Some myths are fun; some are intriguing, and some are downright costly. Unfortunately, the vast majority of plumbing myths fall into the latter category. With quite a few tall tales out there regarding your toilet bowls and drainage systems, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. To help you out, Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning has compiled a list of the 10 costliest myths circulating among homeowners today:
Myth #1: A Leaky Faucet Won’t Cause Any Serious Problems
That depends on how you define “serious.” While a dripping faucet won’t flood your bathroom, it may drain your bank account. In fact, next time you’re left scratching your head, wondering why your water bill keeps going up and up, you might want to check all of your sinks, toilets, and bathtubs for water leaks.
Just think of it this way: Every time that bathroom faucet drips, you’re losing money. In fact, you might as well throw some loose change down the drain every time you pass by the sink. In the end, you could save up to 10 percent on your water bill simply by dealing with easy-to-fix water leaks.1
Ignoring leaking faucets is also wasteful, and wasting water is a dreadful way to pay back Mother Nature. Unfortunately, the cumulative environmental impact of all household leaks is remarkable, and not in a good way. Don’t believe us? Check out these hair-raising statistics, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency:
- The average leak wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water annually. That’s enough to wash 270 loads of laundry.
- All told, household leaks may waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water each and every year in the United States—enough to supply water to 11 million homes.
- You could take more than 180 showers with the water that is wasted by a leaking faucet that drips at the rate of one drop per second.
Myth #2: You Can Sharpen Your Garbage Disposal Blades with Ice Cubes
Neither ice cubes nor eggshells will sharpen your garbage disposal blades. They are, however, effective at cleaning the blades. If you notice that your sink is starting to smell, throw a few ice cubes in, and run the disposal. If you’re cooking up some fried eggs or a delicious omelet for breakfast, throw the eggshells down the sink instead of in the garbage. You won’t get sharper blades, but you will fresher blades.
Myth #3: You Can Throw Grease Down Your Sink if You Mix It with Boiling Water
Grease and other waste fats do to your drains about the same thing they do to your arteries—they clog them up by coating them in a layer of fat. Dumping that overflowing pot of greasy residue down the sink or flushing it down the toilet may seem like an easy enough solution, but we can promise you one thing: You’ll end up making a frantic call to your plumber before long.
Unfortunately, while many people know that dumping grease down the sink is a big no-no, they seem to have fallen for another harmful myth. Somehow word got around that mixing grease with boiling water would solve the problem entirely. It won’t. Boiling water does absolutely nothing—zilch, nada, nil—to break down the fat and reduce clogging. No matter how you slice it, grease belongs in the trash, not in your drains.
Myth #4: Your Water Heater Is Going to Explode
You know those terrifying banging and rumbling noises you hear emanating from your water heater? Many people hear those menacing sounds and think they’re in for an explosive night. Thankfully, there is no reason to panic. It may sound like a scene from a horror flick, but there’s a perfectly rational explanation for all that huffing and puffing. It’s just the heat trying to make its way through layers of sediment that has collected on the bottom of your tank after years of use. The resulting air bubbles create a lot of sound and fury, but they won’t lead to any deadly explosions.
That being said, the noises are indicative of a problem. While you won’t lose your life to an old water heater, you may lose a great deal of effectiveness and efficiency. If your unit is reaching old age—say 15 years—it might be about time to call up Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning for a new water heater installation.
Myth #5: You Should Use Lemon Peels to Freshen Your Disposal
Unless you have a super heavy duty garbage disposal that can cut through anything, it’s better to throw those peels in the trash. Although the lemon will give off a nice smell, it may also clog your drain. The truth is that most garbage disposals can’t cut easily through tough things like lemon peels. Some also say that citric acid can corrode metal over the long run. If you need to freshen up your disposal, there are better options out there. All in all, soap and water are your best bet.
Myth #6: Flushable Wipes Are Flushable
Despite their name, flushable wipes are not actually flushable. Well, that depends on what you mean by flushable. Technically, they will flush, but they probably won’t make it past your drains, particularly if you use a lot of them. That’s because they are not biodegradable like toilet paper. In fact, overusing flushable wipes will not only lead to a clogged toilet but may also stop up your entire drainage system. At the end of the day, your whole house may come to a standstill because of those inaptly named “flushable” wipes.
Myth #7: Bathroom Products Belong in the Toilet
It’s not only flushable wipes that people throw carelessly into their toilet bowls; it’s everything from paper towels and makeup removal wipes to tampons and maxi pads. If you want everything to keep working properly, follow one simple edict: Only toilet paper and you-know-what belongs in the toilet bowl.
On the other hand, if you insist on flushing random bathroom products through your drainage system, you’ll keep on having to call your friendly plumber to unclog the toilet. Failing to heed this golden rule leads to the vast majority of clogged toilets throughout the country.
Myth #8: Bleach-Containing Tablets Are Safe for Your Toilet
Not if they’re the kinds that sit in the tank or bowl for long periods of time. It’s fine to stick bleach in your toilet bowl if you wash it out within 10 minutes but leaving it in the bowl will cause serious trouble. In the end, the bleach will degrade the working parts of your toilet. Talk about a plumbing nightmare. Within six months you’ll be ringing up the 24-hour plumber for emergency toilet repair, or even emergency toilet replacement.
Myth #9: Most Plumbing Work Is a Do-It-Yourself Job
This one is all too common. Many people think there’s nothing to it; that fixing a leaky faucet or unclogging the toilet is as simple and straightforward as sweeping the front porch or cooking a microwavable meal. Of course, if it were that easy, the world wouldn’t need plumbers. Sadly, many people turn small problems into monumental problems by going the DIY route. If anything, the popularity of do-it-yourself plumbing gives the professionals more work, not less.
The truth is that plumbing systems are more complex than most people realize. Unlike the average homeowner who might have watched the odd YouTube video, licensed plumbers, like the professionals at Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning, are trained to deal with the full range of problems, tools, materials, and safety concerns they might encounter. They also have years if not decades of valuable experience under their belt. If you have a problem, chances are they’ve dealt with it before.
Myth #10: It’s Difficult to Find a Local Plumber in a Hurry
If you’re looking for a good plumber that is ready to tend to your plumbing needs, you’ve stumbled upon the right site. At Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning, we offer professional water heater repair, toilet repair, and general plumbing services. In fact, we’re proud to offer the best plumbing services in the Houston Metro area. With over 20 years of experience, owner Marion Tucker and his team of licensed plumbers are ready to tackle any problem you might have in an organized and timely manner. You can count on Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning to be there for you when you call!
Whether your water heater is going bang in the night or your bathroom faucet is dripping all through the day, we can help. Give us a call at 281-603-9949 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll Be Glad We Met!