Debunking 9 Common Plumbing Myths

Plumbing issues and solutions can sometimes be misunderstood, leading to bigger problems. Here’s an in-depth look at some common products and practices, and the right way to handle them:

Flushable Wipes

Even though they’re often marketed as “flushable,” these wipes don’t break down like toilet paper does. Instead, they can cause big problems in your home’s plumbing and even in city sewer systems. Experts in plumbing and sewage treatment strongly advise against flushing these wipes. They can catch on small imperfections inside the pipes, gather debris, and create serious clogs. This not only affects individual homes but also causes issues at sewage treatment plants, where they can block pumps and other equipment. This leads to expensive fixes and can increase utility bills for everyone.

Grease Down the Drain

Pouring hot water down the drain might seem like a good way to get rid of grease, but it actually just moves the grease further down where it will cool off, harden, and block the pipes. This misunderstanding can cause stubborn clogs that are hard to fix and often need a professional to clear them. A better way to deal with grease is to let it cool and solidify, then throw it away in the trash instead of washing it down the drain.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

These cleaners might seem like a fast solution for clogs, but they can actually do a lot of damage to your pipes. The strong chemicals in these cleaners can eat away at the pipes, causing leaks that are expensive to fix. They’re also bad for the environment and can be harmful to your health. For smaller clogs, it’s better to use tools like plungers or drain snakes, or you can use natural methods like baking soda and vinegar. These alternatives don’t harm your pipes and are safer for you and the environment.

Dripping Faucets

A dripping faucet might not seem like a big deal, but it can waste a lot of water, which adds up on your water bill. Just one leaky faucet can lose hundreds of gallons of water each year. This is not just bad for your wallet; it’s also bad for the environment. Often, these leaks show there might be worn-out parts inside your faucet like washers or valve seats. If these aren’t fixed, they could cause even more serious issues later. Keeping up with regular checks and fixing leaks early can help your faucets last longer and work better.

Bricks in Toilet Tanks

Some people think putting a brick in the toilet tank saves water, but it’s actually not a good idea. Over time, the brick can break down and mess up the flushing parts, or it can make your toilet not flush right. This could mean you have to flush more than once, which wastes more water than it saves. Nowadays, toilets designed to use less water are a better option because they save water without losing any flushing power.

In-Tank Toilet Cleaners

Using cleaners that you drop into the toilet tank might seem handy, but they can secretly damage the parts inside your toilet. The strong chemicals can wear out important parts like the flapper and flush valve, which can cause leaks and make your toilet run inefficiently. Rather than using these harsh chemicals, it’s safer to use gentle cleaners applied directly to the bowl to keep it clean and smelling fresh without damaging your toilet.

Using Lemons in Garbage Disposals

It might feel like a good, natural way to clean and make your garbage disposal smell nice by throwing lemon peels down it, but this can actually harm it over time. The acid in lemons can eat away at the metal inside, and the peels can clog up the system, making it work harder. A better way to clean and freshen up your disposal is to use a mix of baking soda and vinegar, which cleans effectively without causing damage.

Plungers Fix Everything

While a plunger is a must-have tool for quick fixes, it doesn’t work for all types of clogs. It’s great for simple blockages near the top of the drain but not for deeper, tougher ones that might need a drain snake or more powerful methods. Using a plunger too much or in the wrong way can also damage your plumbing fixtures. For complicated problems, you might need to call a professional plumber who has the right tools and know-how.

All Plumbers Are the Same

This is a common myth that might lead you to choose a plumber just because they’re cheaper or available right away, without thinking about their skill or experience. But, just like any profession, not all plumbers are alike. Choosing someone who is experienced, has good reviews, and is properly licensed can make a big difference. They are more likely to fix problems correctly, saving you money and hassle later on.

By knowing the real facts about these plumbing myths, homeowners can make better choices and keep their plumbing systems in good shape. Always seek professional advice for big issues and remember to maintain your systems regularly to avoid costly emergencies.

If you need assistance for minor or major issues, we got you covered with the finest service in town, contact AO Dowd Plumbing, Plumber in Fontana any time at 909-684-1915 or at