Oct 6, 2023 Drain Cleaning
Clogged drains are an everyday household nuisance that can disrupt daily routines and affect daily lives. To quickly resolve such an issue, many turn to drain cleaners like Drano in hopes that quickly alleviating it would make matters better. However this post explores why Drano may actually make matters worse, including why its use caused your plumbing clog to worsen and why drain cleaners may make matters even worse! To ensure your plumbing works smoothly and avoid potential issues, consider all factors when dealing with blocked drains and safeguarding your plumbing system. This includes taking into account the expertise of drain cleaning professionals in Edwardsville.
Prior to exploring how drain cleaners may backfire, let us first understand their intended function. Drain cleaners are chemical solutions intended to dissolve or break down clogs in pipes and drains quickly and safely. While they might appear to be the ideal quick fix, not all blockages necessitate immediate clearance through chemical treatments, and not all drain cleaners provide equal effectiveness or safety assurances. In some cases, drain cleaners can exacerbate clogs.
One of the most frustrating scenarios homeowners encounter is using a drain cleaner like Drano, only to find that it makes the clog worse. Here are some reasons why this can happen:
Incomplete Clog Removal: Drain cleaners work by breaking down or dissolving the materials causing the clog. However, if the clog is composed of a solid mass of debris, hair, or grease, the drain cleaner may only partially dissolve the outer layer, especially in cases where the drain keeps clogging. This can create a temporary opening but leave a hardened core that quickly becomes a new obstruction.
Chemical Reactions: Some clogs consist of more than just organic matter and may also contain mineral deposits or rust. Drain cleaner chemicals might not effectively deal with these elements, resulting in minimal or no improvement in the drain’s flow.
Old Plumbing Systems: Older plumbing systems may have deteriorating pipes that are more susceptible to damage from the harsh chemicals in drain cleaners. In such cases, using drain cleaners can exacerbate the problem by causing pipe corrosion and leaks.
Mismatched Chemicals: Sometimes, homeowners attempt to use different drain cleaners together, not realizing that the chemicals can react with each other. It can create fumes or dangerous byproducts that can harm the plumbing system.
Another issue that homeowners frequently face is when the drain cleaner does not seem to go down or work as expected. This can occur for several reasons:
Too Much Product: Using excessive amounts of drain cleaner can overwhelm the drain, causing it to back up rather than clear the clog. It’s essential to follow the recommended usage instructions provided on the product’s label.
Inadequate Contact Time: Drain cleaners require time to work effectively. If you rinse the product away too soon, it may not have had sufficient contact with the clog to break it down. Patience is key when using drain cleaners.
Blocked Vent Pipes: In some cases, the issue may not be the drain cleaner itself but a blocked vent pipe in your plumbing system. Vent pipes allow air into the system, which facilitates proper drainage. If these pipes become blocked, they can impede both air and water flow, making it seem like the drain cleaner isn’t effective.
Given the potential pitfalls of using drain cleaners, you may wonder what alternatives exist. Here are some safer and more effective methods for dealing with clogs:
Plunging: A plunger is a handy tool for dislodging clogs in sinks, toilets, and tubs. It creates pressure that can help break up and push the clog through the pipes.
Boiling Water: Pouring boiling water down the drain can help melt grease and soap scum clogs. It’s a simple yet effective method for minor blockages.
Manual Removal: For hair clogs in shower or bathtub drains, you can try manual removal. Consider using either a drain snake or a straightforward wire hanger to physically clear the blockage.
Natural Solutions: Baking soda and vinegar can be combined to create a natural drain cleaner. The foaming reaction can help break down clogs without the harsh chemicals.
Professional Help: When all else fails, or if you have concerns about your plumbing system, it’s best to consult a drain cleaning professional. They have the expertise and equipment to diagnose and resolve plumbing issues safely.
While drain cleaners like Drano can be effective for certain types of clogs, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding why drain cleaner makes a clog worse, the issue of drain cleaner not going down, and the potential risks associated with these products is essential for responsible and effective drain maintenance.
Before reaching for a bottle of drain cleaner, assess the severity of the clog and consider alternative methods. By taking a more cautious and informed approach, you can protect your plumbing system and save yourself from the frustration of a clog gone even worse. Remember that when in doubt, it’s always wise to seek professional assistance. To ensure the proper functioning of your drains and pipes. Rooter-Man is a trusted name in plumbing services in Southern Illinois, ensuring the proper functioning of your drains. We offer an effective and environmentally-friendly approach to cleaning your drain without relying on harsh chemicals. Our method not only clears clogs but also ensures the safety and longevity of your plumbing system.
Questions? Want a Quote? Feel free to contact us by filling out the form, giving us a call, or sending an email.