Caustic household cleaners have come under scrutiny lately. Green-wise homeowners, environmental watchdogs, and grass-roots organizations concerned with the fallout of dangerous chemicals coursing through our homes and waterways, have all taken up the cause of halting the overuse of chemicals, and educating consumers about harmful ingredients in everyday household items such as oven cleaners, toilet bowl refreshers, and drain cleaners.
The first concern many homeowners have is less environmentally motivated, and more a concern for the pipes and plumbing fixtures. Just what’s in these heavy-duty chemical drain cleaners, and what effect will they have on pipes and plumbing? Is there a professional service to unclog drains?
Drain Cleaner and Your Pipes
Chemicals made to dissolve drain clogs need to be strong. Most commercial drain cleaners employ such caustic chemicals as sulfuric acid, lye, and sodium hydroxide. These solutions erode hair, grease, and the typical “gunk” which makes up the most common clogs. You only need to read the caution on the label on the drain cleaner to see the health threats posed by these chemicals.
When it comes to your pipes, the more you use drain cleaners, the more they can become damaged, over time. If you find you need to use drain cleaners more and more often, it’s best to call in a professional plumber as the issue may not actually be a clog, but something more.
What About Septic Systems?
Although most homeowners in the Baltimore area don’t rely on septic systems for their wastewater, those who do, and are experiencing clogged or slow drains, should contact a septic professional right away. Drain cleaners will do nothing to resolve septic issues, and, ignoring a septic problem can result in a big, messy, and expensive project.
Green Drain Cleaners
Obviously, chemical cleaners pose a threat to the environment. Not only does the earth suffer, but, more immediately, your home environment can suffer. The make-up of these volatile cleaners can cause breathing problems in children and adults and leech into the yard around your home, creating toxic ground over time.
More and more homeowners are turning to DIY cleaners for all sorts of household needs. Organic cleaners sold in stores are great but can be costly. A simple solution for clogged drains is to pour ¼ cup of salt, ¾ cup of baking soda, and ¾ cup of white vinegar down your drain. Wait 20 minutes and run hot water down the drain for 1 minute, followed by cold water also for one minute. Not only will the foaming action move and dissolve a typical clog, but your drain will also smell fresh as well.
Drains and connecting pipes are designed so water can freely flow at any time. If your drain is clogged, the chances are good that commercial drain cleaners won’t work any better than the homemade solution. Unless the clog is close to the drain, it’s difficult for the chemically based cleaners to reach it.
If the application of your safe drain cleaner doesn’t unstop your sink, you should seek a plumbing professional. A plumber will get right to the source of the stoppage, be it congealed household grease, debris, hair, and the like, or something more complicated, such as roots growing into your pipes and plumbing. A plumber can also discern whether your drain “clog” is actually a septic problem.
Professional Plumbing Services in Baltimore, MD
Contact the professionals at Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions for any problems you may have with your plumbing, including clogged drains. Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions cares as much about the environment as you do. We’ll make sure your family, pets, and pipes are safe and protected from dangerous chemicals.