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What Happens If You Put Drano Down The Toilet?

When you think of a clog in your drain, chances are you immediately think of Drano. Drano is one of the oldest chemical clog cleaners on the market today. If you were alive in 1923 to hear the original jingle to promote it, you would have heard, “Once every week, Drano in every drain.” While most of us today would realize that advice is misleading, how about using it every time you have a clog?

Is Drano safe to use on a clog in your toilet?

Drano Isn’t Meant for Toilet Clogs

Let’s start with the size and shape of the toilet. Looking at the different fixtures throughout your home, it’s easy to see that a drain in your kitchen or bathroom sink is not the same as a drain in your toilet. Each fixture is designed for a specific use. Each fixture carries different items back into the system.

Drano was designed for sink clogs, meaning its chemical makeup was designed for reaching clogs that form in the pipe structure underneath your sink. Because a toilet’s drain is constructed differently, Drano’s chance of reaching the clog is limited at best. And that’s where the real problem begins.

Because the clog won’t go away, you might decide to try other things. Pull out a plunger, and you risk splashing up water and Drano onto your skin or into your eyes. If you add another chemical to the mix, you risk everything from a chemical reaction to poisoning or even creating something explosive. If you use bleach regularly to clean the toilet, combining Drano’s active ingredient, ammonia, with it will produce a toxic gas called chloramines. You can quickly feel symptoms such as eye irritation, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.

Additional Risks of Putting Drano Down the Toilet

As if serious health risks were not enough of a problem, Drano can actually cause serious problems with the pipes and toilet itself. Drano works by dissolving the item clogging the drain using an oxidizing chemical reaction. This process generates heat. In a sink drain, this is not too big of a problem. In a toilet, especially since Drano does not work quickly on toilet clogs, it creates a serious issue. The heat generated from this chemical reaction can crack the porcelain of the toilet or soften the PVC of the pipes. So, not only can Drano hurt you, but it can also hurt your toilet and cause costly damage.

So, can you put Drano down the toilet? You shouldn’t if you want to protect your plumbing.

Drano Down the Toilet Is Not Worth the Risk

A clog in a sink drain and a clog in your toilet are not the same beast. A sink might get clogged up with stuff like hair, soap leftovers, skin oils, or even bits of food if we’re talking about the kitchen sink. Now, when it comes to toilet clogs, it’s a different story. Along with human waste, toilet paper is a main source of clog. Plus, there are things you really shouldn’t flush down there. Despite what the packaging says, “flushable wipes” aren’t actually friend material for your plumbing. And let’s not forget about feminine products. All these items together create a perfect storm for clogs that are tougher to tackle.

Drano is designed to work on problems found in sink drains—hair and soap scum—neither of which are generally responsible for toilet clogs.

What’s more, we never recommend Drano or any harsh drain-opening chemicals at all. They can really hurt a sewer system, not to mention the harmful impact on the environment.

If Not Drano, How Do I Unclog My Toilet? 

So, what can you do if you have a toilet clog that just won’t go? For professional toilet repairs, the best solution is always to call a licensed plumber, who will quickly tell you that putting Drano down the toilet is a bad idea.

If you want to try to unclog the toilet on your own first, grab a flange plunger. Place it over the hole at the bottom of the bowl, and pump up and down a few times. If you are successful, the drain will clear on its own.

If the plunger is not working, use a toilet auger, also known as a drain snake, to try to reach the clog. If this does not work, then the clog is likely somewhere farther down the sewer line, and you’re going to need a pro to help.

Call R.S. Andrews at 770-913-6412 to get professional help for your clogged toilet.

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