Are You Familiar With These Five Plumbing Myths?

Home remedies may work for the common cold or a stuffy nose, but it can get tricky when it comes to your home’s plumbing. Old family tips and techniques may not always agree with your home’s internal system. Not sure what tips are fact and which are fiction? Let us help you decipher the truth from the myth regarding your plumbing.

Myth #1:  Putting a lemon down the garbage disposal will get rid of lingering smells.

The tip of grinding a lemon rind may be an old family secret, but in fact could be harming your garbage disposal blades. Garbage disposals are not meant to handle entire lemons and could easily jam the motor.  In addition, the citric acid could corrode the metal components inside the disposal. This makes putting lemons, oranges and limes down your disposal potentially hazardous to your system. Compost them or toss them in the trash. As an alternative to freshen up and deodorize your disposal, try grinding ice cubes and white vinegar.

Myth #2:  Placing a brick on your toilet tank will help conserve water.

Possibly another old family remedy, as the myth has been around a long time. While in theory, it may sound good; the reality could be damage to your tank. Once the brick begins to deteriorate, it could damage parts of the toilet, ending up in costly repairs.

Myth # 3:  Liquid drain cleaner dissolve solids.

Although potent, liquid drain cleaners cannot dissolve solids. Liquid drain cleaners should never be your first option. Instead, head for the handy plunger. Believe it or not, plungers are meant for more than just your toilet bowl. Bathtub drains and multi-basin sinks are also prepared to be taken on by a plunger. In fact, we never recommend liquid drain cleaners as a line of attack. These chemicals are harmful to you and your home. Since the chemicals are corrosive, they could cause damage to your pipes or appliances. Always use caution should you handle liquid drain cleaner.

Myth #4:  My water heater could never explode.

Well, actually, it could! Your water heater will give you clear signs of when maintenance is required, and be sure to pay attention. When sediment begins to build up at the bottom of your water heater, you may hear a low rumbling noise. No need to panic…just yet. What you will hear are the sediments creating gases that rise and make noise when bubbling to the top of the tank. It may be time to get a professional involved. The team at Linthicum Plumbers can evaluate your water heater and assist you if a replacement is needed.

Myth #5:  Water drains clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

Surprised? Contrary to popular belief, water does not drain in the opposite direction in South America. The Coriolis force (caused by the Earth's rotation) has very little impact on the direction of water in your toilet bowl. The drainage of water actually depends upon the structure of the plumbing itself.

While lemons help make great tea for a sick day, they definitely don’t fix an ailing garbage disposal. Do not be so sure to rely on Google or handy You-Tubers with a quick fix. Be sure to consult a professional, like Linthicum Plumbing, when it comes to a system as important as your plumbing.