When there’s a nasty plumbing clog, many homeowners reach for a chemical drain cleaner. But are these seemingly common chemicals safe for your pipes, your family, or the environment? The experts at Lindstrom Air Conditioning & Plumbing want to help provide you with steps to keep your plumbing system running smoothly … that don’t involve harsh chemicals in your South Florida home.
How do chemicals affect my pipes?
To clear a clog chemically, drain cleaners are usually made with sodium hydroxide (aka caustic soda or lye) or with sulfuric acid. These chemicals are toxic and can erode pipes — both metal and PVC — with excessive use.
Drain cleaners may clear the clog temporarily, but they can mask symptoms of a bigger problem with your overall plumbing system. Chemical drain cleaners can also be harmful if your home has a septic system. Their strong chemicals will disturb the good bacteria that break down waste and could cause additional issues to your system.
Is there a danger to my family?
When working with the toxic chemicals in drain cleaners, you want to avoid skin contact and keep them out of reach of children.
Mixing drain cleaners to clear a stubborn clog can also be dangerous. If you are unaware of the possible chemical reactions caused by mixing cleaners, you could create a noxious gas that is harmful to inhale or even end up with a water and chemical drain explosion! Don’t mix!
What is the environmental impact?
With much of our service area being so close to the coast, the environmental impact of chemical drain cleaners is a major concern. Residue from these harsh chemicals can wind up in local landfills, our oceans, and even human water supply systems. Ingesting even small amounts of chemical drain cleaners can be dangerous to local wildlife and humans alike, so be sure to take that into consideration.
What should I do instead?
There are a few at-home solutions you can try to clear basic clogs yourself. Try using a plunger or drain snake or even a simple mixture of baking soda and vinegar. To prevent clogs ahead of time, you can flush your drains regularly with boiling water. For more stubborn clogs or other plumbing concerns, we recommend calling the plumbing experts at Lindstrom.
If you require drain clearing or another plumbing repair, call Lindstrom for an appointment at (800) 813-1824 or schedule online. We’ll get your plumbing up and running again ASAP with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.