Risks of Using Drano
What are the risks of using Drano?
In some cases, Drano can easily work to dissolve grease-type clogs, but if it’s a clog of another sort that doesn’t push through, it can leave a dangerous mess to get on everything when you have to resort to other methods like snaking or taking apart the drain trap, etc.
How Does Drano Work?
Several chemical reactions happen at the same time as Drano is poured down the drain. Drano’s active ingredient is sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, a substance that decomposes most organic material including hair and grease. The lye is mixed with aluminum dust, creating a strong chemical reaction that generates heat at near-boiling temperatures. This high heat also acts to help liquefy and grease that’s in the clog.
H2O also reacts with the lye to produce even more heat, softening grimy deposits lining a dirty drain. The lye then reacts with the emulsified grease, creating a wetting detergent that the hot water dissolves, and again with the aluminum dust to form hydrogen bubbles. The bubbles then work to loosen the clogged debris, creating space for the hot water flows with it down the drain. In just one dosage you can get intense heat, soap-making, and foaming action, that dissolves grease and protein. If the action works as described in a timely manner then all’s well that ends well.
What Happens if Drano Doesn’t Unclog the Drain?
This hash chemical if left in one concentrated area before a clog can cause damage to pipes, cause damage to the next unclogging tools you may use, or splash and be very harmful to your skin, eyes, and lungs.
- Drano causes damage to pipes. Drano is designed to go into a drain and work until the clog dissolves, continually reacting and generating heat. This can cause ceramic toilet bowls to crack. It can also soften PVC pipes and eventually break. In the worst-case scenario, corroded pipes can be easily damaged, and Drano can quickly eat away at the adhesive joining pipes together.
- Drano can damage your tools and equipment. Drano is bad news on plumbing tools like a plunger or an auger. It can also splash up and burn your skin, and get into your eyes and lungs as you breathe. In some rare cases, a small amount of Drano remains in the drain, and if you use a chemical cleaning product soon after, the two products might react to create toxic fumes. The point is you never know what kind of chemical reaction there could be if you pour Drano into your drain.
- Any contact with Drano is a health risk. Drano is caustic, which means it has the ability to burn or eat away organic tissue by chemical action. South End Plumbers usually ask if a customer has used Drano before. If so, this can sometimes cause delays because working on a pipe with Drano in it can cause an unsafe condition until time has passed.
Want Our Advice? Drano is Risky
A skilled plumber would never use Drano in their own homes because they’ve seen the amount of damage it can cause. It’s too great of a health risk to the user, damaging to your plumbing system, and bad for the environment. Still, you may think it’s an effective clog buster in some instances, but now you know exactly what those risks are.
If you ever have a serious drain clog, we are just a click away. We also specialize in clearing those serious clogs in your main line that might require an auger or a hydro jetter – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.