When you get a clog in a drain, it is a natural reaction to go to your local hardware store and get a drain cleaner to try and unclog it before calling in a professional plumber. While this may save some time and money and it may be successful on occasion, you are actually doing more harm than good. As a result, there are reasons why you should skip the drain cleaner option and go right to calling a plumber.
1. Harmful to pipes
While you may be successful at unclogging drains with drain cleaners, they are harmful to pipes in your home and can do serious damage in the long run with continuous use. The main chemical in most drain cleaners is hydrochloric acid which can be successful in clearing a blockage in a drain.
However, because it sits in your drain until it breaks down enough of the obstruction to flush through, this chemical will eventually start to eat away at your pipes. When this happens, you will have to replace the affected pipes. This results in a more expensive problem on your hands and one that you would need to call a professional plumber in for anyway.
2. Do not help completely
Drain cleaners should also be avoided because although they may appear to be effective, they do not address the problem completely. When a drain cleaning product is poured down a drain, it usually only breaks up some of the blockage or flushes it further down a pipe. This may give the impression that the drain is cleared as water is able to pass through better, but the reality is the matter that is blocking the drain is still there and will start to build up again in no time at all.
In most cases, either a clog is not solid enough and a drain cleaner just passes through or it is so solid that the cleaner is ineffective. For this reason, a professional plumber should be called in as opposed to continuous use of a drain cleaner that will not work.
3. Plumbers have the right tools
As opposed to pouring a chemical down your drain and hoping for positive results, the best thing to do would be to call a plumber who has the right tools guaranteed to unclog your drain. To assess the extent and determine the cause of the clog, plumbers have cameras that can be inserted into the drain. They can then choose to use a snake that threads down the drain and breaks apart the blockage or jet machines that use a high-pressure water stream to break apart the matter causing the obstruction.
A plumber will not leave your residence until the blockage is cleared and their work is guaranteed meaning if there are any issues relating to the original job they will return to remedy the situation.
4. Harmful to home and occupants
Not only are drain cleaning products harmful to your pipes, they are harmful to other parts of the home and its occupants. Drain cleaners, if spilled on sinks or faucets, will eventually start to destroy the finishing on them due to the chemicals in the product. This will require even more time and money to replace them.
The chemicals in the cleaners can also produce fumes that are harmful to anyone in the vicinity of where it is being used. When these products are not used, a homeowner does not have to store them and worry about younger children accessing them and resulting in injury or death.