If your pipes get clogged, or your sink smells strange, you can be tempted to pour boiling water down the drain.
But perhaps you do not even know whether it will help you sort out the problem or not.
So, Is It Okay to Pour Boiling Water Down the Sink?
SHORT ANSWER – NO. It is not a good idea to pour boiling water down the sink unless you are using it with other clogging chemicals and at a lower temperature. The effects of boiling water in the pipes are far-reaching. It can damage the pipe connections and cause cracks in the sink. You also risk getting burnt by boiling water.
Four Reasons Why You Should Not Pour Boiling Water Down the Sink
1. Boiling Water Can Damage Your Pipes
Undoubtedly, more than 65 % of pipes in most homes are PVC.
This material can withstand the effects of heat but not boiling water. PCV pipes are connected using a special type of glue.
Even though this glue proves formidable enough, boiling water can loosen it.
The result is a serious disconnection in the pipes down there. A cascade of events leading to massive water leaks follows.
Well, you know that water can cause catastrophic destruction in the house because pipes are passed through critical support points in the house’s structure.
2. You Risk Getting Burnt
Besides potentially damaging your pipes in the long run, pouring boiling water into the sink can cause accidents.
If it spills on your skin, it will cause serious burns on your skin.
Plenty of people have suffered the same fate trying to handle boiling water.
Sinks are often constructed on a raised platform. Your container or whatever you use to handle boiling water could topple and burn you.
It is important to observe safety precautions when handling boiling water to avert such accidents. The best you can do is avoid pouring boiling water into the sink. It does more damage than good.
3. It Can Damage the Sink
Sinks can be designed using a wide array of materials. They are many from which construction workers can build your sink.
It could be tiles or other sturdy materials used for designing countertops.
Certain materials, such as porcelain, do not respond well to a sudden surge in temperature. They are more like glass. Uneven expansion and contraction cause massive cracks in them.
The result is complete damage to your sink, and it will force you to execute a complete renovation. Of course, such a task comes with its construction expenses.
You can avoid this by figuring out other ways of handling boiling water.
4. It Can Cause Clogging in The Pipes
Contrary to what many people think, boiling water can cause clogging in the pipes. It does so if you pour it recurrently.
What happens is boiling water removes and carries grease in the sink down to the pipes.
As this water moves down the pipes, grease combine with dirt under changing temperatures to form big debris. These can block the pipes.
Clogging is a huge menace to plumbing as it blocks the pipes and hampers a smooth flow of water and dirt. It will force you to carry out a thorough repair on the clogged pipes.
Well, this job is often arduous and takes time.
It needs care, professionalism, and appropriate tools. In case your pipes clog, it is only wise to contact professional plumbers with the right skill set and can get down to work immediately.
How Can You Safely Handle Boiling Water?
As you have seen, boiling water can greatly damage your plumbing. So, instead of pouring boiling water into the sink, the safest way to handle it is to allow it to cool.
Once it is cool, you can safely discard it down the sink.
Invest in containers or vessels holding boiling water until it cools down. But while this is a good idea, you need to be careful not to get burnt. It is especially true when you have kids or pets in the home. Their playfulness can land them in trouble.
Can Boiling Water Clean Fix a Clogged Drain?
As mentioned earlier, boiling water can clog your sink and force you to execute a thorough repair down the drain.
However, you can add certain chemicals and detergents and use them to clear a clog down the strain. Boiling water alone cannot help you fix the problem. Instead, it contributes to clogging.
Special drain chemical cleaners work well with boiling water to clear clogged drains.
It would be good if you were careful not to use too many chemical cleaners alone as they can eat through the pipes with time and cause more serious problems.
An appropriate balance of the chemicals and water is needed to protect your pipes while helping you fix the clog.
The good news is that most drain chemicals have specifications on the right quantities to use. The market is awash with these chemicals. Always stick to the user’s guide for the specific chemicals you choose.
Of course, you should not use extremely boiling water with these chemicals. The effects we mentioned above will still hold, and the results may equally damage your pipes.
A 1/3 cup of vinegar mixed with the same proportion of baking soda can help you sort the issue once and for all.
It would help if you waited until the mixture started to foam in water before sending it down the drain.
For excellent results, you should let the concoction stay overnight.
It even makes it cool since boiling water will cool down by morning. But if time is of great essence, you must give it a minimum of about one hour before pouring the mixture down the sink.
You want to allow the boiling water to cool down since this chemical can react vigorously and threaten your safety. Make sure that it is only mixed in cold water and not the opposite.
Another good idea is to rinse the sink and pipes by pouring hot water down the drain. At this point, your sink should be ready for use again.
Other Alternative for Cleaning Dirty Sinks and Clogged Pipes
Some homeowners use salt as an alternative method of clearing a pipe clog. And it works well as well.
You can use salt in conjunction with baking soda for optimum results.
All you need to do is mix ½ cup of baking soda and an equal proportion of salt.
You can scoop them directly into the drain and follow with hot water to rinse them away and get your sink ready for use.
Boiling water can cause damage to your sink.
The damage can even extend down the pipes and interfere with your plumbing networks.
Mitigate proper clog removal measures and avoid pouring boiling water directly into the sink.
Boiling water can also cause harm to you if not handled with care. Use alternative methods to unclog your pipes, as discussed here.
Better still, you can hire professional plumbers to help fix the pipes.