Is Clog Remover a Good Idea?
Sometimes our drains get clogged, and we reach for the drain cleaner, but we should be cautious of that. There are certain situations in which drain cleaner should never be used to prevent more damage from occurring.
The chemicals in drain cleaner react together to transfer electrons to and from organic substances, causing them to break down. This process also produces heat- that's how they force their way down further into the pipe. These two factors mean that they can warp or eat through softer pipes, like plastic. The three types of cleaners you should stay away from if you do have plastic pipes are:
- Sulfiric or muriatic acid cleaners
- Lye or caustic potash cleaners
- Bleach, peroxide or nitrate cleaners
Old pipes will have a lot of the same problems as plastic pipes, because they are brittle and delicate. If you discover that your pipes are old or rusting, you are probably better off replacing your plumbing rather than using a clog removing agent.
Often, drain cleaners won't be able to clear a clogged drain if there is a solid mass of hair, oil or debris completely blocking the flow of air and liquid. If they are used in these situations, the cleaner ends up sitting there above the clog. Given enough time the strong chemicals may cause some real damage to your pipes.
Instead of chemical cleaner, you can try vinegar/baking soda and hot water, or biological options like a drain snake.