Plumbing Myths Debunked

Clogged drains and leaky taps are common headaches in most households. Surprisingly, a single dripping faucet can waste litres of water each year. Our blog post will bust popular plumbing myths and arm you with facts to tackle these issues effectively.

Keep reading; it’s time to set things straight!

Common Misconceptions in Plumbing

Delve into the murky waters of plumbing myths; from the misplaced trust in natural drain cleaners to the well-intentioned, misguided use of “flushable” products that promise no clogs or worries.

Our journey unblocks truths hidden beneath common household practices, debunking old wives’ tales that persist in homes worldwide.

Vinegar and Baking Soda Can Clear Drains

Mixing vinegar and baking soda has long been touted as a natural way to resolve drain clogs. This combination can cause a fizzing action that might help loosen minor blockages in your pipes.

However, it’s important to note that its effectiveness is limited mostly to small build-ups and may not work at all for more stubborn clogs. Over-relying on this method could lead you down the wrong pipe when dealing with major plumbing issues.

For significant obstructions or recurring problems, these kitchen staples fall short compared to professional techniques and tools like a plumber’s snake or high-pressure water jets.

Relying solely on vinegar and baking soda could eventually contribute to pipe damage because the materials do not completely remove the clog, leading to build-up over time. It’s wise to consider stronger alternatives or seek professional advice if you frequently battle drain blocks rather than reaching for these household ingredients every time your sink takes too long to empty.

“Flushable” Wipes Are Safe for Drains

Many people trust the label on wipes that says “flushable,” but this could lead to serious blockages in your home’s plumbing system. These wipes might disappear down the toilet, but unlike regular toilet paper, they don’t break apart easily.

They often get caught in pipes and over time can cause significant clogs that are difficult to clean without professional help.

Sewage systems also struggle with these so-called flushable wipes. Many municipal water treatment facilities report problems due to accumulations of wipes not designed to disintegrate like traditional toilet tissue.

For the health of your plumbing and the community’s sewage system, it is best to dispose of all types of wipes in a bin rather than flushing them away.

A Brick in the Toilet Tank Helps Save Water

Putting a brick in the toilet tank may seem like a clever way to cut down on water usage. This old trick is meant to take up space, leading to less water being used for each flush.

However, this can interfere with the toilet’s design, which needs a precise volume of water to flush efficiently. The brick could cause more harm than good by disrupting your toilet’s functionality and possibly leading to costly repairs.

Bricks can also deteriorate over time, potentially damaging flushing mechanisms or causing clogs as loose particles break away. Instead of relying on this outdated method, it’s wise to seek professional advice from plumbers who can recommend effective water-saving options that won’t damage your plumbing system.

Modern solutions such as low-flow toilets provide a better approach towards saving water without risking the integrity of your toilet’s performance or hiking up repair bills due to unintended damage.

Myths About Garbage Disposal

Dispelling the myths surrounding garbage disposals is crucial, as what you think aids functionality could actually lead to costly repairs. We’ll unpack the truth behind common household practices and why they may not be as beneficial for your disposal unit as you once believed.

Hot Water Can Safely Wash Grease Down the Drain

It’s a common belief that chasing grease down with hot water keeps your drains clear, but this is a dangerous myth. The truth is, even though hot water might melt fat temporarily, it cools quickly as it moves through your pipes.

As the temperature drops, the grease starts to solidify once more. This can lead to stubborn blockages in your plumbing system.

Keep in mind that using cold water when operating garbage disposals helps prevent grease from sticking to the pipes’ inner surfaces. Rather than relying on hot water, consider proper disposal methods for fats and oils to maintain efficient plumbing and avoid costly repairs due to clogs and buildup.

Cold water assists in keeping grease firm so it can be chopped up by garbage disposal blades and move safely through the drain without causing trouble later on.

Lemons Are Suitable for Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

Many people believe that grinding lemon peels in their garbage disposal unit will leave it sparkling clean and smelling fresh. This simply isn’t the case. Instead, while lemons can mask bad smells with a citrusy aroma, they don’t tackle the underlying issues causing those odours.

The temporary scent boost does little to address grime or food particles at your disposal.

Using lemons for cleaning also comes with risks; the citric acid they contain is harsh on the metal inside disposals, potentially leading to corrosion over time. A better alternative is tossing ice cubes into the grinder to help dislodge built-up food debris safely and maintain its condition without causing harm to your plumbing systems.

Always avoid myths and opt for effective maintenance solutions that protect your home appliances and ensure their longevity.

Misbeliefs About Water Heating

Busting water heating myths is crucial as misconceptions can lead to inefficiencies and unnecessary expenses. Uncover the truth about those alarming noises your boiler makes and why a dripping tap demands more attention than you might think.

Loud Noises From Your Water Heater Indicate Danger

If your water heater starts making a racket, it’s shouting for attention. Banging or rumbling sounds often signal sediment has built up on the tank’s bottom. This layer of minerals hardens and when hot water bubbles up through this rocky terrain, it creates a mini seismic event.

It’s vital to flush out the tank or check the heating elements before these noises lead to bigger problems.

Ignoring strange sounds from your appliance can be risky business. Loud pops or cracks might not mean an impending explosion, but they suggest something isn’t right inside that steel cylinder in your basement.

Regular checks by a qualified plumber can prevent minor issues from escalating into full-blown crises involving either serious repair work or even replacement of the entire unit due to corrosion and damage over time.

Acting swiftly could save you from inconvenience and costly water damage down the line.

A Leaky Faucet Isn’t a Significant Problem

Contrary to what many believe, a leaky faucet is more than just an annoying sound; it’s a signpost for water wastage and extra expense. Ignoring the constant drip-drip could cost you gallons of water over time, escalating your bills and straining your precious resources.

Immediate attention to fixing a dripping tap not only preserves water but also safeguards against further damage to pipes and fixtures.

The impact on your wallet extends beyond simple waste; small leaks often hint at potential pipe corrosion or wear that can balloon into bigger plumbing headaches down the road. Every drop adds up quickly, making maintenance essential for household efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Tackling that pesky faucet can help avoid unwanted surprises in utility costs and keep your home’s plumbing running smoothly without unnecessary loss of water.

A New Homeowner’s Guide to Plumbing Basics

Understanding the basics of plumbing is essential for every new homeowner. Get to know where your main water shut-off valve is located; this could save you from a flood if a pipe bursts.

It’s usually found in basements or on an exterior wall in warmer climates. Insulate your pipes to prevent them from freezing during cold snaps, especially those in unheated areas like garages and crawl spaces.

Familiarise yourself with the P-trap, which is the curved section under sinks that stops sewer gases from entering your home. Avoid using chemical drain cleaners as they can damage pipes over time; instead, invest in a plumbing snake for minor blockages.

Regular maintenance checks can help you spot household leaks early, saving on water waste and bills. Lastly, consider installing energy-efficient fixtures and appliances like tankless water heaters that provide hot water only when it’s needed – cutting down on energy consumption without compromising on comfort.


In wrapping up, it’s clear that myths can lead to costly mistakes in plumbing. Proper maintenance and factual knowledge ensure efficiency and prevent damage. Dismiss these tall tales and trust in professional advice for a smoothly running system.

Keep your plumbing healthy by following expert guidelines, not hearsay. Remember: good practices today save headaches tomorrow!

For a comprehensive understanding of plumbing essentials for your abode, peruse our New Homeowner’s Guide to Plumbing Basics.


1. Does putting a brick in your toilet cistern save water?

Putting a brick in the toilet cistern might seem like it saves water, but over time bricks can disintegrate and cause plumbing issues which isn’t efficient for water conservation or maintenance.

2. Can pouring grease down the sink lead to clogs?

Yes, pouring grease down the sink will solidify and create blockages, leading to serious grease clogs that disrupt your home’s plumbing efficiency.

3. Will insulation prevent my pipes from freezing?

Insulating pipes is an effective way to protect them from being frozen during cold weather, ensuring uninterrupted plumbing throughout your home.

4. Do toilets really flush in a different direction in the southern hemisphere?

The belief that toilets flush differently in the southern hemisphere is just a myth; toilets flush based on their design rather than environmental impact like hemispherical location.

5. Is it safe to use drain opener chemicals regularly for maintenance?

Overusing chemical drain openers for plumbing maintenance can damage your pipes over time; alternatives such as dielectric unions or compression fittings are safer options recommended by plumbers.

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