Growing up we all learn information from our family and friends. Many times, we will take this knowledge as fact without checking the validity. This conventional wisdom is commonly known as wives tales. While some of these wives tales do hold water and stand the test of time, most are not true and when it comes to plumbing may end up costing you money if you follow them. Understanding your home’s plumbing is important for those DIY projects and when you need to quickly and accurately communicate with a professional plumber. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the more common plumbing wives tales and learn how to effectively maintain your plumbing systems without damaging them with some of the tips and pieces of advice that have been passed down from one generation to the next.
Myth 1: Lemons Will Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Putting a lemon through the garbage disposal will give you an instant and satisfying breath of fresh citrus scent. That’s about all it will do. The lemon will not actually clean your disposal. To disinfect the device, it is important to get back to the basics of cleaning: good ol’ soap and water. To effectively clean the disposal, disconnect the device from the power source and then spray a mixture of soap and water into the disposal. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes and then use a scrub brush to clean the inside of the disposal. Not as simple as throwing a few lemons down the drain, but it gets the job done right. It is also important to sharpen the blades and that can be done with ice cubes. Once the device is cleaned and reconnected to the power, you can send some ice cubes down the drain with the garbage disposal running to help sharpen and clean the blades. One more word of caution: be careful using those lemons to get that instant breath of citrus freshness, the acid in the fruit can actually cause the metal components to corrode.
Myth 2: Running Water While Using the Garbage Disposal Makes Everything Go Down Smoothly
I can personally attest to the fact that this myth is just that, a myth. The water will quickly back up into the sink and overflow out of the sink if you have put food waste down the drain that will not go. The culprit for me that fateful night was potato peels. I now peel all potatoes over the trashcan. Water will help waste to flow, but you should avoid putting hard or thick foods down the garbage disposal. Banana peels and eggshells are two other things to avoid putting down the garbage disposal.
Myth 3: It’s OK to flush Medications
Many homeowners think it is ok to flush old and unused medications down the sink or toilet. The truth is that this practice is a major no-no. Medications will contaminate the water supply and if you are on a septic system they will disrupt the delicate balance of the septic ecosystem making it breakdown or stall. Many communities offer a medication drop off location or host a day during the year to properly dispose of unwanted medications.
Myth 4: Chemical Drain Clog Removers Will Get the Clog Out
We have all seen commercials where someone pours a drain cleaner into the drain, walks away and the clog magically starts to move and then disappear. The real life story does not usually end with an unclogged drain. Instead it ends with a phone call to your trusty plumber to come and help get rid of the clog. Chemical drain clog removers can actually be harmful to your pipes and once again harm a septic system. If you want to try a DIY unclog, it is best to start with hot water. If that does not do the trick, a combination of baking soda and vinegar may get things moving. If not, it is time to call 1st Home and Commercial Services to help trouble shoot the issue. Skip the chemical drain clog removers.
Myth 5: All Plumbers Are Created Equal
Just as in any business or trade, some people are better at what they do. Some have more experience, training, and credentials than others. It is always a good idea to check out the background of the plumbing company and contractors completing the work to ensure your get the job done right the first time. The BBB and state boards are good places to check to make sure the plumber you hire is well qualified.
Check back later as we tackle some more plumbing myths such as which direction water flushes in each hemisphere, are flush-able wipes okay to use, and will toilet bowl tablets keep your toilet clean.
If you have any questions about the myths discussed above or need help with any other plumbing issue, please give our professional at 1st Home and Commercial Services a call today. We will be happy to help resolve your plumbing problem as quickly and professionally as possible.