Eco-Friendly Drain Treatments
Not all of the service calls we respond to are due to middle-of-the-night plumbing emergencies. Most of the time, we receive a lot of calls about the common clog that can stop our clients’ homes’ drainage systems from working properly. Time and time again, when we send out one of our experienced plumbers, they hear the same thing all across Southern Ontario.
After weeks of homeowners trying to remove the clog themselves, they finally broke down to let the professionals get the job done. The lengths some people will go to find DIY drain treatments for kitchen and bathroom sink clogs are astounding, and our plumbers have heard it all. The most common and most concerning method, however, is the simple drain cleaner. The average drain cleaner contains caustic chemicals that can do more harm than good to your pipes!
It all depends on the type of cleaner that you choose. Walk down the plumbing aisle at your neighborhood Home Hardware or Home Depot, and you’ll find shelves upon shelves of options. Unfortunately, these are the wrong options. Whether they’re liquid, powdered, or gel, they all have one thing in common. They contain some pretty powerful chemicals that can be dangerous to your health, your home, and the environment.
Caustic Drain Cleaners?
These substances rely on heat-generating chemical reactions to remove the clog. For caustic drain cleaners, the main chemical is lye or potash. When heated, these chemicals transform dense grease clogs into a runnier consistency that’s easy to dissolve. Oxidizing drain cleaners contain chemicals like nitrates, peroxides, and bleaches to corrode the clog. While effective in removing a clog, these drain cleaners don’t discriminate. Their chemical reactions are designed to burn through or oxidize materials, including your PVC or galvanized steel pipes.
They will also do damage to your person. Caustic and oxidizing drain cleaners are extremely corrosive to your skin, eyes, and mucous membranes should it come into contact with them. They also produce very toxic gases that, if inhaled, can be harmful. If you’re to take a look at these kinds of drain cleaners, you can’t miss the warnings on the label. Gloves and goggles are suggested, as well as instructions to call poison control and the hospital should you accidentally ingest it or get it in your eyes. For those of our clients with young children, having this dangerous substance in your home is a disaster waiting to happen.
These drain cleaners are also harmful to the environment. Remember, your plumbing isn’t a self-contained system and is actually a part of your municipality’s water supply. Whatever you put down your drains will eventually find its way throughout this city-wide system. But its effects don’t stop there. Even after you’ve used up the last of the cleaner down your drains, it will continue to negatively impact the environment. The empty bottles are also considered hazardous waste, as the small portion of chemical remaining in the container will end up in landfills and pollute the Earth.
But when clogs are such a common occurrence, many of our clients wonder how they can combat them without using these cleaners. For one thing, preventative measures like vigilance is instrumental in avoiding a clog. Don’t let any food scraps or grease go down your drains in the kitchen, and in your bathrooms, be sure to install a hair trap for your sinks and showers. We also have a line of effective products that provide a safe alternative to these chemicals. GES+®, a Grease Eliminator & Drain Treatment, is a non-pathogenic, non-toxic, and biodegradable substance that degrades grease and other clogging materials naturally. In place of harmful chemicals, this product uses vegetative bacteria that eat away at blockages. Our plumbers trust these enzymatic drain cleaners because they are environmentally friendly and won’t cause damage to your drains or pipes.
DIY Or To Not DIY
DIY fixes aren’t necessarily a bad idea, if you use the right products. You can safely attempt to clear a clog on your own without worrying about the damage you’re causing to your pipes in the long-term when you use our biodegradable line of products. Of course, should your clog turn into a bigger job than what even the GES+® can handle, our expertly trained plumbers are available 24/7 to help you remove it. Just stay away from the average cleaner you can purchase at a hardware store, as these chemicals do more harm than good!