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5 Common Plumbing Myths

Water splashing into a glass

In the plumbing industry we come across a lot of myths – widely held but false beliefs or ideas. Myths get repeated so many that times they become part of our belief system. For your home’s plumbing this can be bad news, leading to extensive and expensive damage, and requiring professional help to fix. Below are some of the most commonly-held plumbing myths.

Ice cubes will sharpen garbage disposal blades, and lemon peels will deodorize it. 
People often mistake garbage disposals as having blades similar to a blender, with spinning blades that chop and break down food. In reality there are no blades. “Impellers, or lugs mounted on a spinning plate use centrifugal force to continuously force food waste particles against a stationary grind ring.” 1 These impellers are not sharp, but blunt, so putting ice cubes down will not help and doing so on a regular basis can cause additional wear on your disposal. And as far as using lemon peels to “deodorize” your disposal, the acid from the citric fruit actually causes corrosion. It’s best to throw these peels into the trash can.

Putting a brick in a toilet tank will save water and money.
This myth implies that putting a brick in your toilet tank will force the toilet to use less water when flushed. Unfortunately, it can actually cause your toilet to flush incorrectly, and as the brick disintegrates over time will cause issues with your toilet’s flapper and other parts. Another problem with this myth is that a brick can displace too much water causing you to have to flush more.

Hot water can melt grease and prevent a clog.
The hot water may melt the grease as it goes down the drain, but once this liquefied mass hits the pipe it will cool, solidify and eventually build up. Grease is also a magnet for food, lint and hair and will eventually clog the pipe. These clogs are often so far down the pipe that you’ll need to call a professional to clear the pipe.

Flushable wipes can be flushed down the toilet.
“Flushable” wipes are one of the main sources of pipe clogs. They don’t break down the way toilet paper does and have the potential to backup your entire system. They can easily build up and become lodged deep into your pipes requiring a professional plumber to remove the mass.

Every plumber has the same qualifications.
Not all plumbers have the same training and expertise. Always check the credentials of a plumber before asking him or her to fix a problem.

We hope these tips will help avoid unnecessary plumbing problems, but if you do need professional help, Michael’s Plumbing experts are licensed, bonded and insured. You can trust that we have the qualifications to help whether you have a minor plumbing leak or clogged drain, an entire repiping or a full-blown plumbing emergency – we will be there day or night, and we’ll keep you involved every step of the way.


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