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Does Boiling Water Damage Sink Pipes?

March 18, 2024 | Blog

Should You Pour Boiling Water Down Your Drain Line?

Many homeowners will send just about anything down their drains without thinking about the consequences. But your pipes are far from invincible, and even something as simple as trying to unclog a drain with hot water can have side effects. That begs the question: is boiling water fundamentally bad for your pipes?

To help you better understand your piping system, we at Southern Air Mississippi would like to tackle this common concern. After all, one of the best ways to keep your McComb home’s piping healthy is by knowing what can and cannot do harm.

Can I Pour Boiling Water Down My Bathroom Sink?

Understanding the needs and requirements of your restroom plumbing fixtures can be tricky. At Southern Air Mississippi, we don’t recommend pouring boiling water down your bathroom sink.

The effect of boiling water on your sink pipes largely depends on the type of material your plumbing is made from. Common piping materials include PVC (polyvinyl chloride), PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), copper and metal. Each material reacts differently to extreme temperatures, but all have a risk of potential damage with exposure.

PVC Pipes

Widely used in modern plumbing, PVC pipes are durable and resistant to many chemical reactions. But can PVC pipes handle boiling water? Boiling water can soften or warp this material over time, potentially leading to leaks or distortion. Exposure to extremely hot water will put your pipes at risk for an early replacement or costly repair.

PEX Pipes

Known for their flexibility and heat resistance, PEX pipes can generally withstand boiling water better than PVC. However, that doesn’t make them invincible.

Consistent exposure to high temperatures can affect their longevity, leading to damage. Repeated contact with hot water is not recommended to maintain the material’s integrity.

Copper Pipes

Copper piping is more resistant to heat compared to its plastic counterparts. While less likely to be damaged by boiling water, sudden temperature changes can cause metal pipes to expand and contract. This movement can create significant joint or structural issues to the material over time.

Thermal Expansion And Contraction In Plumbing

We’ve discussed how sudden shifts in temperature can have negative effects on your piping, but why is that? This is related to the concept of thermal expansion and contraction. When pipes are exposed to extreme heat, such as boiling water, they expand. Once the water cools down, the pipes contract to their original state.

Repeated cycles of expansion and contraction inflict stress on pipes and their connecting joints. The type of material and pipe length can both contribute to how much damage occurs when sudden temperature shifts occur. This phenomenon leads to potential cracks, leaks or even burst pipes in extreme cases.

Safe Methods For Common Plumbing Drain Issues

Hot water might come in handy, but it can have a lasting impact on your pipes. To avoid the risks associated with pouring boiling water down your sink, consider these alternative methods for dealing with common sink issues.

Drain Clogs

You can remove blockages by force using a plunger or similar tool. This can be highly effective without risking damage to your pipes.

However, it may not be wise to use a plumber’s snake depending on your pipe’s material. Older systems and galvanized material can experience scratches and rusting with this tool. Southern Air Mississippi can help you determine the best clog removal method for the integrity of your plumbing system.

Cleaning And Odor Removal

A DIY mixture can be used to clean pipes without boiling water or harsh chemicals. Mix baking soda and vinegar for a natural cleaning solution that’s safer for your system. Pour the mixture down the drain, let it sit, then flush with warm (not boiling) water.

Grease Buildup

Avoid pouring grease down the drain altogether. If grease has already entered your plumbing, dish soap and a warm water solution can help break it down without the need for boiling water.

Maintenance And Professional Assistance

Some of the best ways to keep your pipes healthy are also the most simple: preventive maintenance and help from the professionals at Southern Air Mississippi. Preventive maintenance is key to extending the life of your plumbing system. Regular check-ins can identify potential issues before they escalate.

If you’re facing persistent clogs, leaks or other plumbing concerns, it’s time to call in the experts. Our team of skilled technicians is equipped to handle all your plumbing needs with efficiency and care. Having certified plumbers handle your system is the most efficient way to ensure the health of your pipes is taken care of.

Get The Best Plumbing Services In McComb

While boiling water can be a quick fix for minor sink issues, it’s not without its risks. Before you go to extremely hot water for assistance, remember that preventive care is the best way to protect your plumbing system. When in doubt, professional assistance is just a call away.

At Southern Air Mississippi, we’re here to ensure your plumbing system remains healthy and efficient. Whether you require a plumbing installation, a timely repair or any of our other home services, we’re on standby to get you what you need. Contact Southern Air Mississippi today for your next service!

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