If you have ever seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” you may remember that the dad’s cure for everything was Windex, even for pimples! If only life was that simple, right? In plumbing, as in life, there are many myths. This article will debunk five of those myths so that you don’t make mistakes that can actually damage your plumbing and do more harm than good. Check out the following myths to see if you have ever made these mistakes, and you’ll never make them again!
The plumbing industry is no stranger to myths. Five common plumbing myths are: 1) Drano is safe for drains, 2) hot water breaks down grease, 3) anything that fits down the toilet can be flushed, 4) it is safe to take a shower or bath during a thunderstorm, and 5) ice cubes can be used to sharpen garbage disposal blades.
Because your plumbing is used multiple times daily, it is important to take proper care of it. When a sink, toilet, or shower doesn’t work properly, it can be extremely frustrating. In the case of a toilet or a shower, it may be the only one in the house, making it even more imperative that it remains in good working order! Let’s take a look at 5 common plumbing myths. By avoiding these mistakes, you will take better care of your plumbing.
#1 Drano Is Safe for Your Drains
Drano is a harsh chemical. As professional plumbers for over 45 years, the experts at Sun Plumbing discourage people from using Drano to clear slow or clogged drains. A natural way to clear a slow drain that many people recommend is pouring boiling water down the offending drain, followed by ¼ baking soda, then a cup of vinegar. This should cause some bubbling that, in theory, can break up whatever is causing the slow drain. However, a common cause of slow or clogged drains is hair, particularly in bathroom drains. This can easily be remedied with a long plastic tool found at your local Walmart, ACE, etc. You stick it down the drain, pull it out, and bring a bunch of disgusting, goopy hair with it. Gross but effective! No Drano needed!
#2 Hot Water Breaks Down Grease
Grease is a big no-no! Don’t pour it down your drain, period. Some people think that a combination of hot water and dish soap poured down the drain after the grease will do the trick. Grease cools quickly and congeals sticking to the inside of your pipes. If you want to avoid slow drains and clogs, never pour grease down your sink. Pour it into a container like a can or a jar, let it cool, then toss it in the trash can.
#3 Anything That Fits Down the Toilet Can Be Flushed
While this may be the mantra of every toddler, it is simply not true. As for adults, we often flush too much toilet paper at once. We are also fond of flushable wipes. Too much toilet paper is never good for plumbing. It can easily get stuck and cause a blockage. One-ply toilet paper is the easiest to flush, although we understand it isn’t the softest. If you refuse to use one-ply, then don’t be afraid to do multiple flushes so that you can flush less toilet paper at once. As for toddlers who are fond of flushing rubber duckies and toy cars, you may want to install a toilet lock.
#4 It Is Safe To Take a Shower or Bath During a Thunderstorm
This one is particularly important here in Florida as we experience frequent thunderstorms. It is NOT safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Lightning can travel through plumbing. It is best to avoid all water during a thunderstorm. Do not shower, bathe, wash dishes, or wash your hands. The risk of lightning traveling through plumbing might be less with plastic pipes than with metal pipes. However, it is best to avoid any contact with plumbing and running water during a lightning storm to reduce your risk of being struck.”
#5 Ice Cubes Can Be Used To Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades
In truth, your garbage disposal does not have blades, per se. It has spinning impellers that shred the food you put down the disposal. They do not need to be sharpened. Ice does not make these impellers sharper. For more information on what can safely be shredded in your disposal without damaging it, please read our blog post, “What Can You Put Down a Garbage Disposal?”.
Your plumbing can withstand a lot, but it isn’t invincible. By adhering to the advice given above and avoiding the mistakes that can cause damage to your plumbing (or yourself in the case of bathing during a thunderstorm) you will be doing yourself a favor. Home repairs, including plumbing, are inevitable though. If you are experiencing a plumbing issue and need a professional plumber, then give us a call at Sun Plumbing. We are located in Melbourne, FL, and serve our surrounding areas, such as Viera, FL, and the beach communities. Our expert plumbers will get your pipes back up and running in a timely manner with courtesy and professionalism. We look forward to serving you!