Every day, your plumbing system pumps clean water into your home and removes dangerous toxins so your family doesn’t ingest chemicals. In addition, your plumbing system provides hot water so you can shower, do laundry, and more. Many people don’t understand or appreciate all the complex workings of their plumbing system until they run into a problem. Without understanding your plumbing system, you could be causing serious harm without knowing it. Here are the top 10 plumbing myths about plumbing systems and plumbing contractors debunked!

1. It’s okay to put all foods down the garbage disposal.

False! Many foods are extremely harmful for your garbage disposal. Although garbage disposals may seem like they can handle anything because they are made of metal, they are actually fragile mechanisms that can break easily. Learning how to better take care of your garbage disposal means less clogs and a longer=lasting plumbing system. Cooking greases and oils should never be put down a garbage disposal because these can congeal and cause future clogs. Also, soft foods like pasta, potatoes, and vegetables are harmful for your garbage disposal because they can build up at the bottom and form a lumpy substance that keeps other foods from getting past. Coffee grinds and chicken bones should also never be put down the drain.

2. Citrus fruits are a great-smelling cleaner for my drains and garbage disposal.

False! Lemons, limes, and oranges are great in salads and smoothies but not on pipes and drains! The acidity of the citrus fruits corrodes and rusts the drains, quickly causing damage to the metal pipes running through your home. Avoid using citrus fruits in your drain and stick to vinegar and hot water instead.

3. Experiencing low water pressure for no reason is perfectly normal from time to time.

False! Random bouts of low water pressure could be a sign of a water leak. Low water pressure can be caused from water leaking from one part of your plumbing into another part of your house. If you experience low water pressure in conjunction with wet or warm spots, a high water bill, foundation cracks, or the sounds of water running when no one is running water, don’t hesitate to call a professional to check for a water leak.

4. Until you experience a clog or another “serious” problem, your plumbing system doesn’t need professional help.

False! Simply because you can’t see the work your plumbing system is doing day after day doesn’t mean it isn’t working hard. Without regular professional check-ups, a more serious problem could be developing in your home. Get your plumbing system looked at every six months to a year to make sure everything is in good working condition.

5. The best way to deal with clogs is by using chemical drain cleaner.

False! Chemical drain cleaners are not only bad for the environment, but they are full of caustic toxins that can corrode your pipes and cause permanent damage to your drains. What’s more, chemical drain cleaners are expensive and often ineffective. The best way to deal with clogs is by using a much more effective, safer, and eco-friendly alternative you can often find right in your kitchen pantry. Run hot (not boiling) water over the clogged drain, and if that doesn’t work, use vinegar and baking soda to loosen the clog. You can also try manually removing the clog with a plunger. If this doesn’t work, call a professional to help you with your clog.

6. Soap will make my pipes nice and shiny.

False! The foam from soap and water will actually do the opposite – over time, it can cause pipes to corrode, cloud, and peel. The best way to keep your pipes nice and shiny is by keeping them dry and cleaning them with professional stainless steel metal cleaner.

7. In-tank toilet cleaners take care of toilet cleaning so I don’t have to.

False! In-tank toilet cleaners only bleach toilets, keeping them nice and white, but you still need to clean them to keep bacteria at bay. The best method for killing bacteria is a simple combination of vinegar and a toilet brush. Clean your toilet at least once a week.

8. There’s nothing you can do to prevent a clog.

False! You can do plenty of things to prevent clogs. In bathrooms, clogs are most commonly caused by soap scum build up, hair, and grease. Avoid putting these items down the sink and regularly run hot water down the sink to cut down on build up and you should see a decrease in clogs.

9. All plumbing issues are easy to fix by myself.

True and false. Many plumbing problems are easy to fix, and using an at-home user manual or learning how to fix things at home is an empowering way to learn more about your plumbing system. However, your local plumber is happy to help you with more difficult issues. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Plumbing systems are complicated, and asking for help when you need it can save you from making a dire mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars. Plus, by asking your local plumbing expert, you can increase your knowledge so you know how to do it yourself next time.

10. All plumbers are created equal.

False! Make sure you research the plumber you call. Plumbers vary in expertise, quality, and more importantly, price! Make sure you call a plumber who has reliable reports and is trusted by others so your plumbing system doesn’t get left in worst condition than before.

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