Since indoor plumbing was invented, homeowners have shared plumbing hacks to make maintenance and repair a little easier. While there are some DIY solutions that are safe to use, the majority of information that is shared is more myth than a useful hack. The downside to taking these shortcuts is that your plumbing can suffer.
The challenge is that when searching for answers, even the myths can seem like they are coming from reputable sources and are safe to use. Few will cause immediate issues but when a one-off becomes a habit, your search might change to finding a “plumber near me.”
Luckily, most of the myths on this list are easily avoidable and can be corrected. Should you find yourself in need of a professional plumber, the Dial One Plumbing, Cooling and Heating team is only a quick call away.
Common Plumbing Myths
At its core, home plumbing systems are very simple in their design. Poor habits or neglect are often the top cause for an emergency called to a licensed plumber. Steer clear of the following practices and your plumbing will be thank you.
Using Lemons/Coffee to Clean the Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal in your home is a great tool to help to easily dispose of food waste. You will not have to look far to find someone that will tell you that using lemons or coffee grounds to clean your disposal is the best way to go. You may have heard that the acid from the lemon or the abrasive nature of the coffee grounds will help to remove food that might be trapped under the blade or on the walls of the disposal.
The only thing that using lemons will do is make your disposal smell better. The rind of the lemon will actually dull the blade of your disposal and the acid can be corrosive if used regularly. There is also a good chance that it will not completely break down and can cause the drain line to become clogged.
Coffee grounds will have a similar effect if used as a cleaning agent. Grounds act as sandpaper and can cause unnecessary wear and tear. It also is never a good idea to dump old grounds into your drain or garbage disposal as they can cause clogs.
It is OK to Dump Grease Down the Garbage Disposal
Dumping grease or oil down the drain can have disastrous results. This is without a doubt one of the easiest ways to clog your pipes and cause an emergency plumbing situation.
Pouring the grease into a garbage disposal, as opposed to a drain, will not help the situation. The high speed of the disposal will not dissolve the grease. In fact, the drain tube that connects your garbage disposal to your main drain line is significantly thicker than a traditional drain. You will find that the corrugated line will clog much faster due to size and the waste that is pushed through.
Tank Tablets Will Make Cleaning Your Toilet Easier
Let’s face it, few people actually enjoy cleaning their toilets. So it makes sense that homeowners have looked for workarounds to help streamline the cleaning process. Tank tablets have been around for years and advertise that you will never need to scrub your toilet again.
The reality is that these tablets are mostly made up of bleach. While using the tablets will help to kill bacteria that can grow in your toilet, it will not replace scrubbing as part of your regular cleaning schedule. Bleach is also incredibly corrosive. Leaks, premature failure of parts and damage to your pipes are all likely with prolonged use of the tablets.
Place a Brick in the Toilet Tank
In theory, placing a brick or other large object in the toilet’s tank will save you on water consumption. This sounds like a winner. After all, it would help reduce costs and is good for the environment.
Noble as the plan may be, this strategy actually has the opposite effect. Toilet tanks are designed to perform in a specific way. When this is changed, even slightly, it will impact the toilet’s ability to flush waste. Adding an object to the tank will reduce the amount of water that the tank can hold, requiring additional flushes to remove solid waste. This myth can actually cause your toilet to use up to two times the amount of water it normally would.
If you are worried about water consumption, discuss a low-flow toilet with a bathroom plumbing team. There are affordable options that will reduce monthly costs and help the environment.
Flushable Wipes Are Flushable
Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of clogged pipes that are a direct result of using flushable wipes. Despite what the majority of manufacturers state, these toiletry products are not biodegradable.
Failure to realize this will inevitably lead to a clogged pipe. Wipes should only be disposed of in a trash can if they are to be used at all. Avoid flushing wipes at all costs to avoid a camera pipe inspection.
Small Leaks Are Not a Big Deal
Small leaks are a frustrating problem that the majority of homeowners will face at some point in time. The worst thing that you can do is neglect a small leak. Small leaks can cause mold, structural damage, larger leaks and more.
Addressing a water leak as soon as they are found is a measure that will help you protect your investment. A small leak may not tell the entire story as larger problems may reside behind the issue. Professional plumbers are trained to detect nuanced issues and root causes that will help save you time and money in the long run.
Finding a Plumber Near Red Oak
There is so much misinformation at homeowners’ fingertips that can be difficult to sift through. Rather than trust anonymous sources, establish good plumbing habits and work with a local team of licensed plumbers. Avoid the “plumbers near me” search and go straight to the team that Ellis County residents have relied upon for over 50 years.
Homeowners in Red Oak have come to know and trust the Dial One Plumbing, Cooling and Heating team as a trusted source. With offices in Midlothian and Cedar Hill, we are only a short drive away and can address your plumbing issues big or small.
Call our team today at (469) 240-5618 or contact us online.