What Are Some of the Dangers of Chemical Drain Cleaning Solutions?
Chemical drain cleaners may seem like an easy effective solution to clogged pipes. However anyone considering utilizing a drain cleaner to repair a clogged drain should be aware of the risks of doing so. There are serious effects drain cleaners can have on your pipes, health and the environment.
Chemical drain cleaners are available in several forms. Liquid, gel or powdered options are the most common. The majority of drain cleaners commercially available use harsh toxic chemicals.
The chemical reaction of these cleaners relies on encouraging the rapid movement, addition or loss of electrons, creating the heat most of us associate with chemical burns.
Caustic Drain Cleaners
Caustic drain cleaners are heavier than standing water. They are generally able to reach clogs regardless of their location in the drain. Utilizing base substances such as lye and caustic potash, electron addition, and hydroxide ions create a reaction to clear clogging substances.
The process takes a clog and, via the use of their alkaline chemicals, creates heat that transforms the clog and makes it a substance more easily dissolved and purged.
Oxidizing Drain Cleaners
Oxidizing drain cleaners utilize a process that cause a loss of electrons leading to oxidization, heat and gas within the clog that allows its release. The ingredients include common substances you may have in your home such as bleach, peroxides and nitrates. These chemicals cause the organic material of the clog to lose electrons and become oxidized.
Acid Drain Cleaners
Acid drain cleaners are found in some stores and often online. They can be very destructive and dangerous when used improperly and are generally sold to professional plumbers. While effective, the chemicals are so potent they can burn through clothes and skin.
Generation of heat is an universal byproduct of chemical drain cleaners and softening of polyvinyl chloride pipes is a serious risk.
With metal piping, such as galvanized steel, copper, and iron, the risk of damage is even greater as the caustic materials literally eat away at the metal. Fixtures can also suffer damage if they come in contact with chemical drain cleaners.
Many people do not realize chemical drain cleaners are considered to be hazardous waste. Considering goggles and gloves are recommended to even handle them, it may be better to leave clogged drains to the professionals. A slightly higher upfront cost may be better for your health and drainage system in the long run.
Are your pipes all clogged up in your Naperville home? If you’re having trouble, give Jim Wagner a Call at (630) 577-9241, so we can get down to the root of the problem.