Many homeowners fall prey to common plumbing myths. This misinformation can lead to clogs, backups, and pipe damage if you act on it. Learn the facts to debunk these seven plumbing myths once and for all.
Plumbing Myth 1: Running hot water helps grease go down the sink.
Pouring that pan of cooking grease down the drain may seem like an easy way to dispose of it, but this will almost certainly clog your pipes. Even if you simultaneously pour boiling water down the sink, the grease will harden into gelatinous sludge further down the line. To avoid clogs, pour grease into a used jar or can, wait for it to solidify, and throw it in the trash.
Plumbing Myth 2: Putting ice cubes in the garbage disposal sharpens the blades.
Actually, the opposite is true. Big chunks of ice can dull the impellers and shorten your garbage disposal’s lifespan.
Plumbing Myth 3: Lemons are good for cleaning garbage disposals.
There’s nothing wrong with grinding a few small citrus peels to combat unpleasant odors in the garbage disposal, but don’t stick large lemon wedges down the sink. Requiring the impellers to grind up something so big could damage them.
Plumbing Myth 4: Strange noises coming from the water heater always spell disaster.
Rumbling and banging sounds are alarming, but before you buy a new water heater, call a plumber to take a look. A layer of sediment in the tank is the most likely reason for the noise. With a little maintenance, your water heater should be up and running again in no time.
Plumbing Myth 5: My toilet can handle flushable wipes.
Sure, they disappear down the pipe when you press the handle, but flushable wipes are a common culprit of toilet clogs. They don’t break down like toilet paper, which means they can get lodged in the plumbing. The same goes for facial tissues, paper towels, cotton balls, and feminine hygiene products.
Plumbing Myth 6: A wedding ring down the drain is lost forever.
Don’t panic if your ring flows down the sink drain. There’s a quick retrieval method that almost always works. First, immediately turn off the water. Then, set a bucket below the P-trap—the curved section of pipe below the sink. Unscrew the pipe and dump the contents into the bucket. Your ring should be there!
Plumbing Myth 7: Drain cleaning chemicals are safe to use.
Instead of reaching for a bottle of harsh, pipe-corroding chemicals, try clearing a clog with a plunger or plumbing auger. Don’t have those tools on hand? Call a plumber for help.
When in doubt, leave plumbing questions to a licensed professional. At Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating, we have fixed our fair share of plumbing problems over the years, from minor clogs to major leaks and everything in between. We also provide emergency plumbing services when you need help on weekends, evenings, and holidays. Contact us online or call (206) 350-0079 today to schedule plumbing services in Seattle, WA.