Why You Shouldn’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners for Your Drains

After some time, it’s normal for pipes and drains to get clogged, which is why there is an abundance of drain cleaners on the market. However, most of these are chemical and are often advertised as convenient and affordable ways to clean your plumbing system. They’re widely available in hardware stores, making them more attractive to the average consumer.

However, what these manufacturers don’t tell you is that these chemicals are dangerous for your plumbing. Chemical drain cleaners can wreak your plumbing without you noticing, eventually leaving you with sky-high repair and replacement bills. Here’s what you need to know about chemical drain cleaners and why they’re bad for your drains:

All About Chemical Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaners are available in many different forms, like powder, crystal, liquid, foam, and gel forms. Despite the various forms, they work in virtually the same way. The harsh, abrasive chemicals in the products interact with the clog and generate gas and heat, which dissolves the blockage and allows the water to flow freely.

The chemicals often contain bleach, peroxide, lye, and other highly hazardous substances. They can be fatal when swallowed or inhaled and may even cause severe burns when in contact with the skin. For this reason, it’s best to use as much caution as possible when handling such products or to entrust the process entirely to a professional plumber.

What Can Chemical Drain Cleaners Do to Your Pipes?

The damage that chemical drain cleaners do to your pipes may lead to eventual repair and replacement, so it’s better to avoid them altogether. Here are some reasons to stay away from chemical drain cleaners:

1. They Damage Your Pipes

Chemical drain cleaners are a mix of harsh chemicals that burn right through clogs in your pipes. Even though it will clear your drains, the chemical reactions resulting from the interaction will also result in heat and gas that can irrevocably damage your pipes, especially if you have PVC soft pipes or aged ones that are more prone to leaks. Old chalking, seals, and metal fittings may corrode if they are exposed too much to harsh chemicals.

Additionally, if the cleaner fails to clear your clogged drain, it will result in even more damage. The drain cleaner will steam in your pipes, giving it more opportunity to cause more harm to your pipes.

2. They Harm the Environment

Another reason not to use chemical drain cleaners is that they’re bad for the environment. They are some of the most dangerous and harmful plumbing wastes, as the residue sinks into the groundwater and soil, contaminating them. It then harms the animals, plants, and even people who rely on groundwater.

3. They’re Dangerous to Homeowners

Lastly, drain cleaners are full of hazardous chemicals that can harm homeowners. They release fumes that can burn the skin, eyes and internal linings of your respiratory system. If they contact your skin, they can result in severe burns and rashes that require immediate medical treatment.

Even if you use safety measures like sturdy gloves to handle them, they can still find their way onto your skin and clothes. For instance, if they go back up the drain, leak through pipes, or spray when your pipes burst, they can badly burn you. 


Chemical drain cleaners may seem like an efficient way to clear your clogged pipes without any fuss or muss. However, they can be extremely dangerous and cause more harm than good. By leaving the clog clearing to professional plumbers instead of these chemicals, you can protect your household and your plumbing system from the harsh, dangerous effects of these cleaners.

Candu Plumbing & Rooter is a team of professional plumbers specializing in drain cleaning in Oak Park, Van Nuys, Burbank, and surrounding areas. We are a dedicated plumbing company providing various plumbing services, like water heater repair, sewer repair, trenchless pipe cleaning, and more. Request your free estimate today!