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Jan 20 2016

Setting the Record Straight - 5 Plumbing Myths

Homeowners can save a lot of money and feel more in control of their home’s plumbing by learning how to maintain it. There are a lot of old wives’ tales out there, but not all of them are safe for your system. Here are five myths about residential plumbing that you’ll want to steer clear of to properly safeguard your pipes and fixtures.

Myth #1 – Lemons Clean a Disposal

Putting lemons in the garbage disposal in small chunks will not harm the appliance. It will certainly make it smell better, but that’s about it. If you’re using lemons as a natural, chemical-free way to clean the appliance, let us give you a better option. Disinfecting your disposal is a good idea. It sees a lot of bacteria. The best way to do this is to mix together a cleaning solution of warm water and mild soap. Spray the appliance with the solution and then use a scrub brush to clean the disposal’s blades. Make sure you turn the power off to the disposal before doing this to avoid injury.

Myth #2 – Run Water while Operating the Garbage Disposal to Move Material through the Pipes

This is a myth that is partly true, but mostly misleading. Running the water while running the disposal and for a short time after the appliance is turned off keeps small particles moving through the blades and into the water pipe. The misleading part of this advice is that you have to be careful of what you dispose of in the first place. Unfortunately, many homeowners find out very quickly that running tap water while grinding up the wrong waste can still lead to jams and other problems. A disposal is not meant to be used as a trash compactor. Certain things like egg shells, pasta, banana peels, and hard or thick food waste cannot be grinded in the disposal no matter how much water runs through the disposal during operation.

Myth #3 – Water Is Flowing through the Drains, So I Don’t Have to Worry about Clogs

Not true! If you’ve experienced stubborn clogs in the past and only treated the symptoms and not the actual problem, you may be able to use your drains without incident for a while. However, if there are still blockages inside of the pipes that weren’t properly taken care of, you’ll soon find it difficult to use your sink, toilet, or bathtub/shower. Treating clogs with powerful, professional drain cleaning right away is the best way to ensure that the problem is completely eradicated. Services like Rooter Hero Plumbing recommend regular drain cleaning and video camera inspections to take care of small clogs before they become major obstructions.

Myth #4- You Can Clean Your Fixtures with Any Solution

Plumbing fixtures require specific cleaning habits depending on the fixture. For example, brass plumbing fixtures fare better when cleaned using gentle, mild solutions. Toilets, on the other hand, need to be sanitized and are built tough. Use powerful disinfectants to kill germs. One-size-fits-all cleaning solutions just don’t cut it when taking care of plumbing fixtures.

Myth #5 - I Don’t Have to Maintain My Plumbing System

If you think your plumbing system was designed to take care of itself, you may be in for a rude awakening. While water pipes, drains, and other components of residential systems are designed to work well for many years, that still doesn’t mean they don’t require a little TLC.  Sewer lines should be inspected to make sure tree roots aren’t growing into the line. Water heaters need to be flushed regularly to get rid of sediment and even faucets, sinks, and toilets need attention to keep tough clogs away. Don’t let old wives’ tales keep you from properly caring for your plumbing system. For more tips, give your friendly plumber a call today!

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