Mythbusters, plumbing edition

Mythbusters: Plumbing Edition

When it comes to plumbing, it's often difficult to sort fact from fiction. A lot of popular plumbing myths make sense and sound logical, so people don't always question them. Here's a handful of some of the most popular plumbing myths we hear from our customers.

Toilets in Australia

A popular and prevalent myth is that toilet water swirls in the opposite direction south of the equator. This wildly popular theory is pure fiction, however. It's true that water and other objects not attached to the earth curve rather than traveling in a straight line, and these objects will bend in opposite directions above and below the equator. The force of the flushing water in a toilet, however, is strong enough to overcome this phenomenon, known as the Coriolis effect.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

We often talk to customers who proudly tell us that they frequently run ice through their garbage disposal to clean and sharpen the blades. While ice does help clean the blades, the notion that it sharpens them is a myth. In reality, ice cubes can dull your garbage disposal blades. Keep them out of your disposal unless a strong odor indicates it's time for a cleaning. Keep the lemons and other citrus fruits out of the disposal, too. Citrus does create a pleasant scent, but the acid in citrus fruits can eat away at your disposal.

It's Flushable

Trust us when we say that your toilet can handle human waste and toilet paper only. Clever marketers often claim that they've created flushable baby wipes, cat litter, and feminine hygiene products. They haven't. Anything that isn't human waste or toilet paper can clog your toilet, including facial tissues and cleansing wipes.

Hot Water Clears Clogs

This popular myth leads to lots of plumbing calls. Hot water is actually bad for your drains. For one, PVC pipes are rated to hold water up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Boiling water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Boiling water also serves only to move grease clogs, not eliminate them. The water will meet the grease and move it further down the pipe, but eventually, the water and grease will both cool and you'll be left with a clog deep in your pipes where it's harder to remove.

Whether you're having a plumbing problem or just want the facts on proper plumbing care, give us a call. We're always happy to help in any way we can and would love to sort out plumbing fact and fiction for you.