If you’re like many homeowners, when you’re faced with a stubborn clog or an annoyingly slow drain, the first thing you turn to is a liquid drain cleaner. Liquid drain cleaners are temporarily effective, fast, and very cheap compared to a plumber or septic inspection company—however, they can wreak havoc on your pipes and especially your septic system. Here’s why.
Chemicals in Liquid Drain Cleaners
Most liquid drain cleaners slight variations of the same formula: sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium hypochlorite (bleach), sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (salt), and aluminum. The main ingredient, lye, is a substance that decomposes most organic matter. Lye is mixed with shards of aluminum, in order to generate heat. The instant these ingredients make contact with your pipes, you’re setting off an intense chemical reaction that causes heat, bubbles, protein dissolution, and fat breakdown. Any way you look at it, the chemicals in liquid drain cleaners are harsh, and the process is very unforgiving to plumbing systems, the environment, and even your health.
Septic Systems and Bacteria
Your septic tank holds millions of bacteria which play a vital role in treating wastewater. They feed off of the waste in the septic tank, causing them to decompose. Since your septic tank is really a delicate ecosystem of bacteria, it’s important to keep it alive and balanced. If you don’t, the waste will not break down, and will instead build up quickly.
You can see, therefore, why liquid drain cleaners are a temporary fix that make problems much worse down the road. You might only pay $15 for that bottle of Draino today, but you will eventually have to pay much more for a septic tank pumping company (like us!) to come out and empty your tank.
Other Dangers to Your Septic Tank
Liquid drain cleaners are one issue that can negatively impact your septic system. Others include chemical house cleaners, bleach, antibacterial cleaners, and solvents. All of these will kill the bacteria that feed on the waste in your septic tank. And adding bacteria packets to replace them isn’t a great option. The tank’s bacteria is a naturally-occurring process, and adding too much bacteria could upset the balance and do more harm than good.
How Liquid Drain Cleaners Damage Your Plumbing
Your septic tank is the only thing you need to worry about, of course. Liquid drain cleaners can also damage your home’s plumbing system. The caustic chemicals can easily corrode plastic and PVC pipes, and can even affect metal pipes as well. Drain cleaners can even eat away at the finishes of your sinks and toilets; for instance, settling on to the porcelain of your toilet’s bowl and causing cracks.
In addition, liquid drain cleaners will kill off the bacteria that live in your drainage system, causing the same problem that can affect your septic tank. We’re guessing you don’t want to hire an emergency plumber for a burst pipe any more than you need a septic tank cleaning company!
Don’t Flush Money Down the Drain! Call our Erwin NC Septic Inspection Company
Sure, liquid drain cleaners may quickly fix a clog. But if you’re noticing frequent, recurring clogs, all the chemical cleaners in the world won’t address the root of the problem. A liquid drain cleaner can’t replace the expertise and knowledge of a plumber or septic tank inspection company. If you suspect there is something wrong with your septic system, or you can’t remember the last time it was inspected, you’re better off getting ahead of the problem. Otherwise, you may literally be pouring money down the drain. Schedule a septic tank inspection in Erwin NC today!
Eastern Septic & Inspection is a locally-owned septic tank company providing septic tank services to Erwin, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Dunn, Lillington, Benson, Fayetteville, and Spring Lake NC.