why:
- The sodium hydroxide in most drain cleaners corrodes PVC pipe, fixtures, steel, copper and iron pipes. The pipes get so thin that water seeps through causing damage to the foundation, ceilings and other areas of the home or building.
- Certain gel or crystal cleaners are similar to having too much cholesterol in your bloodstream that block your veins. The chemicals harden and become like concrete and end up blocking the inside of the pipe. I have cut off or removed large sections of pipes which have been blocked by this stuff. That is a costly repair, too.
- “Mom, what are you doing?” Once, I warned my own mother when I saw her pouring a particular crystal drain cleaner down her sink. I told her how it destroys pipes and recommended our own product. After a little “son-mother talk” where I explained the hazards of off-the-shelf drain cleaners she never used that cleaner again. “Thank you, son, for letting me know,” she said. Now, she uses a bacteria enzyme cleaner that we sell and we can be sure that it will never corrode her pipes and her son won’t have to visit and repair it all (at my expense, of course.)
OK, you’ve heard a few horror stories and you get the picture.
Now, there are some things you can do so that I won’t have to visit and reconstruct your pipes:
- Never pour grease down your drain! Pour all of the grease in a can and throw it out. It will greatly harm the large pipe exiting your house.
- Don’t flush baby wipes or hygiene products down the drain-EVER. They say they’re flushable but, trust me, they are not. I’ve cleaned out many pipes with these items wedged inside.
- Wash some dish soap (Dawn, etc.) down your drain. This liquid actually breaks up grease and other chemicals in your pipes.
- Finally, call us at American Drain Cleaning and Plumbing at (610) 342-6852 or check out our website at www.americandraincleaningandplumbing.com. Call one of our licensed plumbers who can clean out your pipes and drain. We also offer a bacteria-based drain care product that is good for your pipes and will do the job.
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