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When it comes to your TX home in Benbrook, one wrong move could result in expensive repairs, so it’s crucial that you know how to prevent current and future disasters from happening. Thankfully, there are several ways that homes and businesses in Benbrook can prevent potential disasters from happening, by knowing which advice from a plumber is fact and which plumbing advice is merely fiction.
When your pipes, garbage disposals, water heaters, and plumbed in appliances are working fine 99% of the time, it’s easy to assume that you’re doing the right thing to maintain your plumbing. Unless a particular component needs some TLC because there’s a leak or lack of efficiency, most people rarely consider the side effects of things that they do day-to-day around the home. Even if you’re proficient at DIY and consider yourself quite handy, there’s no real substitute for repairs completed by a professional plumber.
Some believe that plumbing is easy and anyone can do it, while others believe that you should always leave work up to a professional plumber. While there are some issues that the average Joe can fix with a little know-how, skill, and luck, there are many issues that benefit from attention from a plumber by trade. Not only will it save you time figuring out how to resolve the problem, but it will also likely reduce the amount of stress associated with the fix and save you money as you’re not wasting time trying out solutions that are mythical fixes. If you don’t have a background in plumbing, it’s easy to get lost and confused as a lot of what you might know could be based on old myths that no longer ring true.
Issues like clogged sinks and slow drainage have many myths surrounding them, disguised as easy fixes, some of which you may have heard of before. However, it’s essential to know whether what you’re about to do to your plumbing system is okay or if you could potentially be making your situation much worse. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the most common myths surrounding home plumbing that you can use to your advantage.
Myth 1: Clear drains mean no clogs.
Even if the water is going down the drain effectively and there doesn’t seem to be a slow drainage issue, this doesn’t mean that there are no clogs in your entire plumbing system. Clogs can hide in garbage disposal systems as well as further down the pipes. If you’ve noticed that your dishwasher is taking longer to fill with rinse water, for example, this could be the result of a clog in the inlet pipe.
A common misconception is that if both your sink and shower are draining as you’d expect, then everything is fine. While on a day-to-day basis, this could be true, drainage can slow down over a long period, which means you may overlook the issue until it’s too late. Most people would like to think they’d notice a slow drainage issue right away and that a store-bought solution will clear the damage caused, but this isn’t always the case. If the clog is further down the line, you potentially won’t notice a clog until you’re experiencing more catastrophic symptoms like sewage backflow that definitely require a plumber’s attention.
Myth 2: Your garbage disposal is practically indestructible as long as water is running.
Many Benbrook, TX, homeowners, just like homeowners elsewhere, have grown up believing that almost anything can go through a garbage disposal unit, especially if there is water running at the same time to help with the flow of garbage. However, several items should never be put through garbage disposals, including the following:
- Banana peels
- Egg shells
- Food grease
- Coffee grounds
The truth is, garbage disposal blades aren’t made of indestructible metal such as titanium, and the blades do wear down and break if not treated correctly. Anything that isn’t food isn’t designed to be put through garbage disposal systems, and even thicker, heavier items such as fruit peels should be avoided where possible. Grease is another typical garbage disposal destroyer that has often caused plumber callouts.
Myth 3: Lemon is a great garbage disposal cleaner.
Contrary to what a lot of DIY blogs may tell you, lemon is not the best cleaner for your garbage disposal. Citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, and lime, have pleasant natural scents that many people appreciate. However, fruit peels are a less than ideal cleaner for your garbage disposal unit.
The bulky peels can be quite challenging for blades to cut down, resulting in premature dulling of the blade and replacements required by plumbers sooner rather than later. The acid from the fruit can also lead to corrosion if this method of garbage disposal maintenance is used regularly. Better garbage disposal maintenance methods include cleaning with warm, soapy water and scrubbing with a brush.
Myth 4: You don’t need to worry about leaking faucets.
Many homes have leaking faucets at one time or another, with many homeowners merely choosing to live with the small leak. Not only does this lead to an unnecessary hike in your water bill cost, but leaking faucets are a significant contributor to the gallons of water that’s wasted nationwide.
While we’re on the subject of leaking faucets, many people believe that all faucets drip eventually and that it’s never a sign of a larger plumbing issue. Your plumber can tell you that a leaking faucet isn’t always caused by simple wear and tear of faucet components. It can also indicate that your water pressure is calibrated incorrectly or that a faucet is coming loose.
A common belief about leaking faucets is that if you keep the faucet handle turned tightly, you can avoid leaks altogether. The idea behind this myth is that if the tap is closed as tightly as possible, there’s no way for water to escape. However, closing the handle tightly can cause damage to the faucet and, in extreme cases, causes damage to the pipes leading up to it as well. To get the best closure from your tap, simply close it firmly until there’s no water stream release. It doesn’t have to be closed as tightly as possible to prevent leaks.
Myth 5: Harsh chemicals are the best way to clear a blockage.
Some people believe that the best way to clear a clog involves using the harshest chemicals you can find. While these can remove a clog successfully, their strength also poses issues to your pipes and other fixtures. Harsh chemicals often aren’t fussy about what they eat away at, and while they eat away at the mixture that’s caused the clog, they can equally eat away at and cause damage to your pipes at the same time.
Using harsh chemicals can turn a clog from a minor headache to a major migraine, resulting in the need for a plumber to replace corroded pipes. Harsh chemicals can also wreak havoc if they escape into your home’s water supply. Ingestion of chemicals can cause health issues for you and your family, so if you’re even a little worried about what’s safe for drain cleaning, chat with a professional plumber who will be able to recommend a suitable product or service.
Myth 6: Displacing water in your toilet tank will save you money.
One of the oddest myths we’ve heard surrounding plumbing and how to save money on running costs is to displace water in your toilet tank using a brick. Unfortunately, placing a brick in the back of your toilet tank doesn’t work as suggested and likely won’t save you anything in the long run. While it reduces the amount of usable water in the tank, submerged bricks are not the safest money-saving method. Submerged bricks fall apart over time, and the smaller components can work their way elsewhere to cause untold damage that a plumber will be required to fix. Leaving an item in your toilet tank to displace water may also result in the need to flush more often, so it’s really not saving you any water.
Myth 7: It’s ok to pour hot grease through your kitchen plumbing.
One of the most common things a plumber hears about kitchen pipes is that residents thought they were built to handle hot grease. Many people are under the impression that used cooking oil is safe to pour down the kitchen sink drain if it’s still hot. If you’ve ever left a greasy pan to the side while you eat your meal and come back to it later and find a solidified, greasy mess, then you’re looking at precisely what you’ve left to solidify in your pipes on the occasions that you’ve poured it straight down the sink.
Contrary to popular belief, sliding hot grease down the drain and then rinsing through with water will not push the grease through your home’s plumbing and out of your realm of responsibility. Unfortunately, grease is excellent at sticking to the inside of pipes and attracts other residues. One of the most common causes of kitchen blockages that a plumber is regularly called out to fix results from regularly pouring old used cooking oil and food grease down the drain.
Myth 8: Plungers are the best fix for slow drainage after using liquid cleaners.
Many people are often hesitant to call for the attention of a plumber when there is slow kitchen or bathroom drainage because they believe that a plunger can solve the nightmare. If your bathroom sink is draining slowly, and you’ve already poured a drain cleaner down it to no avail, you might think the next step is to pull out your trusted plunger. This is a myth that can result in skin burns and other nasty side effects. If your clog hasn’t cleared with the use of a liquid cleaner, suctioning the toxic chemical solution back out of your drain is never a great idea.
Plungers could be used to try and clear clogs if no chemical cleaner was used. However, if no effects are seen after a few plunges, the best resort for slow drainage is to call for a plumber’s assistance if you’re not comfortable choosing and using a suitable chemical drain cleaner.
Myth 9: Sanitary products and flushable wipes are septic-safe.
Benbrook, TX, just like many other areas of Texas, often experiences issues with clogs caused by flushable wipes and sanitary products being incorrectly flushed. Despite manufacturers claiming that flushable wipes are septic-safe, the reality is that these can not only be responsible for local clogs but they also often cause major obstructions at lift stations and wastewater treatment plants. More than ever, your local plumber is dealing with unsafe products that have been flushed down the toilet or drain that have caused a clog because the product hasn’t fully disintegrated. They flush without a problem, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t generating a large scale issue further down.
Myth 10: Water pressure should fluctuate.
While there is an ideal range of 50-70 PSI when it comes to residential water pressure in Benbrook, TX, this doesn’t mean your water pressure should be fluctuating within this range. If you notice that your water pressure is fluctuating or has lowered significantly, a plumber should be called to determine the cause.
Low water pressure should not be seen as just an inconvenience. It’s often caused by leaking pipes, which naturally means you could be dealing with a much larger issue. If you can’t see a noticeable leak inside your home, it may be that water is traveling beneath your home and affecting its foundation layer and you may need a plumber to inspect for slab leaks.
If you’re unsure how to resolve any issues with your plumbing system, turn to the expert plumbers at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth. We serve Benbrook, TX, and the surrounding areas with 24/7 emergency plumbing services, as well as help all of our clients with day-to-day plumbing issues like slow drainage, leaky faucets, low water pressure, and more. Rest assured, our locally-owned and operated plumbing company has the expertise to rectify your plumbing errors quickly, so you don’t have to rely on any plumbing myths. Call us today to book an appointment and find out more about the correct course of action.