Chemical drain cleaners can wreak havoc.
Most of us have seen the commercials. Your bathtub is backed up and all that you have to do is pour this magical solution down the drain and it clears your stoppage for you. Poof, like magic that clog is gone!
The real life reality of it is that in almost 20 years in the plumbing profession we’ve seen more harm than good from chemical drain cleaners. Face it, we can’t see the condition of our plumbing below the ground or on the inside of the pipe. It is like a foreign alien land that we don’t ever want to acknowledge even exists.
Yes, sometimes clogs are simple hair stoppages in the p-trap, but before you go pouring chemicals down your drain line that may not be able to handle it, try removing the hair yourself with a drain cleaning wand available at most hardware stores. This plastic wand won’t harm your drain and if that doesn’t work you’re better off to hire a professional plumber than to just stick chemicals down your line.
What happens when you pour chemical drain cleaners down your drain line? The chemicals actually eat through hair and mild build up, what they fail to show in those fancy commercials is that the chemicals can also eat through your plumbing. If you’re plumbing isn’t in good shape and isn’t plastic, you’re slowly or even sometimes immediately eating a hole through your drain line.
We’ve had several clients that have experienced this very problem. Pouring chemical cleaners down their tub line to clear a stoppage and the next thing they know is that the problem has just turned from a simple drain clean with a cable to having to pull out their tub and replace their waste and overflow. The response is always the same when people see the hole eaten through their drain line, “We didn’t know, no one told us.” We are here to warn you to take caution when using chemical drain cleaners, not all drain lines can handle the chemicals and it is often better to be safe than sorry.