When dealing with a clogged drain, some people think it is okay to use a chemical drain cleaner from the store to deal with the clog. The idea that this problem can be fixed without a professional is too good to pass up. The problem is these cleaners are not good for your drains as you might imagine.
The Pipe Harm
The first thing you should keep in mind is that these types of cleaners are oxidizing. As many people know, pipes are made out of different metals, so having an oxidizing material interacting within metal pipes is not a good idea.
Given enough time, the pipes may degrade. Keep in mind that, depending on the types of pipes you have installed, this system is supposed to last for decades. Using these cleaners consistently could end up diminishing the plumbing's lifespan, and that means you may end up replacing the pipes prematurely.
Plastic pipes are not safe for these types of cleaners either. The heat created from these types of cleaners could damage the pipes given enough time. This leads to cracked or even bursts pipes.
Another thing to keep in mind about these types of cleaners is they contain strong chemicals that may end up making their way towards bodies of water, putting fish and other ocean life in danger.
Are There Alternatives to Chemical Cleaners?
Thankfully, there are a number of alternatives that shouldn't harm your pipes, like chemical cleaners. One option is to simply use baking soda and a little vinegar, which should clear up most stuff in your pipes without harming them.
There are also a few choices in stores and online when it comes to clog cleaners. The natural movement has been taking off, and there are now drain cleaners that contain safer ingredients. Try to stick to ingredients you know like baking soda, vinegar, or an enzyme cleaning solution.
Coincidentally, you can make an enzyme cleaner, which is generally safe for drains at home. All you need to do is combine sugar, leftover citrus peels, and cover the solution with water. Let that sit in a dark, cool place with a loose top for a few weeks. Let it burp a few times, and then, just pour that down the drain when it smells like vinegar. Of course, if you don't have the time, you could just buy this cleaner.
You should keep in mind that most of these solutions are meant to address small clogs. Those dealing with a severe clog are going to have to call a professional so that the issue is resolved effectively and safely.