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The Caustic Concern With Chemical Drain Cleaners


Chemical drain cleaners can prey on some of our innate sensibilities. They represent an easy solution to a difficult problem, and they come in colorful bottles that offer wild promises.

You might see one that says “clogs gone in 30 minutes” or something else that says “safer than other brands,” but the truth is that there is no evidence to back up any of these claims. Or rather, they’re selling points to get you to purchase a product that doesn’t work very well.

You’ve probably heard about how chemical drain cleaners don’t work, but what if we told you that they actually hurt your plumbing system and you?

These chemicals are a lot more insidious than they let on, and we’re here to help inform our customer base about some of the problems that might be lurking beneath the surface.

If you’ve got a clogged drain in Somerville, NJ, then do yourself a favor and avoid these chemicals at all costs.

Caustic or Acidic

Drain chemicals use chemical reactions in order to try and dissolve and destroy your drain clog. This can be done either through a chemical that’s acidic or caustic.

Remember the pH scale that you learned about in high school chemistry? This is a measuring system that helps you determine how it will react with other substances. A chemical that’s either low or high on the pH scale will dissolve or mix with other substances until it balances out.

Drain cleaning chemicals that are caustic are usually composed of sodium hydroxide, which is a powerful soda or lye that can do serious damage to your pipe lining and clogging materials both. Drain cleaning chemicals that are acidic usually contain sulfuric acid, which is just as damaging to your plumbing system.

Let’s take a look at some of the other negative effects that come from these chemicals.

The Negative Effects of These Chemicals

Don’t just take our word for it, find out for yourself how bad these chemicals can be.

  • Personal health effects. Coming into contact with drain chemicals can cause rashes, sores, and pain in your skin, eyes, nose, and other parts of your body that touch it.
  • Negative environmental effects. Not only are these chemicals bad for your personal health, they’re also terrible for your local environment. They can contaminate water and even hurt wildlife nearby.
  • Fumes and foul odors. Chemical drain cleaners produce foul odors and fumes that linger in your bathroom or kitchen for days. They can be nearly impossible to clean up and even make people feel nauseous when they’re in constant contact with them.
  • They don’t work. Almost worst of all, a chemical drain cleaner might not work! These chemicals can sometimes do damage to your plumbing system and your personal health without having treated the source of the problem which is the original clog.

We could continue forever, but the main point is that drain cleaning chemicals are just not worth the cost. They can be off-putting and harmful while having a terrible track record of actually clearing a clog. Trust a professional plumber to get the job done instead.

Contact Schaible’s Plumbing & Heating Inc. for plumbing care that gets the job done.

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