True or False – 8 Plumbing Myths From Fischer Plumbing

When it comes to plumbing myths (think Mario the Plumber) there are many that are really more old wives tales than truth. And, if you don’t know what is what when you see a leak or hear a gurgling in your walls, you could be setting yourself up for trouble – and a very large repair bill.

Here are eight common plumbing myths:

1) Placing a brick in the back of your toilet bowl will save money.

Not so! Bricks belong on houses or sidewalks or pretty fireplaces, not in the toilet! This is a good way to break your flapper, causing you to have to flush twice, thus wasting water. Bricks have a tendency to crumble and deteriorate over time. Leave them out of your toilet tank to reduce water costs.

toilet tank

2) Bleach-containing toilet tablets will keep my toilet fresh.

Nope, because the heavy concentration of the bleach will destroy the inner workings of your toilet in about six months. OK to use bleach in a toilet bowl cleaner, but don’t let it sit in the toilet bowl for more than about eight minutes.  Squirt, swish, and flush is a better rule of thumb.

3) Water heaters are about to explode if you hear a loud gurgling, rumbling noise.

Probably not. Remain calm. What is probably happening is the sediment from hard water is being moved around inside your water heater near the burner on the bottom and it is causing loud noises, which is really air popping because it cannot rise to the top, due to the sentiment blocking the way. Best to have a plumber come out and drain and flush your water heater on a regular basis.

4) Lemon peels will make my sink smell good.

This is true, but we don’t recommend it unless you have a very powerful garbage disposal. We recommend a homemade mixture of vinegar and a bit of baking soda, completely dissolved, being poured down the drain to keep it fresh smelling.

baking soda and vinegar drain cleaner

5) Flushable wipes can be flushed down the toilet.

Wow – this is a tough one! They can be, but we do not encourage their use. They can cause major clogging issues. It is true they are more biodegradable than say a wet sock, but not much better. Flushable wipes have the potential to back up your entire system. Don’t waste your money.

6) A slow leaking faucet is not a problem.

FALSE! Anytime there is a dripping that won’t stop you are hiking up your water bill, wasting water, and causing wear and tear on your faucet and plumbing fixtures. If you can’t fix a leak yourself, call in a professional plumber and the reinforcements to tend to it. Don’t wait!

7) Using a plunger to unclog my sink is A-OK.

Not always, so use caution, especially if you have double sink. One sink may clear only to back up the other sink and splash-back from plunging can be very dangerous and cause irreversible skin damage or worse if you are using a commercial drain cleaner with chemicals.  NEVER plunge once, see the blockage clear and plunge again. Use a non-chemical cleaner first, and don’t assume your have fixed the problem. We highly recommend you do not put chemicals down your drain.

plunging a sink safely

8) It’s OK to put hot grease down the sink because it’s liquid.

Never, is what we say. Wipe out the grease with a paper towel and put it in the garbage can. Hot grease can coat your pipes, and when it dries it causes a real mess, like a burst pipe or worse.

Not sure what to do when water problems arise in your home? Call a trusted plumber.