Can Boiling Water Unclog A Drain?

clogged drainA clogged drain can seem like a deceptively easy plumbing issue to resolve. It is so common that homeowners have at least one DIY solution they turn to in case the drain acts up. One of the most popular home solutions for handling clogged drains is pouring hot water down the drain. This solution may have worked a few times in the past, but there are times when a simple, almost free solution may do more harm than good.

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Using Boiling Water For Your Clogged Drain Ancient Oaks PA

In this article, we discuss the downfalls of using boiling water as a remedy for your clogged drain. Likewise, we offer solutions that you can use as a clogged drain removal.

What’s Wrong With Hot Water For A Clogged Drain?

When drains get clogged, we often blame oil, grease, hair, and dirt as the culprit. Pouring boiling water down the drain would seem like a practical solution because it can, after all, shrink or melt organic matter, particularly grease and oil. While this is true to a certain extent, ultimately hot water is not the best solution. Here’s why.

Hot – even boiling – water may not always melt greasy or oily matter trapped in the drain. If it did, it might only be for a few instances, or it may have melted only an insignificant amount. The truth is that hot or boiling water can only be effective for some types of clogs but not for most. Clumps of hair, for example, will not budge no matter how many gallons of hot water you use. If the clog is too far down the drain, the temperature of the hot water may have already gone down by the time it reaches the problem area. In some cases, hot water can unclog the problem, then push it a mere few inches lower where it becomes more difficult to reach.

There is also a risk associated with pouring boiling water down the drain. Hot water at temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit can melt PVC pipes. It can also affect the vent system. When pipes melt, they become warped or begin to leak, causing even more problems to the plumbing system.

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So, What To Do About A Clogged Drain?

Other safer and more effective solutions will fix a clog without the use of hot water. Here are the solutions we recommend:

Try Using The Good Ol’ Plunger

clogged sinkThe trusty plunger is an old clog-fighting tool that remains reliable and quite effective. Plungers work by pushing air into the pipe, then pulling it back, leaving behind a vacuum. This action loosens the gunk and allows it to be pushed down the drain. Typically, the plunger must be applied several times to make it effective, but it often solves the problem with just a little elbow grease.

The Natural Solution: Baking Soda And Vinegar

Another fix to try is the baking soda and vinegar solution. Try pouring 1/2 cup baking soda into the drain, then follow it up with 1/2 cup white vinegar. This combination helps unclog the drain, but it will cause a strong foam to form.

Call A Professional Plumber Ancient Oaks PA

Let’s face it – not everyone can fix a clogged drain, mainly if the problem is more complicated or the gunk is in the P-trap. Do not attempt a DIY fix if you do not understand how the plumbing system works and if you do not have proper tools. Call a plumber immediately to help check your plumbing and fix the problem.

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Why We Do Not Recommend Chemical Drain Solutions

Chemical drain products are popular because they are handy and offer a quick-fix solution to clogged drains and pipes. The problem is that these products are made of chemicals such as lye, bleach, and peroxide, among others that are harsh and hazardous. They work by dissolving the gunk and in the process, release heat and gas. The combination of chemicals is harsh enough actually to burn the skin. The gas released by the chemical can also cause respiratory discomfort.

Furthermore, chemical drain cleaners can cause damage both to the pipes and the environment. They cause harm to plants and animals and can contaminate groundwater. There are other solutions you can turn to that are safe yet practical enough for repeated use.



For reliable plumbing services, contact Robinson Plumbing, one of the Lehigh Valley’s most trusted plumbing companies.

Our plumbing services range from water leak detection and repairs, clogged drains, to the installation of water-efficient plumbing fixtures. For any plumbing repairs, we always offer a wide range of solutions whenever possible. This way, you can choose the option that works best for your budget and family.

We are proud to offer the best and most affordable plumbing services in the area. All of our plumbers have the proper licenses and experience to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work is guaranteed. Call Robinson Plumbing today to schedule a free estimate.

Some of the areas we service include Alburtis, East Texas, Ancient Oaks, Old Zionsville and these zip codes 18011, 18046, 18062, 18068 as well as all surrounding areas in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

Call Now: (610) 351-9889

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Call us today at (610) 351-9889 or click here to contact us for any questions that you might have!