Liquid Drain Cleaners: Are They Safe?

by | Nov 7, 2016 | Kitchen


Oh great! The drain is clogged again. Homeowners usually try to fix clogged drains with a quick DIY fix. The most popular product homeowners rush to the store to get is liquid drain cleaners. These cleaners might work temporarily but they can actually damage your pipes and make your family sick. The following details will explain further why you should consider calling a plumber instead of using drain cleaner.

Drain Cleaners and Pipes

Liquid drain cleaners contain an ingredient called hydrochloric acid that causes a chemical reaction meant to unclog the pipe. During this process, heat is generated from the chemicals in the liquid that help remove the clog. However, if you have plastic pipes, the heat can cause damage by melting and deforming the plastic. Continued use of the drain cleaner can also negatively affect metal pipes by causing cracks. These small cracks will gradually become larger and cause leaks in the future.

Drain Cleaners and Your Health

If you have ever used drain cleaner before you are aware of the harsh odor that fills your home. The ingredients in the cleaner are a combination of chemicals meant to destroy buildup and unclog the pipes. The fumes are immediately inhaled by the person using the product. Some homeowners experience irritation in their throat, ears, eyes, nose and lungs when using most drain cleaners.

Tips for Unclogging Your Drain Safely

  • Use a Plunger – A plunger is an essential tool that will help cure clogged drains. Every homeowner should own a plunger and use it when necessary.
  • Use a Plumbing Snake – Hardware stores usually carry a smaller version of a plumbing snake compared to the size plumber’s use. If your clog is minor a plumbing snake could help.

Why doesn’t liquid drain cleaner work?

Liquid drain cleaners might unclog some pipes. However, most clogs are created from a buildup of grease or hair. Drain cleaners aren’t meant to tackle severe clogs. If you use a drain cleaner and it doesn’t work, there are more serious issues involved. Some clogs are due to a crack in the pipe that is allowing debris to enter the pipes causing a clog. This is something a professional will need to handle.

Homeowners might feel that calling a plumber for a clogged drain is dramatic. However, it will benefit you in a variety of ways. A professional will determine the cause of the clog and fix it immediately, saving you money in the future. Using a plumbing service will also prevent you from coming into contact with harsh chemicals that can cause allergic reactions and health problems. If you have a clogged drain, call Mokher Plumbing today!

Mokher Profile PicSince 1968, Chip Mokher & his team has provided South Florida with quality service with a commitment to our customers’ satisfaction. Our many years of experience has allowed us to serve thousands of homes and businesses in Miami-Dade County. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, please call us at 305-446-8266 or email us at


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