Drano is one of the most popular commercial drain cleaning products in the world. When one person has a blocked drain in their home natural household product solutions don’t work, this brand is the most common products that come to mind, before getting help from a local licensed plumber. But did you know that most plumbers hate Drano? The truth of the matter is, you can only find a handful of plumbers that actually use Drano to deal with blocked drains.
What is Drano?
To start with, Drano is a household drainage cleaning product. It is commonly available in different forms that contains a variety of sodium chloride (NaCI) or salt, sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or lye, sodium hypochlorate or bleach, sodium nitrate (NaNO3), and shards of aluminum. These are in crystal form and are added to water to release and remove hydrogen. Among these ingredients, lye is the main ingredient.
How does Drano work?
Pouring Drano down your drain will start various chemical reactions. Lye, its main ingredient will start to decompose organic matter including fats, hair, oil and grease. The small shards of aluminum within this anti-clog solution will then have a strong reaction that will generate heat at almost boiling temperatures. In theory, it is believed that this will speed up the process of decomposition.
If you add tap water into the drain, it will react with the lye to create more heat, further softening the deposits lining within the drain. Then the lye will again react with the softened grease to create soap, which can be dissolved by pouring hot water into it. After which, hydrogen bubbles will start to form due to the shards of aluminum. This will loosen the clog particles that will create a space, which will allow the hot water to carry the particles down the drain.
Imagine, with a simple pouring of this liquid, as well as tap and hot water, you get intense heat, soap making, bubble formations, and clog and grease breakdown. With so much to offer, it is hard to imagine anyone hating this product. So why do plumbers hate Drano?
Dangers of Drano
The main issue why plumbers hate Drano is that it poses a several dangers. First of all, Drano can damage pipes. As this lye-based household drainage cleaner sits in the pipes, it has the tendency to dissolve and continuously react and generate heat. Because of this, it can cause cracks on toilet bowls. The heat generated from the reaction also tends to soften PVC pipes until eventually they break. If you have old pipes that are a bit corroded, Drano can also quickly dissolve the glue that’s holding them together. As such, instead of providing long-term solutions to you blocked drain problem, it has the tendency to shorten the service life of your drains.
Another major concerns that plumbers have when dealing with Drano is that it can easily burn skin, cause eye irritation and lung damage. Drano burns and corrodes organic tissues by means of different chemical reactions. The gas produced by these reactions are harmful to humans as well.
Lastly, Drano cannot be combined with other products or plumbing equipment. Doing so will cause unpredictable and possibly harmful effects. A tiny drop of Drano that remain in the drain, when it splashes up because you used a plunger or auger, when it gets into contact with your eyes or skin can cause burns and irritation. Furthermore, if you used Drano and it doesn’t work, you will need to wait at least 24 hours and make sure that all of this chemical is flushed down your drain, before trying a different drain cleaning solution. If even a tiny amount of Drano is left inside your pipes and you happened to add a different drain cleaning solution – this can cause chemical reactions and generate toxic fumes.
It is always best to use products that are safe and environmentally friendly. We at Blocked Drain Plumbers never use harmful chemicals to deal with blocked drains, toilets or sinks. We believe that they don’t provide long-term solution. Instead, we address plumbing issues using our skills, experience and highly effective equipment.
Remember, if you encountered any plumbing emergency such as blocked toilets, drains or if you need drain cleaning in Melbourne, contact us on 0412 738 874 or you can leave a message on our contact form.