The Bad News About Retail Drain Cleaners

If you notice that one of the sinks or tubs in your home has started to drain a little slower than normal, you might reach for a chemical drain cleaner you purchased at your local home improvement store. While retail drain cleaners can provide results in the short-term, these products could be causing more damage than you realize.

Becoming familiar with the dangerous side effects of retail drain cleaners will help you better understand why you should avoid using these products in your home's plumbing system.

Retail drain cleaners are dangerous to your health.

The drain cleaners that you can purchase at retail locations contain harsh chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Gases and fumes are released as you pour the drain cleaner into your clogged tub or sink, and these gases and fumes can cause respiratory irritation.

Many chemical drain cleaners also contain carcinogens. When exposed to carcinogens, you are more likely to develop cancer in the future. If you need to remove a clog from your pipes, a biological drain cleaner that uses bacteria to break down the blockage is a much safer route.

Retail drain cleaners are bad for the environment.

The same chemical agents in retail drain cleaners that can be hazardous to your health can pose a real threat to the environment. Chemical residue from discarded containers can contaminate landfills. Excess drain cleaner can wash out of your home's plumbing system and find its way into local water sources, compromising the quality of your drinking water supply.

Plants, soils, and animals are all subject the negative effects of exposure to retail drain cleaners when these chemical products are introduced into the environment. A biological drain cleaner poses no threat to the environment and can be used without worrying about polluting the area around your home.

Retail drain cleaners can damage your plumbing.

The harsh chemicals that are found in retail drain cleaners can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Most of the retail drain cleaners available on the market today contain hydrochloric acid. This acid can sit in your pipes and begin to corrode the copper or PVC your pipes are made from.

You might experience leaks or complete pipe failure at some point in the future. It's best to stay away from retail drain cleaners when trying to preserve the integrity of your plumbing system, and rely on biological drain cleaners or the services of a professional plumber to eliminate clogs instead.