5 things to consider before using drain-cleaning chemicals

When many Louisville and Lexington residents get a clogged drain, they bust out a pipe cleaning chemical to resolve the situation. While these products can be somewhat effective, they can also be dangerous for both you, your family and your pipes. When considering how to clean your pipes, keep these five things in mind:

Cleaning chemicals should be properly stored
Before purchasing any type of pipe cleaning product, consider that ingestion of these chemicals can be extremely dangerous and deadly. Many of these liquids contain lye and bleach and have very high pH levels, meaning they will burn skin. If you have young children, it is imperative that these products be kept out of reach.

These industrial strength cleaners can damage pipes
Most of these products are very powerful, some even being industrial strength. If the chemicals are not thoroughly washed out of your pipes, or if they cannot break through the clog, they can sit and corrode your plumbing. There is a reason most of the warning labels give time limits on how long the product can sit in your pipes!

If it doesn’t work, you may have a new problem
If you unsuccessfully use a chemical to unclog a shower drain, you could be standing in a dangerous mix of dirty water and corrosive chemicals when your shower backs up.

Never use chemicals, then plunge
If your chemicals did not flush, and you begin to plunge the clog you can pull the chemicals back through the drain and onto your skin or eyes. If your unclogging product did not work, call us. Be sure to mention what product you used so our plumbers can best assess the situation and safely correct the situation.

Try this natural solution first
A more natural option for unclogging your drain is baking soda and vinegar. That’s right, the same combination that brought so much joy to your fourth grade science project can also free clogs. First, pour very hot water down the drain to loosen it up. Wait a few minutes for the water to get through the clog, then pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by about a cup of vinegar and a cup of hot water. Cover the drain, let the reaction work. Flush the drain with more very hot water. Often this simple trick will fix a small clog.

Still not satisfied? Call us for professional help. We are your 24/7 plumber in Lexington and Louisville. We’ll help get your drain cleared so you can leave the science experiments to your grade schooler.