We have all seen the adverts on the TV and elsewhere for powerful chemicals that promise to unblock your drains with minimum effort and to maximum effect. They sound appealing – avoiding the need for hard work or expensive plumbers. But generally, drain pipe cleaning rods are a better and safer bet, and this blog seeks to explain why.
If your pipes have reached the stage where they are seriously clogged, then using mechanical methods of removing the blockages such as drain rods is always going to be the best way of ensuring success. Drain cleaners that are chemical-based inevitably fail in more extreme conditions for a number of reasons. In some cases, they can even make the problem much, much worse. Say the blockage is caused by matted hair, for instance. This is typically a major cause of bathroom-related drains problems, either from pipes running from the sink or from the bath. The hair binds together to form an unpleasant mass, supplemented with soap scum and other debris. The chemical cleaner cannot penetrate right to the centre of the blockage and, left to surround it, can actually cause the clog to solidify further. In this case you’re creating a greater issue, not resolving it! Only a drain rod set is going to be able to tackle the problem effectively here. Another reason why drain cleaners fail is caused by the way they work. They typically react with the blockage and release heat, ‘melting’ the clog and thus helping to clear it.
However, if the block is a big mass that has built up over a long period of time, it’s unlikely that there is sufficient power in the chemicals to shift the whole thing. Instead, it will partially release matter which can cause blockages further down the pipes. Again, drain pipe cleaning rods will almost inevitably be needed to solve the problem. But perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to avoid usage of these specialist chemical concoctions is that they can be potentially extremely dangerous – to humans and over the longer term to your pipework! You’ll note the extensive safety guidelines on the side of the bottle – if splashed on the skin, these solutions can cause burns. If you accidentally get some in your eye, that can cause permanent eye damage. And if two different products are combined in an effort to resolve the issue without resorting to having to buy drain rods, undesirable chemical reactions can result. Use drain clearing rods after this and you may be subject to noxious gases such as chlorine which can suffocate. So can you ever safely use a chemical solution in preference to drain cleaning rods? Perhaps the only time to do so is before you even notice evidence of a blockage. Poured down the drain once a month, these substances can prevent clogs forming in the first place.There’s a reason professional plumbers routinely use drain pipe cleaning rods over chemicals, and that’s because they are the safest and best way to solve the problem first time, every time. Drain cleaners have their uses, but it’s better to use them for prevention rather than cure.
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