Among the most dangerous products that you likely have in your home right now is drain cleaner. According to a press release by a Youngstown, Ohio plumber, using chemical drain cleaner in a completely blocked sink can be extremely dangerous. When you understand what is in these chemical drain cleaners, you’ll understand why most plumbers recommend that you use a plunger and, if that doesn’t work, that you call them.
Most chemical drain cleaners contain lye. Lye is a caustic compound that breaks down drain obstructions and, therefore, that is sometimes able to get through particularly tough clogs. Drain cleaner should only be used when a sink, bathtub or other type of drain is partially blocked. Ideally, these should only be used on slow drains, not completely stopped up drains. For drains that are completely clogged, elbow grease is generally the best solution.
The Dangers of Lye
Lye can cause blindness almost instantly. It burns the flesh and can cause other serious injuries. Ingested, it is deadly. When you do use this substance, you should only do so with proper protection from chemicals. This includes protection for your skin and your eyes.
If you do use a chemical drain cleaner and have to call a plumber after the fact, be sure to warn the plumber that there is lye in the drain. Some stores also allow you to purchase sulfuric acid as a drain cleaner. Sulfuric acid is incredibly dangerous. It can cause severe injuries with even the slightest contact. Sulfuric acid is also used in car batteries, so you have some idea of just how toxic it is.
Plumbers recommend that, if you’re drain is really backed up, you learn how to use a plunger. Smear some petroleum jelly around the edge of the plunger, make certain that there is enough water in the sink to cover the plunger rim completely, plug up any overflow drains and give it 10 sharp up-and-down plunges. Pull the plunger away quickly and, if it doesn’t work right away, repeat the process. This advice, given in the press release, should take care of most problems you have with your sink.
Dangerous Products and Lawsuits
Unsafe household products such as drain cleaners generally come with plenty of warnings on them that allow you to willingly accept the risks that come with them. If you believe you were not warned adequately about the dangers that a household product posed, contact a defective products lawyer.