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A homeowner using a drain cleaner in a clogged bathroom sink.

Are Drano and Liquid Plumr Truly Bad for Your Pipes?

You expect the various systems throughout your home to work without a hitch. Sometimes, though, unexpected issues can pop up — such as a blocked-up toilet or clogged kitchen sink drain.

Clogged drains are inconvenient and troublesome problems to deal with since they can lead to slow drainage, foul odors entering your home, and unsanitary water backups. However, that doesn’t mean you should reach for the first drain cleaner you come across in the store. Many store-bought cleaners, including Drano and Liquid Plumr, often cause more trouble than homeowners can imagine.

Are Drano and Liquid Plumr truly bad for your pipes? If you ask an experienced plumber, there’s a high chance they’ll tell you “yes.” But why? Let’s discuss how these products work and their various disadvantages.

What Is Drano and Liquid Plumr?

Before we dive into why Drano and Liquid Plumr are truly bad for your pipes, it’s important to know how they work and which chemicals they contain. We’ll start with Drano. This highly-popular drain cleaning product contains various ingredients, including sodium nitrate aluminum.

The sodium nitrate (which some refer to as lye) breaks up all kinds of organic matter. Think food, hair, and grease. Additionally, the aluminum reacts with the lye to raise the water inside the drain to an incredibly high temperature. It’s believed that hot water speeds up the decomposition process.

Liquid Plumr contains lye and sodium hypochlorite (or bleach). This drain cleaning product creates a chemical reaction when combined with water. As a result, the cleaner can break through various types of clogs.

Why Should You Avoid Using These Drain Cleaners?

Although these drain cleaners are a quick, inexpensive fix for clogged drains, they shouldn’t be the first solution you consider. Drano and Liquid Plumr are truly bad for your pipes — and although they may seem like an ideal resolution to an annoying problem, they can cause more harm than good. Let’s go over the most notable downsides of these drain cleaners.

Corrosive Power

One advantage of using Liquid Plumr or Drano is that they can break down all kinds of organic matter. Unfortunately, your home’s plumbing is usually included in this equation as well. When poured down a drain, the harsh chemicals in Liquid Plumr and Drano can damage pipes, especially PVC pipes. If you have older pipes in your home, you will want to steer clear of these products for the same reason.

Some homeowners use these products when unclogging toilets. However, Liquid Plumr and Drano can also cause toilet bowls to crack. In the end, you could find yourself paying for an expensive toilet replacement.

Toxic Fumes

Drano can damage pipes — but it can also put your safety at risk if handled improperly. It’s critical to handle these clog removers with intense care and safety in mind.

When you pour them down the drain, these chemical-based products can release toxic fumes into the air. While inhaling the fumes can have serious consequences for your health, these products can also cause skin irritation and pollute the water supply.

Temporary Solution

It’s also worth noting that store-bought drain cleaners are usually only a short-term solution. While Drano and Liquid Plumr can be effective, they don’t always fix the problem at the source. In many cases, the clogs in your kitchen or bathroom drain will require a more robust, professional drain cleaning solution.

What Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Drains?

Drano and Liquid Plumr are truly bad for pipes — but that doesn’t mean that every drain cleaning method is terrible. In fact, there are many methods that are safe and effective to use. Overall, most Houston drain cleaning experts use drain snakes and hydro-jetting to clear blockages.

When snaking a drain, the plumber extends a cable into the affected drain. This cable includes an auger head that will grab ahold of the clog — whether it be hair, food debris, or some other type of item.

During a hydro-jetting service, the plumber uses a highly-pressurized stream of water to blast apart clogs. As you can imagine, this drain cleaning method also effectively cleans drains, helping to prevent clogs from reforming in the near future.

Remove Stubborn Blockages With Our Drain Cleaning Services

As a homeowner, your schedule usually doesn’t leave room for inconvenient drain clogs. When encountering this problem, it’s easy to run to the store and grab the first chemical drain cleaner you see. However, Liquid Plumr and Drano can damage pipes — causing more of an expense in the long run. These products don’t have to be your only tried-and-true solution.

Aberle Plumbing offers Houston, TX, drain cleaning services for residents all throughout the area. We know how important your home’s plumbing system is, which is why we always unclog a drain with effective and safe methods. Contact us today to learn more about our services!