Why Using Drano is a Terrible Choice for Your Pipes

Drano is bad for your pipes

It’s happened to all of us. You use your sink normally, and when you are done, the water in the sink won’t drain away. What’s next? Grab some Drano, right?

Actually, not so fast. Even though Drano might relieve the problem temporarily, it can cause serious problems over time leading to expensive repairs that could have easily been avoided in the first place.

Drano is a drainage cleaner that consists of aluminum, salt, bleach, lye, and sodium nitrate. When Drano is poured down a drain, several chemical reactions happen simultaneously.

First, the lye decomposes all the organic matter in the pipes. Next, the aluminum reacts with the lye causing the temperature to quickly increase to a near-boiling level in order to speed up the decomposition. The lye then reacts with the grease to form a soapy substance that dissolves the clogged material and creates room for hot water to wash it away.

The problem is, Drano has the ability to dissolve virtually any organic matter. If it comes in to contact with your skin or eyes, the damage can be devastating. Inhaling the fumes can also cause serious damage to your lungs.

Because of its corrosive nature, Drano can cause toilet bowls to crack, PVC pipes to melt or break and the glue that holds pipes together can be eaten away. If any of these things happen, you’re going to be left with an inoperable plumbing system and costly repairs.

If you’re using Drano with other plumbing equipment like a plunger, the liquid can easily splash up out of the sink and burn your skin, eyes, and lungs. If you use other cleaning products and Drano is still present in the drain, any number of chemical reactions can occur causing the creation of dangerous toxic fumes that are released into your home.

Even after the Drano exits your plumbing system, it can contaminate the local water supply causing harm to plants and animals.

So what should you do instead?

If you’re faced with a clogged toilet, the best method is to grab a flange plunger. Flange plungers are bell-shaped and made specifically for unclogging toilets. Simply insert the plunger in the toilet bowl and aggressively move it up down until the material breaks up and you’re able to flush. If the drain in your kitchen or bathroom sink is clogged, use a cup plunger that is made for flat surfaces.

If your clog is near the surface, drain snakes are a great way to clear the blockage. All you have to do is uncoil the snake and push it down the drain. With a little effort, it will break the clog apart and allow it to pass safely through your pipes.

If you prefer a liquid, there are a host of drain cleaners available that contain natural bacteria and enzymes that eat away organic waste and aren’t harmful to your sink or pipes.

If you find that you just can’t unclog a drain using one of the simple methods above, your best bet is to call our experts at Total Plumbing. We are here to help you get the problem resolved quickly while keeping your family safe!
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