Water heater

How Does Hot Water Affect Plumbing?

When you make a pot of pasta at home, you likely drain the boiling hot water down the sink. You may have wondered in the past if this could lead to damage to your plumbing. Many people who have read up on maintaining pipes have asked this question but it’s more challenging to answer than you might expect.

The material your pipes are made of and the substances used to create your sink both factor into the equation. Boiling water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit so pipes that cannot handle that temperature should never have boiled water pass through them.

Materials Used for Water Pipes

Water pipes can be made of several materials and each one has a different limitation on the temperature it can withstand. Below are examples of what you can expect based on the material of your pipes:

  • PVC – 140 degrees
  • CPVC or Pex – 200 degrees
  • Galvanized Steel – 392 degrees
  • Copper – 1,981 degrees
  • Iron – 2,570 degrees

So should you pour boiling water down the drain? It depends. If you have pipes made of PVC, CPVC, or Pex, boiling water can damage your plumbing. However, steel, copper, and iron pipes can withstand extreme temperatures.

However, there’s something else to be aware of. If there are plastic or rubber joints on the pipe, those can also be damaged with hot water. These are not made to handle high temperatures.

This doesn’t mean that pouring a bit of hot water down the drain a time or two will seriously damage your pipes. However, it should be avoided when possible. You may also wish to run the cold water as you introduce the boiling water to the plumbing.

Boiling Water to Help Unclog Drains

While you may have heard that boiling water can be used to unclog drains, it usually doesn’t work. Another DIY method recommended is to use hot water with baking soda. Either solution is unlikely to work and can damage your plumbing. If you have a sink made of porcelain, it can even cause it to crack.

Do you have a clogged drain and want to get it rectified fast? Instead of using boiling water to get rid of the clog, consider bringing in a professional plumber. Gallons of hot water would be needed to do the job and it could damage your pipes in the process. Bring in an expert from Elk Grove Village to do the job without any harm to your plumbing.


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