Can Liquid Drain Cleaner Cause Garbage Disposal Damage?
Every homeowner has experienced clogs in their sink drain and garbage disposal. Clogs happen for a variety of reasons, from too much food being sent down the drain to years of residue and buildup. While it may be tempting to reach for the liquid drain cleaner, avoid this quick fix at all costs.
Liquid drain cleaner can cause problems for your pipes, your garbage disposal, and even your health. There are several reasons to think again when you’re tempted to go for the quick fix, along with the several objects you should know about that can be put down a garbage disposal.
You Could Cause Pipe Damage
If this is the case, pouring liquid drain cleaner down your pipe will do far more harm than good. Drain cleaner works by heating up and “eating” away at clogs. If there is nothing for the cleaner to work on, it will attack what is there – your piping.
If piping is older or starting to show signs of wear, the liquid cleaner may prove too harsh for it to handle. A cleaner can eat away at your pipes until pinhole leaks begin to form. Pouring drain cleaner down a pipe that is not clogged is the worst thing you can do for your pipes.
Extreme Garbage Disposal Heat
Liquid drain cleaner works by heating up when in contact with water to eat away at clog-causing material. Garbage disposals were never made to handle extreme temperatures above the heat of tap water. When drain cleaner enters the garbage disposal, it could cause damage to the blades due to the high heat it generates.
Garbage disposals were not created to handle chemical cleaners, and using them could create significant damage to the blades, rotor, and even motor or other parts of the unit. In the worst-case scenario, you could also see damage to the electrical components. This will not only require the troubleshooting of the garbage disposal issue, and sometimes replacement, but the wiring also needs to be assessed before getting a new unit installed.
When in Doubt, Call a Plumber
If you check your disposal and see no issue, flip the switch and it won’t turn on, or water backs up into your sink, you could have a severe issue with your disposal itself. Dumping drain cleaner into the disposal could make the problem worse and create a harder issue to fix.
Whenever problems with your garbage disposal arise, always call a plumber who offers professional drain cleaning services. A plumber will be able to accurately diagnose the issue, use proper tools, methods, and techniques to get to the root of the problem and safely fix it. Trying to DIY garbage disposal clogs or other mechanical issues is never a good idea.
PlumbCrazy has been serving the Abingdon, Maryland area for plumbing needs since 1986. They offer 24/7 emergency service, water heater maintenance, clogged toilet repair, and more. They pride themselves on providing upfront pricing and solutions that customers love.