Drain Cleaners Can Be Dangerous

A clogged drain can cause water to overflow into your home. This can damage your floors and walls, leading to costly repairs and replacements.

Drain Cleaners

Most reputable plumbers strongly recommend against chemical Philadelphia Drain Cleaners. These formulas can do more harm than good to your plumbing system, and they’re dangerous for the environment.

Chemical drain cleaners are pure or mixtures of chemicals that can be poured down a drain to help break up and dissolve blockages of hair, grease, food, soap scum, and other organic materials. They are typically available through hardware stores and work by creating a chemical reaction with the material that is causing the blockage. These reactions are often faster and more effective than other methods, such as using a plumbing snake or manual drain auger.

Caustic drain cleaners are often the most common, and they usually contain sodium hydroxide. This strong base decomposes hair and fats into water soluble substances while also producing heat to help melt the blockage. It can be dangerous and damaging to pipes, however, especially if it comes into contact with metal or glazed surfaces. It is also very corrosive and can burn skin, mucous membranes, and eyes if splashed. It can also react with other household cleaners to produce toxic fumes.

Oxidizing drain cleaners are often the next most common chemical cleaners. These are often less harsh than caustic drain cleaners and can be found in many household bleach products, peroxides, and nitrates. These chemicals work by oxidizing the organic material that is clogging the drain, which causes it to lose electrons and break up. These cleaners are also heavier than water and move through standing or stagnant water faster than caustic drain cleaners.

Acidic drain cleaners are the harshest chemicals and are rarely used. They typically contain sulphuric or hydrochloric acid ingredients that create a chemical reaction with the clogged material to dissolve it. These cleaners can be harmful to your whole plumbing system as well as the environment, and they are typically reserved for very serious clogs when all other methods have failed.

Bio-Clean Drain Septic Bacteria is an alternative to chemical drain cleaners that works by introducing bacteria into your pipes and plumbing fixtures. These bacteria then begin to grow and eat away at the organic material that is causing the clog. This process is slow, and it requires at least one overnight application to fully clear a blocked drain.


Drain cleaners are a powerful tool to have, but they can be dangerous if improperly used. They are corrosive and often contain harmful chemicals that can cause serious burns if they come into contact with your skin or eyes. They can also damage pipes if the wrong product is used or if the directions are not followed correctly.

Chemical drain cleaners work by dissolving blockages in pipes, so they can eliminate clogs that would otherwise be difficult to remove. They can dissolve hair, grease, food, and other materials that build up in drains and garbage disposals, causing slow or partial clogs. However, it’s important to know the type of pipe you have and what the clog is made of before using a chemical drain cleaner. Not all products are suitable for every type of pipe or clog, and some may even be toxic to septic systems. It’s crucial to check the label and only use chemical drain cleaners recommended for your pipes.

Safety is a priority when using any type of drain cleaning machine, including handheld machines. These powerful tools can cause severe injury if not handled properly and can also contaminate the surrounding area with bacteria, bloodborne pathogens, or other hazardous substances.

Handheld drain and sewer cleaners must be used in a well-ventilated area to prevent exposure to these dangerous chemicals. The proper safety gear must be worn at all times, including rubber gloves and goggles to protect your skin from the chemicals. It’s also essential to wear protective clothing, like long-sleeved shirts and pants, to avoid splashing the cleaner on your clothes or skin.

Before using any chemical drain cleaner, review the product’s Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to understand the hazards and proper handling instructions. Read customer reviews and feedback to identify brands with the best track record of safety performance. It’s also a good idea to research the different products available to determine which ones are most effective for your situation. Lastly, make sure that any powered equipment has a ground-fault circuit interrupter to prevent electric shock. This device can shut down the machine if it detects current leakage, which is the most common cause of electrocution while using drain cleaning machines.


There are many factors that affect the cost of drain cleaning services. These include the location of the clog, the method used to clear it, and whether or not other plumbing repairs are required. In general, plumbers charge a minimum service fee just to come out and assess the situation. This allows them to accurately quote their costs to you before beginning the work.

Liquid drain cleaners often create a chemical reaction inside of the pipe that breaks down some of the organic material causing the blockage, but not all. They can also cause damage to your pipes when they eat away at the metal and plastic components. If you have old or galvanized steel pipes, this can lead to leaks and corrosion over time.

The DIY option for a simple clog involves using a plunger, which typically works well on sink and toilet clogs close to the drain opening. However, for larger clogs, a hand-held drain snake may be needed. You can purchase these at hardware or discount stores for about $5, or bend a hook on the end of a wire hanger and feed it down the drain to get to the clog. These are effective tools for breaking up and removing hair, food waste, and other small debris.

Most clogs result from buildup of organic materials that accumulate over time in your pipes and drains. These can include soap scum, grease, hair, paper products, and other common household waste. Most clogs can be cleared easily by professional plumbers, who use more advanced and effective tools to do so. In addition to clearing out the clog, they can identify and fix the underlying issues that are contributing to it.

Although the initial expense of hiring a professional might seem expensive, it will save you money in the long run. Investing in regular professional drain cleaning services helps to prevent blockages, reduces the need for costly repairs, and ensures that your home’s plumbing will function properly for years to come. The average drain cleaning cost for a residential home is between $100 and $300, but this can vary depending on the specific needs of your property.

Leaving It to the Pros

The chemicals in store-bought drain cleaners are dangerous to humans and pets, whether they come into contact with skin, lungs or eyes. If ingested, they can cause serious health problems including liver and kidney damage. Many of these products are also corrosive to pipes and can eat away at metal. This can result in broken, leaky pipes down the line.

While DIY drain cleaners can work on small clogs, they are often ineffective against more serious ones. Professionals have the tools and skills to clean entire plumbing systems, even sewer lines, and can catch potential issues before they turn into big problems. They can also use cameras to check out pipes and see what’s causing the problem.

If you find yourself with a blocked drain, try to remove as much of the clog as possible before using cleaners. This will save you time and money in the long run. If you can’t get rid of the clog yourself, flushing with hot water can help. Make sure to pour the hot water slowly and let it work for several seconds between each pour. If you still can’t get the clog to clear, it’s best to call a plumber.

A more natural way to unclog a drain is by mixing baking soda and vinegar. This solution works to break down clogs by dissolving the build-up of fats, oils and hair in your drains. You can also try using a plunger or snake to break up the clog and then flushing with hot water.

When it comes to a major clog, you should always call a plumber. They have the tools and skills to clean your whole plumbing system and can use hydro-jetting machines to blast away tough blockages and clean pipes. They can also spot and fix future issues before they become bigger problems, saving you both time and money in the long run.

If you’re looking for a safe, eco-friendly alternative to chemical drain cleaners, consider an enzyme drain cleaner. These products rely on bacteria or enzymes to break down the organic material that causes clogs, including food waste, grease and hair. These natural cleaners are safe for kids, pets and the environment, and won’t damage your pipes or release toxic fumes.