We flushed out the plumbing lore, just for you!

by | Jul 10, 2017 | Plumbing

Myth: Ice cubes sharpen garbage disposal blades!
Truth: No, they don’t, but they will clean the blades, and it’s recommended to do so if your sink starts to smell. Eggshells also work for cleaning the disposal.

Myth: Put a brick in the back of your toilet tank to save water!
Truth: Bricks deteriorate over time and cause other things (like the flapper) to break. The intent can also backfire, and you displace too much water, having to flush twice.

Myth: Don’t worry about a leaky faucet!
Truth: It’s just a tiny drip, how big of a problem could it possibly be? Very big! According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a leak can lead to 10,000 wasted gallons of water per year in a single household, or the equivalent of 270 loads of laundry. Plus, a leak can damage the faucet and stain the fixture. Get it fixed ASAP!

Myth: Drop lemon peels down the disposal to make it smell good!
Truth: Yes, it may smell nice, but the peels can clog the drain if you do not have a powerful enough disposal to cut through the peel. The citric acid is going to corrode the metal of your disposal. You can, however, pour some white vinegar to freshen up your disposal. Read you manual to find out what kind of maintenance your disposal needs to keep it running in peak form.

Myth: Toilets make a great garbage chute!
Truth: Unless you want toilet water overflowing onto your floor, followed by a nasty plumbing job and cleanup, never flush anything except toilet paper and human waste!

Myth: Flushable wipes are A-OK!
Truth: Nope! They don’t biodegrade quick enough like toilet paper. The more durable the material, the more likely it is to clog your drains and sewer systems.

Myth: Toilet bowl tablets that contain bleach will keep the toilet clean!
Truth: If the tablet contains bleach and is designed to sit in the tank, it will destroy the working parts of a toilet within six months. Bleach in the bowl is fine, but don’t let it linger in the tank for more than 10 minutes. Flush it through to prevent damage.

Myth: Water flushes counter clockwise in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere!
Truth: Contrary to popular belief, water does not drain in the opposite direction. An idea based on the Coriolis effect (caused by the Earth’s rotation), but it doesn’t apply to such small bodies of water as found in a toilet. The actual direction of the flush is determined by the design of toilet itself.

Myth: Cat litter is flushable!
Truth: Although manufacturers may claim that their natural litter is flushable, don’t do it! Cat feces contain a parasite that is harmful to humans. Though it generally doesn’t pose a risk to healthy adults, it can harm pregnant women and marine life. Modern wastewater treatment is effective at removing the parasite, though it can pose a greater problem in countries without these modern systems.

Myth: Chemical drain cleaners are great for clogs!
Truth: They are caustic, corrosive chemicals that don’t know that after they eat away at a clog, they should not eat your pipes as well. They damage the pipes they are supposed to be helping, and in case of a spill they can damage any surrounding surfaces they touch, including counters, floors, and skin. It’s better to try vinegar and baking soda, a plunger, or drain snake on the clog. If none of those works, call your trusted plumber.

Myth: Most plumbing tasks are easy enough to do yourself!
Truth: Sure, if you have even a little knowledge you can probably replace a faucet. However, for almost any other plumbing task, call a licensed plumber. The money you save by attempting a plumbing fix yourself could easily lead to major plumbing and structural repairs.

Myth: All plumbers are created equal!
Truth: Not! Like any other profession, it is in your best interest to do a little research with the state boards and the Better Business Bureau to make sure you plumber is one of the best, like Jerry’s Plumbing & Heating!