Is It Safe To Pour Bleach Down Your Home's Drains?Posted By: Ed Miller
Backed up drain and sewer lines can be so frustrating that we’ll reach for almost anything to alleviate the problem, in the hopes of avoiding a call to a professional. One thing people often use, because of its power, is bleach – the kind laying around in that blue and white plastic bottle.
But bleach isn’t always poured just because there’s a clog, sometimes it gets used in the hopes it’ll clean drains, helping to eliminate whatever buildup might be on your pipe’s walls, or it’s just the end of the container and you want to get rid of it, dumping the end of it and rinsing it out. We’re here to tell you that it’s best to keep bleach away from your drains, no matter what you’ve heard – it has very little value when it comes to being a drain cleaner and isn’t a good substitute.
Pouring Bleach Down Your Drains Can Actually Be Dangerous
If bleach sits in your p-trap with standing water, and another chemical is poured down, it could cause harmful fumes around your property and if you have a septic tank it could kill the bacteria and microorganisms needed to break down waste, leading to undigested waste getting clogged.
Not everything you pour down the drain just magically vanishes! Sure, most of the bleach will get washed away but what about the p-trap? Drain traps, such as the p-trap, connect the entry point of the drain with the rest of the wastewater pipe and, thanks to sitting water, serve as a barrier to keep sewer gasses and other awful odors from seeping into your home or business.
If you forget to rinse the drain after dumping bleach, or even if it all doesn’t get properly washed from the trap and you pour another chemical down, you could be in serious trouble, especially children and the elderly. It’ll create fumes that circulate through your property or the other way, inside the pipes, exiting through the system's vents and sending it into the air around the house.
And if your home has a septic tank, bleach can cause a laundry list of problems to that system.
If bleach ends up in your septic tank, it will actually kill the beneficial bacteria and the other microorganisms in the container that are necessary in breaking down sewage into sludge. That bacteria digests the waste and, without it, the undigested waste will just clog your system. Don’t worry if you’ve dumped a little before, a minimal amount of bleach won’t hurt your septic tank.
Bleach Could Potentially Cause Your Pipes To Start Corroding
On its own, bleach is corrosive when poured down the drain but that process is accelerated when mixed with other chemical cleaners, thanks to a chemical reaction that creates heat.
Like many chemicals found in your home, bleach can be corrosive to your pipes. Consistent dumping could eventually lead to it eating away at your lines and the process only gets sped up if bleach in your line comes into contact with other acid-based chemicals, or even vinegar.
Mixing household chemicals with bleach causes a chemical reaction that produces a significant amount of heat. If the combination is sitting in your line, especially if a clog is blocking the way that you might not know about, it will quickly start to eat away at the pipe – and you’ll be left with a huge emergency, in the form of a cracked or burst pipe, costing you a lot of time and money.
Are you dealing with a clog, or have you tried getting your drains cleaned by pouring bleach down there? Stop with those so-called remedies and trust the professionals at Zoom Drain. Call or schedule an appointment online and we’ll get your lines flowing their best again – fast!