Drain Cleaners: Will They Harm My Plumbing Pipes?

Clogged or slow drain? When drains clog, the first thing most people think of is, let me get some Drano. Once they decide to get the chemical, that’s when it sets in, “Should I really pour a chemical down my drain?”

Will it hurt my plumbing pipes?

As professional drain cleaners for over 25 years, and guys who love to educate everyone about everything plumbing, we at The Twin Home Experts want to give you our opinion of the chemical drain cleaners.

When a drain clogs, the best thing to do is attempt to manually unclog it. Meaning, try to unblock the drain without the use of chemicals or contraptions such as a snake or plunger.

If that fails, it is at that point that you will need to try drain opening tools. Liquid drain cleaners are best used only in certain applications or situations.

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When the drain is slow to drain, but not clogged, and it’s a bathroom sink, shower, or tub, the chemical drain cleaners may work.

When the drain is at a complete stop from the clog, this is when you don’t want to use drain chemicals, in fear of them harming your pipes. Some drain chemicals can be made of sulfuric acid. If left sitting in your pipes too long, they may start to eat away at your drain.

When to use drain cleaners?

  • When you have ABS or PVC (plastic) drain pipes which are a black or white plastic material (non-corrosive)
  • When you have hair stoppage in a lavatory, shower, or tubs
  • When you don’t have continued backups in your shower, lavatories or tubs.
  • When you tried the plunger method and it didn’t work.
  • When not to spend your money and use drain cleaners?
  • Down a toilet
  • Down your main sewer line
  • Down old galvanized pipes or cast iron pipe (Chemicals can be damaging to these materials)
  • Down a kitchen sink garbage disposal.
  • Down a drain that has roots

There are plumbers that charge more for clearing drains that have these harsh chemicals left in the drain, because the chemicals eat away at the drain cables

Always try to use a plunger first, and really give it a good pump to clear those drains with a little help using hot water. This softens and loosens the stoppage giving you that extra help in clearing that drain.

if its a lavatory clog, more than likely its a mixture of hair and toothpaste. We recommend getting a wire hanger, and bending the tip to a 90 degree angle. Then feed it down the drain by turning it, in many cases you will fish up a ball of hair. Don’t forget to run hot water. This approach sometimes is much more effective than just pouring down a bottle of liquid Drano.

Hope this helps give you some insight, on when to use and not use drain cleaners. More importantly saving you time and money!