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By Platinum Team October 13, 2022

Fixing a slow drain: Why chemical drain cleaners aren’t the answer… and what to do instead!

Here’s why you want to kiss those chemical drain cleaners goodbye

At some point, every homeowner ends up there – staring down a slow draining shower or sink with much frustration – scrambling for the best way to clear the stoppage.

If you find yourself at that crossroads, you may want to reach for one of those ubiquitous chemical drain cleaners. And who can blame you? Pouring the liquid down the drain seems like the easiest way to get the job done. 

But… we’ll caution you there. Given the smell, you may have guessed – the chemical cocktail takes a toll on your indoor air quality, the health of your family and the environment too. For some, that’s a minor nuisance; for others, it’s a real serious concern. 

A lesser-known concern we want to bring to your attention is the health of your pipes. The harsh chemicals do more than just break up the clog. They can eat away at your plumbing pipes – a recipe for much greater plumbing problems. Bummer, right? The last thing you want is your “solution” causing more problems down the road! 

What to do instead

Fret not! We aren’t here to provide bad news without an alternative solution. Here are some other options…

Opt for baking soda and vinegar. This combo is much more friendly on your pipes – and carries less potent fumes too. Use hot water first, followed by equal parts baking soda and vinegar. Let this sit for a good 20 minutes before flushing it with more hot water.

Try using a plunger. Plungers aren’t just for toilets. If you’re dealing with a stubborn clog in your sink or shower, bust out the plunger. Perhaps that brings a shiver – ewwww, use the thing for your toilet in your kitchen sink?!? Well, we suggest keeping multiple plungers on hand – one for your toilets, one for anything else 🙂

Empty the p-trap. If you’re dealing with a slow-draining sink, try emptying the p-trap. This is a common culprit and is relatively easy to resolve. If you aren’t already familiar with how to do this, you may want to have a professional walk you through the process. 

Use a plumbing snake. If you have a proper plumbing snake, you can feed it into the drain to see if it clears the clog. Avoid using any homemade tools though. Bent clothing hangers are a big no. Often they cause more harm than good.

Befriend a drain catch. This won’t help you with an existing clog, but it can ward ‘em off them in the future. An inexpensive drain catch prevents hair and other debris from going down the drain, where it accumulates and causes clogs.  

Need an extra hand?

Some plumbing clogs are best handled by a pro! For stubborn situations – reach out to us at 602.733.5000. One of our trusted technicians can help get things resolved!