As a new homeowner, I can tell you that things aren't always as simple as they appear. I started thinking about it a few years ago, and I realized that there were some serious problems with our plumbing system. We had issues with drains working correctly and toilets flushing like they should, so I started focusing more heavily on understanding the basics of our plumbing system. Within a few short months the entire system was operating more fluidly because of a few changes that I made, so I wanted to create a blog all about my journey. Check out these articles to learn more about the plumbing basics.
Chemical drain cleaners are an effective tool for homeowners to have, but there's a time and place for them. In some cases, using a drain cleaner to try and fix a plumbing problem in your home could be downright dangerous. If you're considering using a chemical drain cleaner for a plumbing problem, make sure that the following three situations aren't currently happening to you.
Drain cleaner can typically be used in sinks and bathtub drains, but there's one instance where you should never use it. If you plan to use a plunger or snake on your drain, don't use drain cleaner first.
When plunging, fluid can easily come back up through the pipe. In some cases, it can even splash out, increasing the risk that drain cleaner could end up touching your skin or eyes. Most chemical drain cleaners are extremely caustic and dangerous, so do your plunging first and then try the drain cleaner - not the other way around.
Sewage in Yard
In rare instances, it's possible for the water and flushed waste matter that's coming out of your home's plumbing to end up in your yard. In some cases this might be due to a break or crack in the sewer line, or there could be a blockage that's forcing fluid to come back up out of the sewer clean-out. In any case, if you're experiencing this problem, you should avoid using drain cleaner.
Chances are if you're having this issue that the blockage is far beyond where the drain cleaner can effectively clear it. Furthermore, you would risk having the drain cleaner contaminate your yard.
If Water or Sewage Is Coming Up Through Pipes
Lastly, you should never, ever use drain cleaner if you have water or waste matter coming back up in your home's drains. While this does probably mean that you have a blockage in your plumbing that drain cleaner could possibly get rid of, it's too risky. If fluid came back out of your pipes, it could bring drain cleaner with it. This once again increases your risk of getting it on your skin or face, but it will also potentially emit caustic fumes in your home that are dangerous for your breathing.
If you have a serious plumbing problem and want to use drain cleaner but can't, you should contact a plumber. Plumbers are equipped to handle any kind of drain, plumbing, or sewer line blockage and will get your home running normally again quickly.