What Are Some of the Dangers of Chemical Drain Cleaning Solutions?
What are Chemical Drain Solutions?
Chemical drain cleaning solutions are referred to generally as drain cleaners. These chemical solutions are used to clean drainage pipes that are clogged. There are two types of chemical drain cleaners;
- Alkaline. Used in the making of basic solutions
- Acidic. Used in the making of acidic solutions
On purchase, some drain cleaners are in solid form and therefore require mixing before use. These chemicals, whether in liquid or solid form, are available for purchase in hardware stores.
Due to the dangerous nature of these chemicals, though, only licensed plumbers can buy them over the counter.
How Alkaline Chemical Drain Cleaners Work
All alkaline drain chemical drain cleaners contain either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. On mixing to form a solution, fifty percent of it forms impurities like bleach and lye. After mixing to form a solution as advised by the manufacturer, the solution is then poured into clogged drainage pipes.
The reaction caused by the drain cleaner and the residue substances in the pipe forms gases. This happens immediately it's poured and one has to be careful so as to avoid any contact with the released gases as they are hazardous.
If inhaled, these gases can cause corrosion of lung tissue. It is equally dangerous on skin tissue, as it can cause burns. This type of solution is not only harmful to humans but also to drainage components that are made of metal and plastic like pipes.
On reaction with the residue substances causing clogging, the solution inevitably comes into contact with the pipe leading to a corrosion of the surface of the pipe.
Some brands even have the capacity to react with the residue material and water in the drainage pipes releasing a lot of heat that boils the residue in an effort to completely unclog the pipe.