Bad habits: we all have them, but when it comes to your plumbing system, failing to correct the mistakes you’re making can have major consequences for your entire property. Fortunately, Carter Quality Plumbing is here to talk to you about the top seven plumbing myths that may be damaging your system. Keep reading to learn more, and remember that our skilled plumbers will go above and beyond to help you protect your equipment.
The 7 Most Common Plumbing Myths:
- Flushable Wipes Are Safe for Your Toilet: The truth that many people don’t know about so-called “flushable” wipes is that they are not safe for your plumbing, and can end up creating drain clogs when left in your system. In reality, the only paper product that’s actually safe to flush is good old-fashioned T.P. Paper towels, cotton balls, pads, tampons, and wet wipes do not deteriorate the same way as toilet paper, and when they cause a blockage in your toilet, you may end up with a nasty back-up on your hands. Trust us, even though the label may say flushable, wipes are a huge source of problems for residential and municipal plumbing alike.
- Hard Water Is Completely Safe: This is a tricky one. It’s true that the minerals contained in hard water, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, are not inherently harmful to your health. However, water that is rich in minerals does come with negative effects for your plumbing system and household at large. For starters, hard water wears down your pipes faster, causing you to need repairs and re-piping service sooner than you might with soft water. Hard water is also a killer of plumbing appliances, leaving stains on fixtures, as well as dishes and clothes, after they have been washed. And to top it all off, hard, minerally water can cause a ton of irritation for your hair and skin if you shower with it every day. If you’re worried about the way hard water is affecting your property, call Carter Quality Plumbing for a free water analysis. Our plumbing technicians will be able to tell you exactly how hard your water is, and whether you would significantly benefit from installing a water softener in your home.
- Wire Hangers & Liquid Drain Cleaners Are a Suitable Alternative to Professional Drain Cleaning: Maybe you’ve heard this plumbing hack before: if you’re dealing with a drain clog, one good way to get rid of it is to straighten out a wire hanger and use it to break up the blockage and pull it out. The problem? That homemade drain snake is likely to scratch the walls of your pipes, actually making it easier for clogs and other problems to occur in the future. If you’re desperate to try this method, at least wrap a piece of cloth on the end to prevent the sharp end of the wire from damaging your pipes. Whatever you do though, DO NOT use liquid drain cleaners to get rid of a clog. The chemicals in these products are very toxic, and can eat away at your pipes over time. What’s more, store-bought drain cleaners are often ineffective, and frequently end up just sitting on top of a clog, waiting for a back-up to occur. Trust us, if the obstruction is serious, it’s best to just call our experts for professional drain cleaning.
- If Your Water Heater is Making Loud Noises, That Means It’s Going to Explode: The loud banging noises that traditional water heaters make may sound alarming, and it’s worth emphasizing that improper water heater operation can be dangerous. However, those explosion-like sounds that your water heater is making are usually just a sign that the sediment in your tank needs to be flushed out. If loud water heater noises persist, call a plumber to see if there’s a problem, or better yet, upgrade to a tankless water heater, and enjoy quieter system operation and greater energy efficiency!
- It’s Okay to Put Grease in Your Drain as Long as You Water It Down First: Let’s make one thing clear: grease, fats, and oils should ALWAYS go in the trash, not the garbage disposal. Grease clogs drains the same way it clogs arteries, and rather than breaking it apart, water may actually make it congeal faster, potentially leading to a very bad clog in your kitchen drain.
- You Can Reduce Water Usage by Putting a Brick in Your Toilet: Some people think that placing a brick in the toilet tank reduces the amount of water that’s used when you flush, thus lowering your overall water consumption. Nope! While we’re certainly in favor of conserving water, all putting a brick in your toilet does is wear down the components faster. As that brick disintegrates, your toilet flapper and valve will begin to corrode, which, ironically, will force you to flush your toilet more.
- Your Toilet Flushes in the Opposite Direction Depending on What Hemisphere You Are On: Ah, this old chestnut! While the whole “Coriolis Effect” myth has certainly become deeply rooted in pop culture, toilets do not actually flush in the opposite directions in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. The Coriolis Effect is a real thing, but It only applies to large bodies of water. The direction a toilet flushes, however, is determined by jets. So while the Coriolis Effect would change the direction of a cyclone, when it comes to flushing, we’re pretty much all the same.