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If you are like most people, you are trying to save money this year. With how unpredictable things are right now, the last thing you need right now is an unexpected expense. However, you may be unwittingly causing an issue that will result in an emergency plumber visit in Azle, TX. Believe it or not, your everyday activities may be leading to a massive plumbing issue. The good news is that you can prevent a lot of plumbing issues if you simply know better.
At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing we strongly believe in “Know better, do better.” With that in mind, here are some of the top plumbing myths you need to know about. Learn the truth about these myths, and then tell everyone in your home so that a plumber is not your next phone call.
Flushable Wipes Are Safe
If there is one thing you take away from this post, do not use flushable wipes. These wipes are marketed as safe for use, but any Azle, TX plumber will tell you they absolutely should not go down the toilet. The truth of the matter is that there is no regulation regarding toilet paper packaging. So companies can claim anything is flushable without any repercussions. In truth, flushable wipes are the leading cause of drain blockages in the US. This is not surprising since if you really look at flushable wipes, they do not look like they should be flushed.
The truth is that nothing should be flushed that will not instantly dissolve in the water, and flushable wipes certainly fall into this category. Toilet paper is designed to be very thin so that it can quickly break down as soon as it hits the water. Flushable wipes do not. While they will dissolve over time, they don’t dissolve fast enough to clear your lines. Instead, the debris from the wipes tends to cling to your pipes and build up slowly over time until your toilet is backed up or your main sewer line. At this point, you will need an emergency plumber and possibly a water damage expert.
It should go without saying that flushable wipes are especially not meant for homes with a septic tank. If you want to ruin your septic tank and replace it long before its lifetime is over, continue to flush wipes down the toilet. Flushable wipes are kryptonite for septic tanks. If you must use flushable wipes, keep a separate wastebasket nearby and collect them in it instead of your toilet bowl. A diaper genie can even be used solely for this purpose. Just whatever you do, don’t flush them down your toilet unless you want a visit from a professional.
You Can Flush Bleach Tablets Down the Toilet
Many people think that because you can place flushable tablets in the toilet to help with odor and staining, it is safe to flush bleach tablets down the toilet. The truth is bleach should never be left to sit in your toilet. If you have to use bleach to clean your toilet make sure to clean up the bleach within ten minutes of its use. The longer you let the bleach sit inside of your toilet the higher the chances that it will start to eat away at the inner mechanisms of the toilet.
Bleach is highly corrosive, and it won’t stop at just eating the dirt and grime that is in your toilet bowl. You don’t want to be calling a plumber because of a broken toilet, so save yourself some money and skip the bleach. If you must place a tablet in your toilet to help with odor, choose a bleach-free type.
Ice Cubes Are Good for Your Garbage Disposal
It is unclear where this myth got its start, but somewhere along the line, the internet decided that ice cubes were good for garbage disposals. Nothing can actually be farther than the truth. There is no scientific reason why ice cubes would help sharpen the blades of a garbage disposal because your garbage disposal does not have blades. Instead, a garbage disposal relies on impellers which resemble two grooved teeth. While the ice cubes may clean the impellers, they will not sharpen them in any shape or form. If you put too much ice in at once, they may actually bend your impellers or jam the system. While you can wait for the ice to melt, a bent impeller will mean a call to an Azle, TX plumber so do yourself a favor and skip the ice.
A Rumbling Water Heater Means It Will Blow Up
While there is a small chance that a noisy water heater means it is going to explode, it is more likely that the water heater simply needs some repair from a trained plumber. Usually, when a water heater starts to make rumbling noises this is a sign that the sediment on the bottom of the tank is starting to build up. AS a result, the heat is having a hard time working its way up through the water creating a large amount of pressure. In theory, the tank could blow up, but it is more likely that the high levels of pressure will cause a fracture or crack, and water will start to leak out.
Of course, while a crack is more favorable than an explosion, you will still need to deal with no hot water and flood damage so you don’t really want to wait until this happens either. If your water heater is making noise you need to call a plumber to come to look at it sooner instead of later. A plumber can drain your tank and flush it out to remove the sediment so that the water can flow better. It is recommended that a professional inspect and clean your tank at least every one to two years if you want your hot water tank to reach its full lifespan.
In addition, if your water tank is burdened down by sediment it will not be working very efficiently. This means that you will be paying a lot more in energy bills each month than you need to be. If your tank is over ten years old and making a large amount of noise it may be time to consider replacing it. It’s always better to replace your water tank on your own terms instead of waiting for it to flood your basement and become an emergency. Plus, when you proactive replace it with a plumber the bill will be much less.
Adding Boiling Water to Grease Makes It Safe to Flush Down the Sink
Grease should never go down the sink. There is absolutely no way that it is ever safe for your plumbing system to flush grease down the sink. That said, there is a rumor out there that if you mix boiling water with grease it is safe to drain it down the sink. The principle behind this is the boiling water keeps the grease from hardening up, and therefore it is safe.
The flaw in this logic is that the boiling water only keeps the grease from hardening while it is in your sight. The boiling water will quickly cool as it flows through your piping system. Which, as you might guess allows the grease plenty of time to sit up. Grease will also adhere to the sides of your plumbing or jump onto partial blockages whether it is hardened or still in semi-liquid form. Therefore, the hot water does nothing to help the situation. Grease is one of the number one reasons why kitchen sinks fail. If you don’t want to call a plumber on Christmas morning, make it a habit to always dispose of grease safely.
A lot of plumbers recommend keeping an old container like a used butter tub nearby to drain grease into. Once the grease hardens you can simply toss it in the trash can, which is a much safer way to dispose of it.
There Is No Harm in Leaky Faucets
A lot of people will claim that a leaky faucet has been that way forever, so there is no reason to worry about it or call a plumber. Understandably, this seems like an easy way to deal with a problem that isn’t causing any immediate concerns. After all, you don’t have to worry about a blockage, overflowing, or the faucet not working so there is no reason to call a professional.
It would be nice if this were true, but in most cases, it is not. The average leaky faucet will leak about 10,000 liters a year. Not sure if that is a big deal? Well, that is equivalent to about 270 loads of laundry. That is a lot of water, and you are paying for all of it on your water bill. In most cases, you will spend much more paying for the wasted water than you would if you just called an Azle, TX plumber to deal with the problem. In fact, the EPA estimates that fixing one leaky faucet will save you as much as 10% on your water bill.
Plus, there is a global water shortage, so wasting water on a leaky faucet is just plain irresponsible. A quick call to a professional is all it takes to solve the problem, and then you won’t have to listen to annoying dripping noises anymore as a bonus.
You Can DIY Most Plumbing Jobs
We know everyone wants to save money, so it’s not a surprise that a lot of people attempt to fix their plumbing on their own. The problem with this is that your home plumbing system is much more intricate than you think. As Azle, TX plumbers, we can attest to how much more expensive most people make repairs by attempting to do them on their own first.
Simple jobs that could be completed within an hour by a plumber become all-day affairs once a homeowner attempts them on their own. By the time a professional is called in to assist they have to clean up the mess that the homeowner made and then attempt to actually fix the problem. It is better to call a professional before more problems occur. To that note, make sure you are calling a qualified plumber when you need help with your plumbing system. A handyman will not have the same training as a certified and licensed plumber.
A Brick in the Toilet Tank Saves Water
A lot of people believe that you can save a great deal of water by placing a brick in the back of the toilet tank. At surface value, this may seem to be true. The brick takes up space so therefore less water is consumed with every flush.
Unfortunately, it’s not true. Fixing a running toilet or using a water-saver is a much better way to reduce the amount you spend on the water. While placing a brick in the tank does not really reduce your water usage, it also can interrupt water flow and actually make each flush worse than it was before. Plus, over time the brick can start to break apart and dissolve which can potentially damage parts of your toilet. That same brick may end up costing you a toilet, which will cost much more than any money you could have helped to save.
If you have been the victim of one of these plumbing myths and find yourself in a situation, give Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth a call. Our trained Azle, TX plumbers will be happy to come out to your home and save you from a plumbing disaster.