Let’s face it, when most of us discover that a sink is taking an age to drain away, or is indeed blocked, our first reaction isn’t always to call out a plumber. After all, a bottle of liquid drain cleaner won’t make a huge dent in your wallet and only requires minimal effort, so why call out a professional?
There can be a lot of ways on how to unblock your drains – and sadly, using a liquid drain cleaner shouldn’t be an option if possible. It may surprise you as well but there are several reasons to call out a blocked drain plumber – namely, your pipes, your health, and the fact that most liquid drain cleaners perform very badly.
Damage to your pipes
What most people don’t know is that although liquid drain cleaners claim to be safe and fast-acting with absolutely no need to call a plumber, they can, in fact, be very harmful. Liquid drain cleaners work by causing a chemical reaction inside your drain pipe (often with the use of hydrochloric acid) creating heat to dissolve whatever is clogging your pipe. Although these products work relatively well on a small clog, in the case of a larger clog, the chemicals will just end up sitting in the pipe and eating away at it.
If your pipes are plastic then there’s a danger of the high heat melting the pipe or causing deformation. Although metal pipes are more resilient they may still become weakened by the heat which can result in cracks and leaks further down the line, and this is even more likely if your pipes are old.
Now you know how hazardous liquid drain cleaners are to pipes, just imagine the effect they could have on your health. The fumes released from the chemicals could cause irritation to your throat and lungs, not to mention your eyes and nose. Although it’s true to say that not all drain cleaning products are the same, some of them can cause burns if they accidentally splash onto your skin. The effects are even worse if the liquid splashes into your eyes. For this reason, it’s a good idea to wear safety goggles and be careful of splashes, when using these products.
Diagnose the problem
Even if you manage not to damage your pipes or compromise your health, there’s no guarantee that the liquid drain cleaner will actually work. In the event that your drain clog isn’t something as simple as a build-up of grease or a hairball, then it’s unlikely to be of any use at all.
One of the prime benefits of calling out a plumber is that he’ll be able to diagnose the cause of the blockage. If there’s some other material that’s entered through a crack in the pipe, or if the cause is located much deeper in your drainage system, then no amount of drain cleaner is going to cure it and all you’ve done is waste your money.
Use some elbow grease
Instead of turning directly to chemicals, try clearing your drain in the old fashioned way with a plunger and a spot of elbow grease. If that doesn’t work then you might still be able to clear your drain using a plumber’s snake. Some of these attach to a drill giving it more power to force it through the blockage.
If this doesn’t work either then relying on the experience of a local plumber is always the best option. If you have a slow or blocked drain, then Gold Coast Plumbing Experts are here to assist. We’ve got years of experience in unblocking drains and will soon get your water flowing freely. Call us on 1300 600 632 and we’ll send a plumber to your aid as quickly as possible.