Plumbing Facts or Fiction: 10 Things You Need to Know

plumbing facts to keep you pipes in shape
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Relying on false or outdated information can lead to expensive repairs of your home’s plumbing system!

Owning a home can present more than a few unexpected challenges. You have to consider cooling and heating, lawn maintenance, electricity and, yes, even your plumbing. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to dealing with your home plumbing system. Consider these home plumbing facts and a few bits of fiction, when you go about your daily life.

For some reason, plumbing is the source of a lot of weird tips and misinformation. Unfortunately, many of these so called “facts” can be very costly should they happen to you.  Not to mention pretty disgusting. Is a dripping faucet a big deal or is it simply a minor annoyance? How about those “flushable” wipes? If you think you know the answers to these, you may be in for a surprise!

Plumbing fact and fiction

#1 Chemical Drain Cleaners will Unclog Pipes. No Problem.

Fiction! Often times drain cleaners can be more problematic than the very issue they are trying to solve! At the very least, they only temporarily alleviate the leak. At worst, they can corrode the drain. If you have a clog, use a snake first or call the plumbing company.

#2 A Dripping Faucet is Not a Big Deal

plumbing factsFiction! A drip is more than irritating. It can get expensive! A small drip from your faucet can waste over eight gallons per day. Add that up over the course of a year, and you have a hefty water bill on your hands. Not to mention, a faucet leak can be symbolic of a larger problem. If you can’t identify the cause of the drip, like a faucet left on, then it is time to call a plumber.

#3 You Can Spot a Plumbing Issue

Fact! While you may not be able to diagnose the exact issue with the plumbing, knowing the key signs of an issue can save you time and money. Leaks, draining issues, and rusting are all signs of plumbing issues. Identifying these early can mean the difference between a small repair and a plumbing catastrophe.

# 4 Toilets flush in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere

Fiction! In recent years, this may be the biggest plumbing urban legend. The Coriolis Effect, is often cited as the cause. Yet, a toilet is way too small of a body of water to experience this effect. The direction of the toilet flow is actually due to the structure of the plumbing.

#5 Wild Animals Can Get Stuck in Your Drain

Fact! This one is 100% possible, especially in Florida during the rainy season. It is not difficult for snakes, frogs, lizards and other small creatures to find their way into your plumbing, as a way to seek shelter-or food. Sometimes, they make the journey all the way up into your bathroom plumbing. While rare and unlikely, you should always look before you sit!

#6 Flushable Wipes are Safe for All Bathrooms

plumbing factsFiction! If anything, flushable wipes help keep plumbers in business! Just because the flushable wipes clear your toilet does not mean they make it all the way down. The tight-knit fibers take a while to dissolve, often causing the wipes to accumulate somewhere down your pipes. The same goes for feminine products, paper towels and facial tissues. These are an absolute no-no in septic systems.

#7 Bleach Tablets Are the Best Way to Keep the Toilet Clean

Fiction…Sort of. Yes, it is true that bleaching your toilet will clean and disinfect it. Stains will be a think of the past, as well!  The problem is that bleach can severely damage the inner workings of a toilet within months. Only months! Instead of adding the tablets, pour bleach into the toilet during regular cleanings. But, to protect your plumbing, do not let it sit around longer than 10 minutes.

#8 Toilets are Pet Fish Cemeteries

Fiction! It is a heartbreaking scene. Your kid’s first pet, Goldie the Goldfish, goes belly-up one afternoon. You gather around the toilet bowl, get a little misty-eyed over the heartfelt eulogy, and pour Goldie into the bowl. He spins around and around, and you assure your heartbroken child, ‘It is okay, Goldie will go back to the ocean now!” Two days later, hearts mend and Goldie is but a passed memory for your family.

…until you find a clog in your pipes.

plumbing facts

Sometimes, the pets do not make it down the pipes, and instead, become the source of a major clog. By the time the plumber gets to it, you’re going to have a rather disgusting mess on your hands.

In other cases, your goldfish was never dead, and makes its way from your plumbing, into the water supply. There, goldfish tend to grow to tremendous sizes and disrupt the local ecosystems.

A simple burial or contacting your local waste authority is a much safer option.

#9 Flush Cat Litter Down the Toilet

Fiction! There are two major reasons for this. One, clumping varieties well, clump when they get wet. Those clumps can accumulate, resulting in a clogged toilet. Two, cat feces can contain parasites and toxins that can end up in the water supply. While usually not a threat to the average person, these toxins can cause complications during pregnancy. They can be downright deadly to other animals, should they come in contact with the toxin.

#10 Grease Does NOT Go Down the Drain

plumbing factsFact! Grease from cooking oils, cooking meat and other culinary tasks should not go down the drain. The grease typically does not make it all the way down. Instead, it sticks to pipes leading to a major clog later on, as food particles get washed down the sink, and stick to the grease.

Instead, let the fat cool and scrape it into a receptacle, like an old tin. Then discard in your trash.

Surprised by some of these plumbing facts? If you’ve fallen for a plumbing myth and suspect a clog, leak, or other major plumbing issues, call the experts at Adams and Sons Plumbing. This Orlando plumber can help fix, prevent or avoid a major plumbing crisis.

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