Homeowners have probably been told to use chemicals at least twice a year to prevent kitchen sink clogs. Other tend to suggest that this is a good idea but professional plumbing service providers all agree that the most misused plumbing product is not so good.
Let us begin with defining what Drano is. Drano is a lye-based household drainage cleaner product. It is sold in several forms and variations like:
- Sodium hydroxide (lye)
- Sodium hypochlorate bleach
- Sodium nitrate
- Sodium chloride (salt)
The main ingredient contained in Drano products is sodium hydroxide. When it is poured down a drain, several chemical reactions take place simultaneously. The sodium hydroxide, also referred to as lye decomposes most of the organic matter in the drain including hair and grease. The small amounts of aluminum contained in the lye result in a reaction that produces high temperatures which increase the speed of the decomposition process.
When it comes into contact with tap water, the lye reacts to produce more heat that softens deposits that line the dirty drain.
The lye also reacts with the soft grease creating a soap that dissolves in the hot water. The lye also reacts with the aluminum to form hydrogen bubbles that loosen clog particles. As a result, space is created for hot water to carry all these items down the drain. A slosh of Drano results in
Service: Clogged Drain Repair
- Intense heat
- Soap making
- Bubble forming
- Dissolving proteins and fat breakdown
This sounds like a very useful process in cleaning your drain and prevent a clogged kitchen sink, yet it is not advisable to use Drano. This is simply because the lye is involved in very intense reactions that the drain cannot handle.
Using chemical drain cleaning products is risky because:
Drano damages plumbing systems
Drano can cause serous damages to plumbing systems considering the fact that it sits in a pipe until all the clog dissolves. This means that it is continuously reacting and producing heat. As a result, a toilet bowl can crack. Even PVC pipes can soften and end up breaking. The old and corroded pipes will definitely be damaged and quite easily at that. Eventually, Drano quickly eats away the glue that holds the pipes together. Imagine that want was intended to clean your drains actually ends up destroying them completely. If it does this when you use it once, what happens when you use it twice? Your drainage system is done for. Those who suggest that you should use Drano twice a year are a little bit misinformed.
Drano is unpredictable if it is combined with other products or equipment
Remember that Drano is a chemical compound that causes reactions when combined with other substances. So when you are using plumbing tools like a plunger or auger, the Drano can react with the plunger. In any case, the plunger and auger are made from metal and can easily react with the lye to produce and unpleasant product.
Now, if even a small amount of Drano remains in the drain and you use a chemical product afterwards, a chemical reaction will take place which can even produce unpleasant fumes.
Drano is very unpredictable and you have no clue of what kind of chemical reaction will take place when you introduce Drano to a plumbing system.
Drano can burn skin, irritate eyes and hurt lungs
Drano is a caustic. It has properties that make it able to burn or corrode organic tissue through chemical action. If you use a plumbing tool like a plunger, Drano can splash up and burn on the skin. It can get into the eyes and lungs. Since it is primarily a substance that decomposes organic matter, imagine the effects it will have on your body since your body is essentially made up organic matter. The burning sensation when it lands on your eyes is very irritating. When it gets to the lungs, it can cause substantive damage.
For many plumbers, it is unsafe to work on a clogged drain that Drano has been poured into. They will have to wait for 24 hours for the Drano to clear out because the lye creates unsafe conditions for them to work in.
Drano is not safe for you.
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Drano is only a temporary fix and not useful for recurring clog problems
Drano is just a band aid fix. If you use Drano and still have clogs in the same area over and over again, then it is possible that the problem is much bigger than the solution Drano has to offer. And if you have been using Drano over and over again, it probably means that your plumbing system is extensively damaged. You may use Drano only as a temporary fix but only at the expense of your plumbing system. The best way to solve such recurring clogging problems is to use the services from professional plumbers. Temporary fixes are always costly. Invest in a lasting solution.
But humans will always be humans. They will always want to know if there is a safe way to minimize the risks associated with Drano.
Some of the ways to minimize the risks are;
- Use Drano for partial blockages and very sparingly. This means diluting the Drano in water before using it
- Don’t use Drano for complete blockages
- Read the instructions carefully for safe usage
- Never use a plunger after you have used Drano
Even when used sparingly, Drano can still cause drain damage. The best thing to do is to avoid it completely because it can result in extensive damage. Simply, Drano is:
- Dangerous to your health
- Harsh on your plumbing system
- Bad for the environment
Drano is just a partial solution because it does not solve your clogged drain problems in the long run. Go for professional plumbing services like those offered by Urban Piping for a long term solution. Visit us at www.urbanpiping.com to help you fix your plumbing problems. A quick fix is usually a dangerous fix.