When sinks start to drain slowly or have a bad smell, many homeowners' first reaction is to buy a bottle of chemical drain cleaner. While drain cleaners can work well for some people, if you have an older home, you should consider an alternative. This simple store-bought solution may end up causing more problems for you than you'd expect, which could lead to needing a plumber and repairs. Here's why you should take your home's age into consideration and skip the chemical cleansers.
When homes are built, so is their plumbing. For the most part, plumbing is rarely upgraded in homes unless there's something seriously wrong with it. So you can probably count on your pipes being as old as your home.
Unfortunately, older pipes tend to have problems all on their own. As the years go by, scaling can build up on the walls of the pipe, and the pipe can rust. These issues can eventually weaken your pipes, leading to tiny leaks or other problems over the years.
Damage from Chemical Cleansers
Unfortunately, these issues can be exacerbated by chemical cleansers. Chemical drain cleaners tend to be abrasive on pipes, which isn't usually a problem with newer pipes or those made out of stronger materials. However, if your pipes are already aged or rusted, the chemical drain cleaner may be enough to further weaken the pipe or even cause small holes to form. At this point, there's no option left but to completely replace the pipe, which takes time and money to accomplish.
What to Do
If you're having drain problems or you generally use chemical drain cleaners to keep your drains running smoothly, you should consider stopping. While these cleaners can help in the short term, you may be doing damage to your plumbing and could end up with a nasty leak problem in the future.
Instead of using these abrasive cleaners, call a plumber for help. They can perform a drain cleaning by flushing the pipe or using tools like plumbing snakes to clear clogs without harming your pipes. In addition, they can examine your pipes to see if there's any existing damage, and if so, offer options on patching it up. If there has been too much damage done, you can start the process of having the pipe replaced. While it's a bit of a nuisance, getting it done now instead of waiting until a severe leak emerges is a better idea.
To learn more, contact a professional residential drain cleaning service in your area.