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The Dangers Of Chemical Drain Cleaners

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Even though many problems have been associated with chemical drain cleaners over the years, they are still a popular product because they are so convenient. They may also seem relatively inexpensive when compared to a visit from a professional plumber. Unfortunately, these products usually contain either sulphuric acid or sodium hydroxide, two substances that have devastating effects on the human body if swallowed, inhaled, or spilled on the skin. They also cause damage to your plumbing. In light of these dangers, calling a plumber to unclog your drains is a better option. 

Drain Cleaning Poisoning

Ingesting drain cleaner can be fatal. Drain cleaning poisoning can cause the following symptoms:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Throat swelling and difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Severe mouth pain
  • Vomiting
  • Mouth and throat burns
  • Diarrhea
  • Plunging blood pressure

If someone in your family ingests drain cleaner, you must contact poison control as soon as possible. Inhaling the fumes from drain cleaners can also cause respiratory problems. 

External Burns

If drain cleaner splashes into your eyes, it may cause permanent damage, even blinding you in extreme circumstances. Drain cleaner splashing onto your skin can cause serious chemical burns, possibly resulting in redness, pain, numbness, and serious tissue damage. More severe cases of these chemical burns require a trip to the emergency room. 

Plumbing Damage

Drain cleaners not only pose a danger to you physically, they can wreak havoc on your pipes. The same chemical reaction that clears the clog can damage your plumbing. The cleaners heat up plastic pipes, softening them and leaving them vulnerable to leaks and breaks. Older pipes may not be able to handle cleaners, either. The acids can burn through already corroded areas. If the cleaner does not work, it is trapped in the pipe, causing even more damage. If you try and flush out the trapped cleaner, you risk injuring yourself. Replacing these pipes will cost you much more than hiring a plumber to clear the original clog will. 

When your drains clog, you are probably tempted to grab a container of drain cleaner and take care of the problem yourself. Next time, consider calling an experienced plumber instead. Chemical drain cleaners can cause serious physical harm including poisoning and burns. Calling a professional can protect you, your family, and your pipes. Drain clogs are nasty things, but they need to be safely removed. Let a plumber, like DiRosato Plumbing and Heating, handle your drain problems for you. 


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