The drain clog is the most common trouble that people run into with their home plumbing. Everyone has experienced a slow or fully clogged sink or shower drain at some time or another. A plunger can often take care of a basic clog and get the water draining once more (although if these clogs are happening on a regular basis, you should have plumbers find out if there’s something wrong).
But if you have a clogged drain that won’t respond to a plunger, what’s the next step? You may feel tempted to use a liquid drain cleaner, the sort you can purchase at most grocery stores. But you shouldn’t do this! No professional plumber recommends liquid “drain cleaners” for clogs, and here’s why:
- They don’t do a thorough job: Chemical drain cleaners are designed to eat through clogs in order to let water pass through. This is only a temporary solution: the chemical will leave behind most of the gunk on the drain walls, and more debris will start to build up, leading to further clogs in the near future.
- They can damage the plumbing: These store-bought drain cleaners are mostly made up of highly caustic and acidic chemicals. Although these chemicals can chew through clogs, they can also damage the metal of the pipes, even creating corrosion.
- They are highly toxic: The fumes that linger after a drain cleaner is used are extremely dangerous, causing skin, nose, and eye irritation. The toxicity is also a problem for the environment when empty bottles with chemical residue end up in landfills.
So what do you to do get rid of tough clogs that won’t respond to a plunger? It’s easy: call a professional plumber to use tools such as hydro-jetters or motorized drain augers. This will take care of the clog and provide thorough drain cleaning.