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The risks of using a drain unblocker

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Sink, tub and shower clogs are a nuisance. Let’s be honest: If you have a clogged drain, your first inclination is to reach for a drain unblocker. And why not? Advertisers herald the fast-acting, neat and tidy work of drain cleaners. What you may not know about drain unblockers, and what should cause you to carefully consider a better option, is that they’re dangerous to your Alpharetta plumbing and septic systems.

Most drain cleaners contain a harmful substance called sodium hydroxide, a soda component that’s highly caustic. As a result, they’re corrosive to plumbing pipes and can cause significant damage if they come into contact with your body.

Hazardous to your health

Drain cleaners are not only harmful to your plumbing and septic systems, but they are also hazardous to humans if ingested, or if they come into contact with skin or eyes. If you store drain cleaners in your home, make sure they are not accessible to children. Store them away on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet. If someone in your household is exposed to a drain cleaner, call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or 911.

The fumes from a drain unblocker alone are hazardous. Opening a can of drain cleaner without sufficient ventilation and inhaling the fumes could lead to respiratory tract damage, compromise lung tissues and, in the worst cases, cause pneumonia.

Hazardous to your plumbing

Plumbing pipes are also prone to damage from these caustic cleaners. Here’s what happens: The chemical reaction in the cleaners generates heat, which helps clear out the debris in the clog but will also eat away at pipes made of metal (often used in older homes) or soften the durability of softer pipes, such as PVC.

Why risk your health and plumbing system to the potential dangers of drain cleaners? The next time you need to unclog a drain, contact a professional who will use safe alternatives to hazardous cleaners, such as a powerful snake or hydro jetting. The experts at RooterPLUS! are happy to help Alpharetta residents with these types of issues.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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