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12 Persistent Plumbing Legends

Plumbing Technician Finishing Kitchen Sink

Weird stories about plumbing are simply not worth paying attention to. Still, you will be surprised when you find out just how many people actually believe in these tales, especially when it comes to their plumbing system.

In many homes, clogged drains happen primarily because of negligence, but people refuse to have their drains repaired because they happen to believe in some strange plumbing legend about the drainage system.

Various weird urban legends about plumbing exist to this day. It is important that you learn to distinguish between fact and fiction so you can effectively resolve any plumbing problem you may be having.

Common Myths About Plumbing

Although your water pipes may look simple at first glance, this is not actually the case. The typical plumbing system can be complex, even mysterious, especially when this is built underground. It’s not surprising then that people often concoct strange stories about them.

These plumbing myths are often passed on from generation to generation, and with firm conviction. Thus, children who eventually grow up and become parents continue with an old practice about putting a brick into the toilet tank because they were made to believe that this will fix a problematic toilet.

Here are a few other plumbing stories that have no solid basis:

1. Drain cleaners are effective.

Although it is easy to believe that these products are both safe and effective, they do have another side that few people want to look into. Drain cleaners contain different chemicals formulated at varying levels.

In other words, they are not only effective; they are powerful cleaning agents and when not used correctly, they can be harmful. These drain openers can be damaging to your pipes and cause them to deteriorate prematurely. On your part, using these products carelessly can cause serious injury like getting your skin burned.

2. Minor leaks don’t cause problems.

A drip in the sink is often left unnoticed, leading to the widely-held belief that small leaks are not a problem. Still, a single drip can add up and produce gallons of wasted water. Leaky faucets will not stop on their own; they have to be repaired or replaced by a professional plumber.

3. Wet wipes are flushable.

Flushable wipes, despite the name, are not exactly safe to flush. This is one plumbing legend that seems to hold water, but only to a certain degree. While wet wipes can be flushed down the toilet, their breakdown process is rather slow. This can get them entangled with the other items that were flushed down alongside them. The result is a clogged toilet drain.

4. Lemon peels remove garbage disposal odor.

Popular plumbing stories also surround the use of homemade cleaners. A common tale is that of lemon, the peels of which can be used to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal.

Actually, citrus peels can be damaging to your garbage disposal. Its metal blades can become dull and can corrode because of the citric acid content of lemons.

Settle for a product especially made for garbage disposals if you want to clean this important home appliance. Also, remember to disconnect the power before you wipe the blades.

5. Pipes freeze only when the heating system is off.

Even if your heater is in perfect working order, your water pipes can still freeze. Those that run through exterior walls or built in the attic and in the basement can also end up frozen.

During the cold months, it is important that you monitor your piping system. The risk of freezing can be minimized by opening up those cabinet doors built under the sink and properly insulating your water pipes.

6. All types of liquid can go down the drain.

This is simply not true, especially if the liquid involved includes FOG (fats, oils, or grease). FOG can still be liquid when hot but once they cool down, they will have a gelatin-like texture.

Congealed FOG can eventually build up in your pipes. This problem can worsen when solidified FOG gets contaminated with food debris and other forms of waste.

7. A plunger can solve all clogs.

Just like many weird urban legends, the plunger story sounds credible. However, the overall effectiveness of any plunger as a powerful declogger depends on the root cause of the clog.

While plungers are good at removing particles from the drain pipes, they will not be as effective when dealing with issues like fat deposits or tree roots intrusion.

8. Clean-looking water is clean.

Water contaminants can be biological, chemical, physical, and radiological. The later contaminates water by altering its appearance. Meanwhile, the first three can also do the same, but will not make water look turbid.

Given this, clean and clear water running down your tap doesn’t necessarily mean that it is safe to drink. Clean-looking water gushing from your toilets could even be more hazardous. No matter how clean the water looks, it can still harbor harmful microorganisms, and it’s best to have them inspected by a licensed plumber.

9. Ice can sharpen garbage disposal blades.

This is a common belief, but just like other plumbing myths, it’s not true. Although ice cubes can be used to sharpen your garbage disposal, it doesn’t actually make the blades more efficient. Ice cubes can only remove debris that may have built up over time to make your garbage disposal more efficient.

10. Water heaters don’t explode.

Every water heater has a built-in relief valve that releases pressure when it reaches dangerous levels. An explosion can occur if this safety mechanism fails to function.

To avoid a heater explosion, make sure to have this serviced regularly. Experts also recommend flushing your heater once a year and inspecting its temperature and pressure valves every few months.

11. Water drains clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Contrary to common belief, water doesn’t drain the other way around. The Coriolis effect myth, which is caused by the movement in the Earth’s orbit, only has a small and minor impact on the water in your toilet bowl. The plumbing structure, in general, is what determines how water drains.

12. All plumbing services are the same.

Many people hire plumbers without verifying their experience and competence. Before hiring any legendary plumber, make sure that he or she can efficiently resolve any plumbing issues. It is important to initially examine a plumber’s credentials as this will vary depending on their skills.

Also, professional pay rates are different from plumber to plumber. While those who charge low for their services are naturally preferred, you might not get the plumbing result that you expect.

Consult Absolute Electrical Heating and Air

If you’re looking for sound advice about maintaining your plumbing system, choose Absolute Electrical Heating and Air. We have more than ten years of plumbing experience, so we know how to effectively handle any plumbing issues, including clarification on the veracity of several plumbing legends.

We have dedicated plumbers who are highly skilled in all aspects of plumbing technology. For a reliable and affordable plumber in Denver service, call Absolute Electrical Heating and Air now.


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