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Is Liquid Drain Cleaning Really Worth the Risk?

What’s Wrong With Liquid Drain Cleaners?

A clogged drain is a problem that every homeowner will encounter at one point or another. These blockages are particularly frustrating because they can be difficult to access. Even if you manage to locate the clog, removing it can be impossible if you don’t have the right equipment.

Because drain cleaning is such a bothersome task, liquid plumbing solutions are incredibly popular among DIYers. The liquid can reach the blockages and, according to the manufacturers, break them down and wash them away.

What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that these products are rarely effective and can often do more harm than good! Not only can they damage your plumbing and septic systems, but they also pose serious health hazards.

Beware of Fumes From Toxic Chemicals

You’ve likely heard of household drain cleaners like Drano or Liquid Plumr. However, beneath the sleek branding lurks a malevolent list of ingredients that can severely impact your life as you know it.

Black smoke fumes swirling against a white background

The toxic chemicals in these products include, among others, sodium hypochlorite (AKA bleach) and sodium hydroxide – more commonly known as lye. This inorganic compound can cause permanent damage when it comes into contact with body tissue. When inhaled, lye is also corrosive to the nose and throat.

Other symptoms of accidental sodium hydroxide inhalation include:

  • Swelling of the throat and breathing difficulty
  • Abdominal pain
  • A rapid drop in blood pressure
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

If you accidentally inhale the fumes of these products and don’t receive immediate medical attention, you could suffer a lung collapse or heart attack, which can be fatal.

Irritation From Contact With Skin

One mistake many people make is thinking that wearing a mask to prevent inhalation is enough to stave off the effects of destructive chemicals. The truth is that when liquid plumbing solutions come into contact with your skin, they can cause severe skin irritation.

Skin contamination symptoms include a burning sensation, rash, sudden pain, chemical burns, thermal burns, and deep-tissue injuries. Contamination can even occur via secondary contact, such as being touched by someone who has been handling drain cleaner.

Keep Away From Eyes

In addition to skin burns, the fumes from liquid drain cleaners can also be dangerous for your eyes—even when the contact is not direct. The fumes alone can cause a serious reaction if the room you use it in isn’t properly ventilated.

Man rubbing his eyes

Sodium hydroxide solutions hydrolyze proteins in the eyes, causing severe burns and, in extreme cases, permanent blindness.

Even in mild cases, the following symptoms can occur:

  • severe pain
  • redness
  • light sensitivity
  • blurry vision
  • Swelling of the eyes

Capital Plumbing Contractors Are Here To Help

Since 1986, homeowners in the Tallahassee area have trusted their plumbing and drain cleaning needs to the experts at Capital Plumbing Contractors. That’s more than 30 years of dedicated service from one locally owned and family operated company. Whether it’s commercial plumbing installation, a dangerous plumbing emergency, or just a simple residential drain cleaning in Tallahassee, FL, Capital Plumbing Contractors is here to help!