This week on the blog we have a pretty fun topic! We’re going to walk through some plumbing myths that seem to be fairly widespread in today’s world. While some of these are pretty harmless and might not have any impact on your daily life, the truth is that a few of these could actually cost you significant amounts of cash and cause serious damage to your home! Now this article isn’t meant to scare you, but rather as a resource so you know what plumbing matters you might want to keep an eye on throughout the year! With that said, let’s dive into debunking some of the most common plumbing myths we hear from time to time in our lives as Kansas City plumbers!
Myth #1: Nothing will ever swim up your pipes.
Ever had a rat somehow find it’s way into your house? Hopefully not! And if you have witnessed this, hopefully it doesn’t happen again! Our first myth is when someone states that nothing can actually swim up your pipes and into your house. Well, unfortunately, that is not true. It isn’t impossible for animals, such as rats, to be able to maneuver their way from the sewer through your pipes and into your home. How do they manage such a feat? When food is flushed down your drain and into the sewer, rats are able to smell it. They then follow it through your plumbing pipes and might even get lost along the way. Before long, they will all of a sudden pop up in your toilet.
How do you avoid falling victim to rats using your plumbing system as a route straight into your home? It’s simple, limit how much food goes down your toilet or the drains. The only exception to this rule is the garbage disposal. Just remember to be mindful of what food items can and can’t be disposed of this way!
Myth #2: It’s fine to pour hot grease down the drain. It’s a liquid after all, right?
Nope, can’t do it! Hot grease will build-up and stick to your pipes, thus causing a clog in no time. No matter what type of grease you have, it’s always best to treat them all the exact same way. Let the grease solidify and then pitch it in the trash can.
Myth #3: A leaky faucet doesn’t require your immediate attention.
We’ve all had that faucet that drips a little bit all the time. It’s such a minimal leak, so is it really worth your time right now? In short, the answer is yes! A common theme we tell our clients is the longer you let a plumbing issue sit, the worse it will inevitably get. As that problem gets worse, so does the repair bill when you call to have an experienced plumber out! Even though we’re in the plumbing business, we definitely don’t want anyone to have to spend more than they need to on plumbing issues!
A leaky faucet should be something that demands your attention because it is increasing your water bill each and every month. It isn’t uncommon for an average leak to waste thousands of gallons of water in just one year. Just by monitoring the connections and gaskets, you could be saving up to 10% on your water bill!
Myth #4: If something is flushed down the toilet and it disappears, you’re in the clear.
Alright, so say you flush dental floss down the toilet each night and it always disappears. No issues right away, so you should be good, right? Well, sometimes plumbing issues strike a little bit later. Having been in the residential plumbing industry for over 40 years, I’ve definitely seen some weird things flushed down toilets! It’s always best to stick with the same rule of thumb: only flush waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Everything else should be tossed in the trash can!
Myth #5: Slow drains are not clogged drains.
This one’s fairly simple and something most homeowners have probably witnessed. We’re talking about the difference between a drain that’s running slow and one that’s completely stopped up. While they may require a slightly different approach from a plumber’s perspective, they should be treated with the same amount of care from a homeowner’s perspective. For example, a partial clog could easily have some sediment built up on the sides of the pipes. Over time, this can easily turn into a full-on clog. Remember, it’s always going to save you money in the long run if you take care of the issue while it’s still a minimal one!
Myth #6: Ice cubs sharpen garbage disposal blades.
Have you ever thought about sharpening your garbage disposal blades so the disposal can handle more items? Not a good idea! No matter how strong your disposal, it’s always best to not over-do it. While not everyone agrees with this myth, it’s still one that we’ve heard out in the field! First and foremost, a garbage disposal doesn’t even have blades. It has impellars (which are basically teeth-like features) that possess the ability to grind solids into liquids. Ice cubes can be used to clean the blades though! The only stipulation is to monitor the frequency which you do. Limit it to once every few months. Anything more than this can actually dull the blades, as opposed to sharpen them.
Myth #7: Every plumber has the same training and credentials.
While all of the myths above are going to save you some money, this one will likely prevent some major headaches. No matter what industry you work in, there’s always going to be companies and individuals that are simply more adept to solving plumbing issues. Unfortunately, there is no one training book that teaches you how to be a professional Kansas City plumber. With this said, it is your job as a homeowner to make sure the company you hire can fix the problem. Always do your research! Check reviews, look at their credibility on social media and make sure they’re confident in what they do!
Myth #8: When the hot water heater rumbles, prepare for an explosion.
Unless it’s a very rare case, most modern day water heaters won’t explode if they start making loud rumbling noises. Your hot water heater handles a lot of pressure on a day-to-day basis, but it can easily deal with it if maintained properly. When you hear those rumbling and gurgling sounds, chances are you just have quite a bit of sediment built up at the base. Even though this won’t cause it to explode, it can cause your water heater to die out early. The best cure to this is to have an experienced plumbing professional do a maintenance check on it. They can flush the sediment at a much cheaper price tag than it would be do a complete replacement.
Experience Always Prevails
When it comes to being a professional plumber, there’s nothing more valuable than experience. While it would be great if you could receive training for every potential situation that might arise, that simply isn’t possible. By knowing how to troubleshoot around unique scenarios and consistently knock out the routine ones, you have a recipe for an experienced and professional plumber.
No matter how prepared you may be as a homeowner, sometimes you’ll just need to hire a plumber for your Kansas City home! Our team of expert plumbers are always ready to go in a moment’s notice! Just give us a call and we’ll give you a quote before getting your plumbing system back up and running!