Common Plumbing Misconceptions

Maybe you routinely do plumbing work around your home solo. Just you and some Internet videos. You’re perfectly capable of replacing a broken sprinkler, installing a new kitchen sink and replacing the connective hose to your washing machine. That’s more than most homeowners can say. Whether the skills you’ve acquired were handed down to you through previous generations or you’re entirely self-taught, you should be proud of your knowhow and the work you’re able to do on your own.

Did you know that there are many commonly held beliefs about plumbing that just aren’t true though? Some of them are so widespread that they have been accepted as truths when they simply aren’t. We’ve done our homework and come up with our list of the most common myths about plumbing below.

Any Time a Pipe is Broken it Has to be Replaced

If you’ve ever hired a plumber and had them tell you that an entire pipe needs to be replaced just because it has a leak, it might not be the case. Sometimes this is something plumbers will tell you in an effort to upsell a job. While some broken pipes certainly do need to be replaced, most of them can be fixed. In fact, fixing a broken pipe is often something you can do on your own with the right tools and materials.

Ice Cubes Sharpen the Blades on Your Garbage Disposal

This belief is nothing more than an old wives’ tale. Putting ice cubes down your garbage disposal won’t sharpen the blades, but it certainly doesn’t hurt as ice can free debris and blockages. Even though there are plenty of substances you shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal, ice cubes are perfectly fine.

Putting Lemons Down Your Sink Makes it Smell Fresh

Everyone loves the smell of lemons. And sure, putting them down your sink can give off a fresh scent for a little while. But the reality is that this practice does more harm than good. Lemon juice is quite acidic and can cause corrosion in your pipes and disposal.

Drain Cleaners Work Great for Clogged Drains

You’ve experienced a clogged drain at some point. Whether it’s hair in your bathroom sink or food scraps in the kitchen, clogged drains aren’t any fun. When this happens, the first thing you probably do is reach for that bottle of chemical drain cleaner. While this might be a temporary fix, you’re probably doing more harm than good. Drain cleaners contain harmful chemicals that can cause corrosion and seriously damage your piping after just a few uses. Even more, the chemicals found in chemical drain cleaners can be harmful to your health if they’re inhaled or come into contact with your skin. If they do not work and you need to call a professional, you MUST let them know you used chemicals so they can take the appropriate action to prevent damage to themselves and their drain cleaning equipment.

All Plumbers Do the Same Thing

If there is a misconception that just isn’t true, it’s that plumbers all do the same thing. The truth is that, yes, most qualified plumbers can handle most residential plumbing issues but, many specialize in a certain area. If you’re having problems with your septic system, it’s probably wise to do a little research and find a plumber that’s experienced in that realm. The bottom line is, whatever plumbing issue you’re facing, you’re going to want the work done by the most qualified plumber.

Anything Can Go Down Your Garbage Disposal

There’s a basic rule of thumb that says, “if it’s too messy to throw away, put it down your garbage disposal.” This advice couldn’t be further from the truth. While the job of your garbage disposal is to break down food particles, there are limits. Substances like poultry skins, coffee grounds, cooking oils and vegetables can dull the blades and even cause clogs. If you want to avoid these problems in the future, be mindful of what you put down your garbage disposal.

No Maintenance for Your Plumbing Systems

When you buy a new home and it passes home inspection, it’s natural to assume that all is well and will remain so. It’s understandable too. You’re excited about what to put on the fireplace mantle and what color dishes will compliment those granite counter tops. Your plumbing, it’s good to go, right? Maybe at best. Even if your plumbing systems are up to date, they require regular inspection and maintenance.

There’s no denying that many home plumbing issues can be resolved by a little research and sweat equity on your part. You should take pride in your ability to meet household problems at the door. As long as you don’t succumb to the pitfalls of plumbing misconceptions that are so widely spread, your chances of taking care of your plumbing on your own are much greater than the guy next door.

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