5 Common Plumbing Myths - Busted!

Friday, 30 August 2019 11:24
5 Common Plumbing Myths - Busted!

There is a lot of misinformation floating around when it comes to plumbing. Before you get out your plunger, flush your goldfish, or take a shower, take a look at these five common plumbing myths:

1. Myth: It’s Ok to Flush Baby Wipes/Cat Litter/Goldfish Down the Toilet

We’re busting three plumbing myths for the price of one. No, no, and it depends. No, it is not ok to flush wipes, even if they claim to be “flushable.” One or two is probably ok, but if you flush several a day, the wipes don’t have time to disintegrate and they can form a big, stubborn clog. 

Cat litter: no. Why would you do this! Cat litter obviously contains cat urine and feces. These can spread toxins throughout the sewer/water system. Plus, you don’t want that mess clogged up in your pipes!

What about poor little Nemo who has swum his last swim? It is ok to flush a dead goldfish down the toilet. However, lots of people flush live fish (to be fair, it can be very hard to tell). They can travel the sewer system, re-enter a stream, and throw the delicate ecosystem out of balance. Just be sure your little guy is really gone before you give him his “burial at sea.”

You know what your toilet is made for! So, don’t flush sanitary products, wipes, paper towels, wads of tissues, toothbrushes, live animals… You’d be surprised at what we’ve seen!

2. Myth: It’s Safe to Take a Shower/Bath During a Thunderstorm

If there’s one thing your grandmother warned you about it was to NEVER take a shower or bath during a thunderstorm. For the love of lightning, you could be killed! Grandma was 100% correct. Electricity can travel through pipes (metal is an excellent conductor), and impurities in the water make the journey even easier for the current. Wait out the storm, please! 

3. Myth: All You Need to Fix a Clogged Sink is a Bottle of Drain Cleaner and a Plunger

No! If you opt to use a drain cleaner in your sink, do not use a plunger! Two reasons: one, you’ll just end up pulling the cleaner out of the pipes - it’s a good way to waste money and a bad way to fix a clog. And two, you could cause the cleaner to splash and burn your skin. Let the cleaner do its job and back away from the plunger.

If a clog is stubborn and drain cleaner isn’t up to the challenge, call an experienced plumber before the problem gets worse.

4. Myth: Faucet Only Has a Slow Leak? You Can Leave It for a While. No Biggie.

Maybe you’ve got other problems or a long list of more pressing to-dos. But make time to address the drip!  A simple leaking faucet can affect water pressure, damage the surrounding surfaces, and cause other issues. It also adds to your monthly or quarterly water bill - and wastes a vital resource. If you live in drought-prone areas or it’s an especially dry season, this can be a big problem.

5: Myth: Your Water Heater Is Gurgling and Bubbling? Get Out! It’s Gonna Blow!

Gurgling and bubbling from your water heater can certainly be alarming. But it is not a sign that it’s going to explode. What’s happening is that sediment has built up and is blocking the burner in your tank; air bubbles are popping. 

So, should you leave it? Nope! While it won’t explode, it’s important to have a plumber come out and give it a look. Proper maintenance is essential, so you maximize your water heater’s life, optimize performance - and have hot water when you need a shower (but not in a thunderstorm!).

There you have it: five common plumbing myths busted. If you have any more questions or want to schedule a maintenance or repair appointment, give Iredell County’s most trusted plumbers a call today