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What’s the Difference Between Store Bought Drain Cleaner and a Professional Plumber?

Posted by Gary Gray on Mar 09, 2020

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The most popular drain cleaners come in a liquid or gel form and "work" by quickly dissolving built-up grease, food deposits, soap scum, hair, and more. Many of them even leave behind a nice citrus smell. But as far back as 2006, Consumer Reports was putting out a warning that commercial drain cleaners can damage septic systems and discolor surfaces. So, before you reach for a store-bought solution, make sure you know what you're getting into.

Store-Bought Drain Cleaners Don't Always Work 

The most compelling reason not to spend your money on store-bought drain cleaners is that they don't always perform as promised. Pouring chemicals down a drain to unclog it occasionally works, but it's likely that a lot of the original clog is still there. In other words, you might get water to start going through the pipes, but you haven't removed the entire clog. And there's no way of knowing until, you guessed it, the clog reappears.

They Can Cause More Damage in the Long Run 

Store-bought cleaners typically contain sulfuric acid and lye as their active agents. After clearing away the clog, these acidic elements cling to the inside of your pipes and can eventually damage your piping. That means you're looking at expensive repairs and at times, pipe replacements down the road.

They're Full of Toxic Chemicals

Lye and sulfuric acid do more than cause pipe damage, they also pose a serious risk to pets and children if swallowed. And the toxic fumes they give off after use can cause skin and eye damage.

Bad for the Environment

The plastic bottles store-bought drain cleaners come in are usually non-recyclable which means they end up in landfills where the remaining toxins in them can seep into the ground. These toxins eventually make their way to groundwater and can potentially end up right where they started-in your home and drinking water.

Professional Plumbers are Effective and Safe

Why risk having these chemical mixtures hurt your plumbing, the environment, and most importantly, your family?

The most effective way to treat clogged drains is with the equipment a professional plumber uses. Motorized drain augers (snaking) clear clogs away by breaking through them, and hydro-jetting machines use a high degree of water pressure to force a clog to move through and out a pipe. Both of these methods are far better for fully cleaning out a drain.

A blocked drain can cause serious damage but so can the store-bought cleaner you use to unclog your pipes. A seriously clogged drain calls for the services of a professional plumber. If you have a clogged drain in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry, or if you need the help of a professional plumber for any other pipe-related problem, contact David Gray Plumbing Services online today or call us at 904-724-7211 to learn more.

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