3 Ways Your Backed Up Sink Can Wreak Havoc With Your Stomach

Every time your kitchen sink gets clogged, it is not only a nuisance, it can also turn your stomach upside down in a number of ways. While you can often clear a minor clog by using a store-bought drainer cleaner, you may need to seek the help of a general plumbing services professional for persistent back-ups or stubborn clogs. Here are three ways that a backed-up sink can make you and your family sick:

Counter Contamination

If dirty water from your clogged drain splashes onto your counter, cross-contamination of your food may occur. You may not be able to detect small droplets of contaminated water that spray your counter and other food preparation surfaces, and therefore, not know to clean it.

The longer dirty water from your backed-up sink is allowed to sit on a surface, the more likely it is to breed more illness-producing bacteria. When your food comes in contact with the contaminated areas of your counter, you and your family may develop a gastrointestinal bacterial infection. Also, if the clog is in your garbage disposal, every time you turn it on will cause a strong expulsion of dirty water to spray all over your sink, faucet fixtures, and counter tops. 

Do not confuse cleaning your counters with disinfecting them, because this can lead to severe illness. Cleaning or wiping off the surfaces with soap and water will only remove visible substances such as water, grease, and food particles, and unless combined with a disinfecting or antimicrobial solution, will do little to get rid of dangerous bacteria.

Disinfecting your counters with bleach wipes, sanitizing them with a hand-held steamer, or using a store-bought antibacterial kitchen cleanser will help keep your family safe from the dangerous bacterial splashes originating from your drain clog.

If your clogged kitchen drain contains particles of raw turkey or chicken, your family may be exposed to campylobacter, shigella, or salmonella. According to the University Of Rochester Medical Center, these types of bacteria can cause cramping, diarrhea, and fever. 

Dishwasher Microorganisms 

Depending on the cause of your backed up sink, the cleanliness of your dishwasher may be in jeopardy. Not only can bacteria-laden water back up in your kitchen sink drain, it can travel into the plumbing of your dishwasher.

This means that when you wash your dishes, contaminated water from the drain in your sink can spray your dishes with dangerous microbes and possibly cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Until the clog in your sink has been cleared, do not use your dishwasher. Not only can running your dishwasher contaminate the dishes, it can also worsen the backed up drain you already have. 

Noxious Fumes

Not only can the noxious fumes from the dirty sink water make you sick to your stomach, the fumes from commercial drain cleaners can also make you nauseous. The fumes can stay inside your nasal passages long after the clog has been cleared.

If you feel sick after inhaling the foul odors from your sink and it doesn't go away, try irrigating your nose with an over-the-counter saline spray to help flush out your sinuses. Not only can commercial drain cleaners upset your stomach if inhaled, they can also lead to chemical skin burns, eye irritation, and respiratory problems.

The National Kitchen+Bath Association  states that you should never mix commercial drain cleaners unless you read on the labels that they are compatible with one another. Doing so can cause an explosion, which can severely damage your skin or eyes. 

If your kitchen drain backs up, call a plumbing professional from a company like All About Plumbing to determine the cause of the clog and safety clear it so that you and your family do not get sick.