Pacific valley plumbing

Are chemical drain cleaners any good? How do they work?

By ricardo

A valid question with more than one valid answer. But first, a hypothetical scenario for you:

So you got family over, everyone is enjoying a beautiful evening and nice meal together, you step away for a minute to go to releive yourself in the restroom and… Bam! The toilet is backing up… “Everything is ruined! ” you think to yourself… well not if we can help it!

Now a days the market is saturated with all sorts of products designed to clear clogged drains; from special liquids to powerful gels and clog-eating bright-colored bath-salt looking things(yeah they got those).


And with everyone trying to save money on those expensive plumber service calls, their popularity is on the rise. But, Are they really all they are cracked up to be?

“Chemical drain cleaners are incredibly acidic and abrasive. They can wreak havoc on your pipes. A lot of homes have older cast-iron or galvanized pipes, and these metals tend to react very poorly with acids.”

Now just before you get the bright idea of running to the store and buying one of these “miracle cures” while doing a quick prayer in hopes everything flushes down and saves the night; remember, good things cost money (usually) and this case is no exception. But its only $15.99 for the big bottle of the stuff you say… And its guaranteed to work or my money back… ” How could I lose?” you think…

Well my well-intentioned, tenacious reader-friend; you do have something to lose but its not immediately evident. It will come back to bite you in the long run and THEN your wallet will hurt.

What are we talking about? Well the truth is that these clog-clearing formulas are a lot of times made using strong abrasive materials and acids, and yes they may very well do a good job of clearing your clog.. But let me ask you a thoughtful question.. If these “miracle formulas” can clear the clog that is more stubborn than Grandpa Sam and having your drain running again… What can they potentially do to your pipes?

Yes a thought-provoking question am I right? See a lot of homes have older cast-iron or galvanized pipes and these metals react very poorly with acids; in fact not only does the acid wear out the pipe and eventually lead to a costly repair; a lot of them are bad for the enviorment and in plastic pipe can warp and compromise the pipe-walls integrity leading to future leaks as well as kill off necessary bacteria; if you are on a septic system.

All of these risks are multiplied the more times you use them and may ultimately end up costing you much more than they are worth!

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