Drano is a household cleaning product that has been used for decades to unclog drains and pipes. It is known for its ability to dissolve hair, soap scum, grease, and other materials that can accumulate in pipes, causing blockages. While Drano can be effective at removing clogs, it is also a harsh chemical that can damage pipes over time if not used properly.
So, how does Drano work?
Drano is a combination of chemicals that work together to dissolve clogs. The main active ingredient in Drano is sodium hydroxide, also known as lye. This chemical is a strong base that can break down many materials, including hair, grease, and food particles.
When Drano is poured down a clogged drain, it reacts with the water in the pipe to create heat and release gas. This reaction helps to loosen and dissolve the clog, allowing it to be flushed away. In addition to sodium hydroxide, Drano also contains aluminum chips, which react with the sodium hydroxide to generate even more heat.
Drano also contains other chemicals that help to thicken the solution and keep it in contact with the clog for longer periods of time. These ingredients include surfactants, which help to break down grease and soap scum, and sodium nitrate, which helps to maintain the pH level of the solution.
While Drano can be effective at removing clogs, it is important to use it properly and to understand the potential risks associated with its use. One of the main risks is damage to pipes.
How does Drano damage pipes?
Drano is a harsh chemical that can damage pipes over time if not used properly. When Drano comes into contact with a clog, it creates a chemical reaction that generates heat and gas. This reaction can create a lot of pressure inside the pipe, which can cause the pipe to crack or burst.
In addition to the pressure created by the chemical reaction, Drano can also damage pipes by corroding them. Sodium hydroxide, the main active ingredient in Drano, is a strong base that can break down many materials, including metal. When Drano is poured down a drain, it can come into contact with the metal pipes, causing them to corrode and weaken over time.
Drano can also damage pipes by getting stuck inside them. Drano is a thick, viscous liquid that can cling to the walls of pipes, especially if it is not completely flushed away. Over time, this residue can build up and create a blockage, leading to more clogs and potential damage to the pipes.
Finally, Drano can also damage pipes by interacting with other chemicals that may be present in the drain. For example, if bleach has been poured down the drain before using Drano, the two chemicals can react to create toxic fumes. This reaction can be dangerous and can cause damage to the pipes as well.
How to Use Drano Safely
To use Drano safely and avoid damaging your pipes, it is important to follow the instructions carefully. Here are some other tips for using Drano safely:
Only use Drano as a last resort.
Try using a plunger or a drain snake first to see if you can remove the clog without using chemicals.
Use the right amount of Drano.
Follow the instructions on the label carefully and don’t use more than recommended. Using too much Drano can increase the risk of pipe damage.
Never mix Drano with other chemicals.
Mixing Drano with other chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia, can create toxic fumes and increase the risk of pipe damage.
Use Drano in well-ventilated areas.
When using Drano, make sure to open windows or use a fan to ventilate the area. This can help to reduce the accumulation of fumes.
If you have a clog in your pipe and you suspect you’re going to need something serious to clear it – don’t reach for the Drano, reach for a phone instead and give Economy Plumbing Service a call! We’ll get you sorted in no time, without damaging your pipes!