Pains in Your Drains?

Pains In Your Drains?

by Zachary Mikat

It’s time for some free advice from your plumber in Upland.  As an Upland plumber, I have noticed we have some older homes in our area, and they all have plumbing that needs to be maintained.  Whether your home is young or old, there are a few dangers that can lead to future plumbing problems.  One major area of concern is the drains in your home.  It’s important to have everything working on the incoming side, but doubly important to have everything working well on the outgoing side. So I hope you will avoid this pitfall and help your home stay in tip top shape.

Let’s talk about chemical drain cleaners.  We’ve all seen the commercials, and there is an entire section at the hardware store devoted to displaying such items.  You may have even tried them a time or two yourself.  Here are a few things to consider.  Drain cleaning with chemicals is dangerous; harsh chemicals are hazardous to your eyes, skin and lungs, and they’re also hazardous to your drains.  Drain cleaning chemicals eat away at the clog and flush the drain clean, restoring it to like-new condition, or at least that’s what we’re supposed to believe.  In reality, when they work, chemical drain cleaners will usually only open up a small hole that allows the water to drain through.  This small opening leads to more clogging in the future, and the cycle continues.  Although drain cleaning chemicals may work sometimes, they cause problems that prevent your drains from functioning properly in the future.

Over time your drains build up plaque (I hope that’s descriptive enough) on the insides of the pipe wall.  Eventually enough plaque and/or hair builds up that your drain clogs.  Introducing drain cleaning chemicals into this situation is detrimental for several reasons.  Strong chemicals begin to dissolve the hair and plaque, turning it into a sticky jell that, unfortunately, does not flush completely through the pipe.  The sticky mess hardens into super plaque that is almost impossible to clean out.  Repetitive use of harsh chemicals can also corrode your drains, eating holes through the pipe.  Who knew such a small bottle could be so much trouble!  Green Hippo Plumbing does not recommend the use of harsh chemicals in drains.  We have had to go under the house, cut out and replace all of the waste lines because years of drain “cleaning” chemicals had totally destroyed the pipes. Consider as well the problems it creates when you pour in the chemicals and nothing happens, as far as getting your sink to drain, anyway. What you are left with is a still very much clogged drain and a sink full of hazardous chemicals that even your plumber doesn’t want to deal with.

There are many things you can do to maintain your home.  Sometimes what you don’t do matters just as much as what you do.  So next time you are wandering the aisles of the local hardware store, remember the friendly advice from your Upland plumber, and just walk right on by the drain cleaning chemicals.

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