Common Plumbing Misconceptions

Rumors can quickly turn a misconception into a truth, and that goes especially for plumbing. Many homeowners are fed lies about plumbing by someone who may be inexperienced, but we’re here to clear up some of the most common misconceptions about home plumbing systems.

1) Water Heaters
Many people believe that if their water heater kicks on and there is loud rumbling noise that it is going to explode. This isn’t actually the truth, as this noise is just a result of sediment that has collected in the tank. It is made up of loose materials, but mostly calcium, from the hard water inside. It then sinks to the bottom of the tank where it is heated up, and the sediment prevents the heat from rising properly, therefore making bubbles that cause a popping sound. When there is sediment collected in the bottom of your tank, it’s a waste of gas and it makes your water heater inefficient. If your current water heater is more than 15 years old, you may want to consider purchasing a new one. If this is happening and your water heater is newer, you can just drain and flush it on a regular basis to get rid of the sediment.

2) Leaky Faucets
“Oh, it only drips every once in a while, I’m not going to get it fixed!” This is the outlook that many homeowners have, but unfortunately, a leaking drain can cause large scale plumbing disasters if gone untreated. This is also not good for the environment either. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, household leaks account for 1 trillion gallons of wasted water a year. A leaking faucet will lead to a higher water bill, and it can cause larger issues. If a drip continues for a while, it can begin to stain the plumbing fixtures, meaning you will spend more money on repairs or replacements.
3) Toilets
There is a common myth that putting a brick in the back of your toilet tank will help save on your water bill. The truth is that bricks will begin to deteriorate over time, and can cause items in the tank to break. Also, the reason for doing it can also backfire and you can end up displacing too much water.
Another common myth associated with toilet systems is that if you use wipes that are labeled as “flushable” then you can still put them down the toilet. While you can do this, any plumber would advise you not to. They don’t biodegrade like toilet paper and are beginning to cause many plumbing problems.
One last myth about a toilet system is that toilet bowl tablets containing bleach will keep the toilet clean for a long period of time. While bleach can clean a toilet bowl, it shouldn’t be kept in the system for too long. The bleach can begin to destroy the parts of your toilet within six months. Bleach in the toilet bowl is fine, but don’t let it hang around in the tank for more than 10 minutes. Make sure that you flush it through to prevent any kind of preventable damage.
4) Garbage Disposals
Some people believe that putting a lemon peel down the disposal will make it smell nicer. While this is true, it isn’t exactly the right solution to odor control unless you know that your disposal can handle cutting through the peel. If you’re disposal is older, you may want to skip out on the lemon peel and reach for a bottle of vinegar instead. Vinegar will freshen up your garbage disposal, and it is liquid, so no damage will be done to the blades in the process.

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