Are Products Like Liquid Plumr & Drano Actually Bad for Your Drains?

You know the old saying—if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Case in point: Drano, Liquid Plumr and other over-the-counter products that are designed to unclog your drain. They’re easy to use, affordable and relatively effective at removing simple clogs- caused by hair, grease and food.

Unfortunately, the harsh chemicals they contain don’t stop working their magic once the clog is removed—that’s the challenge. What’s more, Drano and Liquid Plumr can erode plastic and metal pipes over time, potentially causing structural damage and create costly repairs. Bottom line: Liquid Plumr and Drano should be used sparingly, if ever.

That said, using a chemical drain cleaner once or twice probably won’t result in significant damage, but you are taking a risk every time you use one. A clogged kitchen sink or a clogged toilet might make you feel desperate for a quick fix, but there are a few things you may want to try first.

Instead of testing your luck with drain cleaners like Liquid Plumr and Drano, try these tactics:

  1. Use a drain snake. Drain snakes are used to break down clogs caused by hair, grease and debris, in  kitchen and lavatory sinks.

  2. Try a flange plunger or toilet auger. A traditional plunger is and will always be one of the most effective tools for clearing clogged toilets! Plunge the drain thoroughly. If the clog remains, try the toilet auger then plunge again after.

  3. Call the pros. If these techniques don’t work, or only offer limited relief, it’s time to call the professionals. Sometimes, clogs are caused by tree roots, which may be located in the main sewer line, making them impossible for homeowners to reach.

Liquid drain cleaners might seem like the perfect solution, but they’re far from it. Every time you use one of these products, you risk causing serious damage to your pipes, especially in older homes. Plus, their positive effects are often short-lived—pipe damage, not so much.

Save your time, money and energy, and schedule an appointment with Choate's Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing to have the clog removed the right way, the first

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