Plumbing is one of the trickiest parts of home ownership. A lot of the time, the cause of a problem isn’t visible, so you can only guess what it might be. Partly for this reason, there are many unfounded plumbing remedies out there that could actually hurt you financially. Here, we debunk some of the most common plumbing myths to potentially save you money and avoid plumbing issues:
Myth #1. Anything’s flushable:
Quite simply, anything flushed that doesn’t have the word toilet in its name increases the risk of a clogged toilet. Paper towels, feminine hygiene products and makeup should all be thrown in the garbage or a green bin, depending on the services in your municipality. Even if a product like baby wipes claims to be “flushable”, they often don’t break down in water so have a higher chance of causing a clog.
Myth #2. A plunger is all you need:
Plungers are a helpful tool for some clogs, but in some cases, plungers can actually push an obstruction further down the pipe. Consider adding a claw tool to your washroom collection to carefully remove bulkier objects that may have accidentally fallen in.
Myth #3. Drain cleaner is the best solution:
While many people think that drain cleaners are the best remedy for a clogged shower or sink, the reality is that the product’s chemicals can be quite damaging to your pipes.
Myth #4. A little grease is okay:
Grease is to pipes what cholesterol is to arteries. While imperceptible at first, slowly, over time, it builds up to become a bigger problem that could have been avoided. People may pour grease down the drain, convincing themselves that as long as it flows, it can go. Or they pour grease alongside boiling water in the hopes that the water will dilute the grease enough to slide down the drain smoothly. Grease must be disposed of properly and should never be poured down the sink. Keep a tin can to collect smaller amounts and then dispose of it appropriately.
Myth #5. Plumbers are for problems after they happen:
Emergency plumbers can be a lifesaver but they’re even better to provide preventive maintenance. Unexpected plumbing problems can cause stress, especially if you only have one bathroom or you are facing potential water damage to your home. Rest easy and ask a Reliance™ plumber about getting a plumbing inspection. You could stave off larger problems, identify small issues that can be fixed affordably, and gain insight into the quality of your piping in general.
Myth #6. A dripping faucet isn’t a big deal:
Leaky faucets may seem innocuous, but those drips can end up being more than a drop in the bucket in terms of what you pay. Canadians lose a significant amount of water via household leaks – almost 3L a week for a low leak of just one drip per minute! (To calculate how much water leaks and drips in your home might waste, click here.) For the average homeowner, leaks lead to higher utility bills including water as well as sewage charges, so have your faucet repaired as soon as you notice the issue.
Myth #7. Turn off the tap handle tight:
It may seem like a good way to avoid dripping but turning the tap handle too tight can damage the tap or washer and lead to leaks. And if your faucet is already dripping, you have an existing problem that should be addressed.
Myth #8. Garburators eat anything:
Garbage disposal units can be a convenience in the kitchen but subjecting them to huge amounts of food debris can, over time, lead to a clogged drain.
Myth #9. Toilet cleaning drop-in tablets are great:
No one likes to clean their toilets by hand but drop-in cleaners in the bowl or tank aren’t a good idea – prolonged exposure of the cleaning chemicals to your pipes can damage them over time.
Myth #10. Water flushes counter-clockwise in the Northern hemisphere:
Believing this won’t actually cost you money or require the service of friendly neighbourhood plumbing companies, but it’s still a myth we thought we should dispel. The Coriolis effect, caused by Earth’s rotation, causes weather systems, including hurricanes, to swirl counter-clockwise north of the equator and clockwise south of it. But the effect doesn’t apply to water down your toilet bowl or bathtub drain, the direction of which is governed by the design of the toilet or the current of water when you fill the tub.
Reliance offers plumbing repair services for clogged drains, kitchen sinks, bathtub drains and leaking toilets. During your repair, be sure to ask your plumber for a plumbing home inspection to help prevent any future problems.