Got a Clogged Drain? Put Down the Drano
A clogged drain is a common household problem that can sometimes be taken care of without a professional. Grease, organic matter, and other material can build up in the pipes beneath your drain, especially under a sink disposal, and can cause slow draining water. Most people think they know how to remove grease from drain pipes because they know how to use a plunger or one of the chemical solutions like Drano. However, plumbers advise against using these products because they can damage pipes and result in even worse plumbing problems. The more these chemical solutions are used, the greater the risk of causing severe damage to your home's plumbing.
How Chemical Solutions Work
Products like Drano use a mix of chemicals to break up clumps that are clogging the pipes beneath a drain. Lye and aluminum are the main substances in products like Drano. Lye breaks down physical matter, then aluminum reacts with the lye to create heat in order to quicken the process. Lastly, the lye foams up and dissolves the mass to allow water to wash it away.
The Danger To Pipes
The bad news is that the chemical reaction that breaks up material clogging your drain, also has a corrosive effect on your pipes. The more you use a product like Drano, the higher the probability that your pipes will be damaged. The heat can cause PVC pipes to soften and break and the glue used to attach pipes can dissolve along with the clog. Also, never use chemical products in a porcelain toilet because it can crack and break due to the heat the chemicals generate.
Another reason chemical drain clearing solutions aren't recommended is the potential hazard they pose to you, your family and pets. The ingredients in products like Drano are harmful to eyes, skin, and lungs if not used properly. If swallowing Drano occurs, call the poison control center and get medical intervention as soon as possible. It is very important to store Drano in a place where no pets or children can access them and that you follow the instructs for use exactly as recommended.