A clogged or slow draining sink is annoying. Drano is a liquid that is often used to clean pipes. It seems quite easy to use and could fix your problem. Convenient, right? But many people are concerned about the potential damage it can do to your plumbing. Do you know what Drano does to plumbing? Let’s take a closer look and see if it is a good idea to use it or not.
What is Drano and does it hurt or ruin pipes?
Drano is a liquid that is often used to clean pipes. It sounds easy: just follow the safety requirements (such as wearing safety glasses), pour it in the drain and your problem will be fixed. It is being sold in a lot of places and people think that it is the best way to fix their drain. The reality is often slightly different though.
Drano performs some chemical reactions in your pipes. This leads to heat. The goal is to remove different types of clogs, from soap to dirt. This can help to remove clogs and make your sink usable again. Most sinks use PVC pipes, which is a type of plastic.
Drano can damage plastic pipelines as it heats up and this can deform the PVC pipe, leading to leaks and damage. This can affect the glue between pipes as well. It shouldn’t be used in the toilet as it can affect several pieces of it as well.
There is a reason that most plumbers don’t use Drano. A lot of other drain cleaners work in the same way. They have a hard time finding a balance between being able to clean a drain and not damaging it. It might work in some instances but it can also lead to a lot of problems that can be easily avoided if you use a plunger or auger instead of Drano.
For this reason, plumbers don’t recommend drain cleaners as they don’t work or can create damage. This can result in hurt or ruined drains if you use this often. Most people don’t know what materials are used in their plumbing system as it is often hidden behind walls. For this reason, it can be hard to know if you can use a drain cleaner and it is best to avoid it.
It is important that you tell your plumber that you used Drano if you call them to unclog your drain. This will allow them to wear the right equipment as drains can splash when you work on them.
What happens if you leave Drano in the drain overnight or for more than the recommended 15-30 minutes?
The instruction on a bottle of Drano indicates that you shouldn’t leave it in the drain for more than 15-30 minutes. You might wonder what happens if you leave it overnight.
Drano can break your drains down. If you leave it in your drains for a long time, you increase the chance of damage. In essence, Drano creates a chemical reaction inside your drains. This can break down the clog inside your drains. At the same time, it can affect the drains themselves as well.
Based on research, the company that makes Drano has concluded that there is a higher chance of damaging your drains if you leave them sitting overnight. This is why you should rinse it away after a while.
Producers of chemical cleaners have to find a balance. On the one hand, they have to be able to remove clogs. On the other hand, they shouldn’t damage drains. Finding this balance is difficult. Chemical reactions can become stronger over time. This is why you should stop the reaction after a while and flush the Drano away.
Using a plunger
Drano can damage pipelines if it is used to clean them. This is why plumbers recommend that you use a plunger to clean a pipe. The plunger will push the water and dirt out of the pipe. It might be slightly more expensive than Drano to get one but you can reuse it.
It is important that you use the plunger in the correct way though.
A plunger can’t solve everything but it can be a great way to get started. It is important to note that the plunger for a toilet is different than the one for a sink as the design is different. In some instances, you can convert plungers by folding them. Check that you have the right plunger before you start. It can be a great idea to get a new one to keep things clean. Drains can contain a lot of junk so it is important that you clean the plunger after using it.
Be careful when there are electrical devices nearby. A clog can release a lot of water when it is removed.
Remove the P-trap
What is a P-trap? It is a piece of plastic that is found under your sink. It holds water so that you don’t have to deal with nasty smells. This P-trap can contain a clog though. In some instances, it can be quite easy to remove this as there is a small plastic piece that you can turn.
Place a bucket under this and it could contain some dirt. Removing this could fix your problem. In other instances, you have to remove the P-trap. If the pipe is grey and glued, you shouldn’t try this. If the pipe is white and you can turn plastic pieces (fittings), it can be quite easy to remove it.
Once this is done, you can clean the P-trap and reinstall it. Always use gloves, protective glasses and get a bucket and towels when you do this.
In smaller areas, it is possible that you don’t have a P-trap but a bottle trap. This is often made out of metal. You can turn the fittings (metal rings) to make them loose. Then you can clean the different parts. Once again, get a bucket and the required outfit.
A joint plier might be needed but be careful that you don’t crush the metal rings. It can be a great idea to take some pictures when you are working on it so that you remember how everything fits together. There are small rubbers in this trap that need to be installed correctly or you will have a leak.
Using an auger
You can also try to work with an auger (this can be bought here). This allows you to get deeper in the drains and push a clog away. Clogs can be farther along with the system and an auger can help you to reach them. This is for more advanced DIY’ers as this can get stuck in your drains if you are not careful. It can be difficult to remove it then.
The great thing about an auger is that you can use it for several years so it can be a great investment. It can look quite intimidating but if you read the instructions and get the right protective equipment, it is quite easy to work with.
Use water pressure.
If this doesn’t work, you can use an attachment for your water pressure system. Most people shouldn’t do this as it is quite dangerous (wear protective gear) and difficult to do though. When in doubt, just call a plumber. They have cameras and can find the root cause of the problem.
Sometimes there are problems that you simply can’t solve by yourself such as the drains that are too narrow. It is essential that you find the root cause of problems so that you can make sure that they don’t reoccur.
How to avoid clogs in your drains
There are some things that you can do so that you don’t have clogs in your drains. Don’t pour cooking oil into your sink. This can clog up after a while. Be careful with crumbs and pieces of food. Hair and dirt can also clog up your sink so don’t flush these. Drains are designed to remove water and soap. Don’t add other items. You can add a simple drain catcher to remove a lot of dirt that would otherwise go in your drain.
If you do this anyway, a plumber might have to come with a water pressure system to get it unclogged.
To conclude, we can state that Drano might damage your pipes in some situations. Read the instructions and check your plumbing system to see what is allowed and what isn’t. There are cheaper and faster solutions to a clogged drain and plumbers recommend these.
Drains can last several decades if you take good care of them. Check with your landlord before using Drano. If it is your own home, you might have to consider other solutions such as a plunger or calling a plumber.
Drano can dissolve hair and other types of clogs. It can be the right solution in some situations but you have to be careful when you use it.