Will Pouring Boiling Water Down A Drain Unclog It?Posted By: Ed Miller
You're standing there, staring right at your sink or shower, just waiting for that murky water to make its way down so you can continue about your day. It’s been a week now and every time you turn on the faucet you cross your fingers hoping everything will disappear down the drain.
Warning signs like slow-draining, unusual and embarrassing smells, excessive gurgling and even random insects are a good indication that a clog has probably formed in your drain. But before you try to eliminate it by reaching for those acid-based liquid drain cleaners, that can get stuck in your drain if they don’t remove the clog and eat away at your pipe, you reach for your phone to see if there’s any other remedies out there. Low and behold, the internet offers another option: pouring a pot of boiling water down, to help loosen the clog or even send it on its way. Not everything you see on the internet is accurate however, so does this life hack actually work?
Can Pouring Boiling Water Down The Drain Actually Unclog It?
Pouring boiling water down the drain to unclog it most likely won’t work. Sure, there’s a very small chance it could loosen the clog, but there’s a larger risk of softening or melting PVC joints.
Much like the cloudy water in your drain, the history of how this method started is unclear, but we are here to debunk the boiling water technique. Unless there’s a block of ice just sitting in your drain, the chances of boiling water unclogging your drain are slim to none. That’s not to say, in some very rare instances, it could work, however there are repercussions with trying it.
Boiling water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit and PVC pipes – the most common pipe material in residential homes – can melt anywhere above 212 degrees Fahrenheit. So, all of that scalding hot water will likely get halted by the clog and just sit there, potentially softening the pipe, or melting the pipe joints if it’s made of PVC. That water could also push the clog further down the line, which could prove more challenging for a professional to come in and get things flowing.
Help Protect Against A Clog Before It Even Forms
Nobody wants to deal with a clog, so why not be proactive and fight against it so you don’t have to even think about the boiling water life hack. From dumping grease in the trash to mesh drain covers, there are plenty of ways you can keep debris out of your drains and keep them flowing.
Clogs aren’t fun to deal with and although they’re almost inevitable, there are ways you can fight against them, remaining proactive and getting the most life out of your wastewater pipes. When it comes to your kitchen, one of the biggest clog-causers is grease and fat. Instead of dumping it down the drain, pour it into a safe storage container, let it cool and then just toss it into the trash. Cleaning your greasy pans with cold water will help keep grease, fat and oil solidified so it can travel through your line without clinging to the walls. Warm grease in a liquid form can easily stick to the side of the pipe’s walls and then, as it cools, it will harden in the line. Rinsing out your kitchen drain at least once a week, with hot water, will also cut down on lingering waste that might be building up, whether it’s grease, food particles or anything else sitting there.
Moving to the bathroom, check your drains once a week for hair build up. It might be gross but cleaning a few strands from the sink, shower or bathtub once a week is better than the nest that’ll build up over time. Purchasing mesh drain covers is probably the best move, catching any hair or debris that might go down the drain when you’re washing yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much it catches after every single shower, no matter how vigilant you might actually be.
Also, make sure your kids’ toys are tub safe and larger than the drain, otherwise you’ll have an immediate hard clog on your hands. For the toilet, there’s one big rule we cannot stress enough: only flush toilet paper, never so-called “flushable” wipes, sanitary products or anything else.
If you’re dealing with a clog, don’t trust boiling water, liquid chemical drain cleaners or anything else – trust Zoom Drain! Our experts clean over a thousand drains every year, more than most plumbers do in a lifetime, so if there’s a problem, we’ll find it and eliminate it. Give Zoom Drain a call today or schedule an appointment online, our experts are always available around the clock.