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The dangers of unblocking the sink

The dangers of unblocking the sink

Published: January 31, 2018 Last Updated: March 03, 2022

It has happened to us all at one time or another, a drain has blocked up and the water is going nowhere. Whether it was a blocked kitchen sink or a blocked bath drain, fixing the problem can be an urgent matter. At times like these, we tend to take the fast option and go straight for the drain cleaning chemicals.

Caustic soda in petri dish

Although available in the supermarket alongside the washing powder and the air fresheners, drain cleaning chemicals can be very dangerous if not used correctly.

A recent court case is an extreme and distressing example of the improper use of drain cleaning chemicals. Two workers were badly burnt trying to unblock a drain in a restaurant sink. The two chefs had poured commercial-grade caustic soda into a drain only to have the chemical spray back at them as the contents of the drain erupted. Both were hospitalised with burns, one into intensive care, and needed ongoing treatment. Below is an example of a chemical burn from caustic soda, the chemical will continue to burn until washed off the skin.

Caustic soda chemical burn on hand

Always wear protective gloves and a mask when unblocking the drain with chemicals and cover your skin where possible. Read the instructions carefully and work in a well-ventilated area.

Read about some other ways to unblock a drain.

If at all unsure of the correct and safe procedure to clear a blocked drain call an experienced plumber. Fallon Solutions Master Plumbers can be there today. 1300 762 260

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