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Mythbusters: Plumbing Edition

Myths have been around since the beginning of time. Most often, they are used to explain things humans have no other way of understanding (have you heard of the World Turtle?).

It’s likely that you’ve heard some of these common plumbing myths. Maybe you even believe and practice them! What better way to bust these myths than by tackling them ourselves? These 7 plumbing myths are about to be debunked...


Flushable wipes

Despite the name, it turns out those so-called “flushable wipes” should come with a disclaimer. The wipes themselves are individually disposable, but if you flush too many you may find yourself the lucky owner of a sewage or drain blockage. Flushing too many wipes within the same time period may affect their ability to fully disintegrate which could cause a clog. If your toilet is flushing more slowly than normal, call Cregger to check for a blockage.

Drain cleaners

Did you know that many home drain cleaners have harmful chemicals in them? The same chemicals that supposedly safely clear blockages in your pipes may actually be hurting them over time. Liquid drain cleaners are able to eat through the grime lodged in your pipes and because they possess no discernable intelligence, they eat away at your pipes with the same intensity.

If you need a quick fix, try the safer and more natural approach of pouring half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar down your drain. Let the mixture sit, undisturbed for about an hour, then rinse your pipes with hot water.

Clean garbage disposal with lemon peels

Funnily enough, the lemon-peels-down-the-garbage-disposal trick your grandparents raved about isn’t the best thing for the longevity of your sink either. As with most tips, in the short-term using lemons to deodorize and sanitize your sink works (and smells) great.

However, over time, the citric acid left on the peels can actually wear down and even corrode the blades of your garbage disposal—which can make for an expensive and difficult repair.

Pouring hot grease down your sink

This is possibly the most-widely debunked myth out there, but we thought we’d make sure to include in just in case. Grease can be very destructive to your garbage disposal, which is why disposing of grease in your sink is so heavily warned against. The hot grease will build up on the inside of your pipes; once the build-up is bad enough, seriously blockages can occur. These blockages will require a visit from a plumbing professional, so be sure to call us if you think you may have a clog!

In-tank cleaners are safe

Much like the home drain cleaners, bleach tablets and other cleaners that rest inside your toilet bowl have the same harsh chemicals that will eventually erode the porcelain. Cleaners that sit inside the toilet bowl continually release bleach and other chemicals that clean your toilet, but because they stay stagnant, have the potential to cause damage to one area of your toilet after extended use.

Pouring boiling water will loosen any grease in the sink

While the logic behind pouring boiling water down your drain to clear any grease blockages seems to check out, the reality isn’t quite so clear-cut. The boiling water would melt grease, unfortunately, the grease will still settle and harden lower in your pipes. Once it hardens again, it may be impossible to reach with a household snake and could even cause other debris (poorly ground food particles, hair, lint, etc.) to stick in your drains and cause a clog even more easily.

If you’ve been disposing of your grease down your sink’s drain, the best thing to do is call a professional to come out to your home and clear it for you.

Flushing a goldfish down the toilet is always ok

Ah yes, the old fishy funeral. This time-honored tradition is still okay if your aquatic friend has actually passed away. The issue comes in when a fish you may just think is dead goes down the tubes as well. While this obitual faux-pax won’t directly affect your plumbing, it will affect the delicate ecosystem as live goldfish can travel the sewer system and end up in a stream ill-prepared to handle their needs.

Cregger Plumbing & Sewer Service is equipped to help you get out of any sticky plumbing and sewage situations...so if you’ve flushed one too many baby wipes down the toilet or your garbage disposal is cluttered with who-knows-what, give us a call today!

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