You’ve just discovered you have a clogged drain. No big deal, right? You’ll just grab a container of your favorite drain cleaner and have that clog fixed in no time. Or will you? These “quick fix” drain cleaners might clear the clog, but what else are they doing? Could they be causing more problems in your plumbing than they are fixing?

As a general rule, using a drain cleaning product, whether it is a powder, a gel, a liquid, or anything else, is never a very good idea. These cleaners will either be a caustic chemical, or an oxidizing agent, which both act to break up and clear clogs to restore free flowing drains. However, these chemicals are also acting on your pipes; causing them to corrode and break over time, which is much worse than dealing with a simple clog.

These agents also release harmful and toxic fumes into your home and the atmosphere, which can be very bad for the environment in general, and your health and safety in particular. In fact, many of the chemicals in these drain cleaners are so harsh as to burn your skin and clothing, damage your lungs, and even cause blindness if you are unfortunate enough to get any in your eyes.

Think of the damage going on inside your septic system; these chemicals in drain cleaners, when introduced to your septic tank, will kill the bacteria in there that is helping to keep your system operating properly. Again, this can cause a minor repair to become very expensive when you need to have your tank pumped and the system returned to its optimal operating state.

Even though these cleaners will sometimes work, they won’t do so immediately; you’re going to be dealing with a sink or tub full of these harsh, toxin emitting chemicals. While they are sitting there, working on eating your clog away, they are also eating away at your pipes, seals, tub and sink basins, and everything else they are in contact with. This will eventually cause a failure of your plumbing system that wouldn’t have happened until years later, if at all.

Instead of using a chemical, try to use a plumbing snake, a small thin length of metal, or a plunger. An even better bit of advice would be to call an experienced plumber. This may cost a little more than the drain cleaner but by saving the wear and damage to your plumbing, you will save yourself some money, and headaches, in the long run.

Bill Fenwick Plumbing Company is fully aware of the importance of finding a reliable plumber to call in an emergency, especially when you live in an older building. Our business was founded and built with the mission to provide quality service combined with ethics and better business standards, which changed the plumbing industry in Northeast Florida. Ours is a family owned and managed plumbing business, and from 1969 to this day, we have upheld the ideals of Bill Fenwick Sr., and plan to do so in the coming decades, under the management of Bill Jr. We do all kinds of plumbing installations, repairs and replacements. Call us today for your plumbing needs!