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Plumbing in the Home/Tea bags left in kitchen sink


QUESTION: A friend told my wife that she shouldn't leave a used tea bag in the kitchen sink, because it harms the drain pipes1

I think this fella is full of it...  

Any truth to tea hurting a drain pipe?


Wow!  If it can eat cast-iron drainpipes I wonder what it does to your guts? LOL

I've only been a plumber for 30 years so what do I know? I've never heard of this problem.

My basic response to anybody that tries to feed me BS is to ask for "your source please". Who knows, they could be right! If they can't show me a valid source for the information then I consider that it's basically BS and anecdotal. In that case, useless information.

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QUESTION: Thanks for the quick response Dana... But what if the drain/waste is ABS plastic, or copper?  Any difference in tea affecting those materials?

Thanks again....

Mr B..

Tea is (obviously) non-toxic, non-acidic etc. Drain/waste pipes are meant to tolerate what normally goes down them.  ABS/PVC is pretty impervious to anything but excess heat. Copper alloys used for DWV piping is a special alloy that is also tolerant of most things other than strong acid or alkali.
Short of putting high strength acid or alkali or molten metal down the line, it shouldn't be a problem.  

If you still are not sure, do your own research on Google/Bing/Yahoo or Wikipedia to set your mind at rest.  Ask your friend where they got this information and ask to see the reference.  Always be the skeptic! LOL

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


Retired, Licensed General Contractor with Plumbing license. Active Home Inspector, Litigation Consultant and Infrared Thermographer, Online Marketing specialist.

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