Oftentimes when homeowners are looking for quick, DIY or affordable plumbing solutions and convenient cleaning methods, they come across advertisements, tips or advice that are not only untrue but can actually be harmful towards your plumbing system. These quick hacks or myths can cause severe problems down the line which will ultimately cost you more to fix or completely destroy certain fixtures all together. Here’s a few of these untrue statements or bad advice you should definitely avoid.
“Placing a heavy object in the toilet tank helps save water.”
FALSE. This in fact does the opposite. Though placing a weight in your toilet tank initially causes your tank to fill up with less water, this means that your flush has less force. This in turn means you’ll either be flushing twice, because the first one won’t be complete or flushed waste will get stuck and buildup in your pipes instead of making it to the sewer line, causing a clog. If your toilet trap does not fill up with enough water, this could also lead to sewer gasses passing into your home through your toilet.
Often you’ll find it’s suggested that this heavy object could be something like a brick. This can be pretty dangerous because a brick that sits in water will begin to deteriorate or crumble and release harmful particles into your toilet that can cause corrosion or destroy your toilet’s mechanism.
“Placing bleach tablets in my toilet tank is a safe cleaning method.”
FALSE. Using bleach for cleaning purposes in your toilet bowl is one thing, however, leaving heavy concentration of the bleach in the form of tablets in your toilet’s tank will destroy the inner workings of your toilet in the long run.
Bleach is a chemical that deteriorates weaker materials – like the little rubber seal in your tank that prevents water leaks. Bleach will also cause the bolts in your toilet tank to rust meaning this handy cleaning method could cause you to have to replace your toilet within the next six months.
“Flushable wipes are safe to flush.”
FALSE. Though it’s understandable that you’d expect something labeled as “flushable” to be…well – flushable, this unfortunately is not always the case. These products are in fact a common cause of toilet blockages. Cleansing and baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, disposable toilet brushes or gloves, cotton swabs, dental floss, kitty litter and definitely paper towels, are all items that should not be flushed down a toilet. Even if something looks flushable, read the label for any special disposal instructions or throw it in the garbage bin.
“All plumbers are created equally.”
FALSE. When you’re faced with a plumbing problem or emergency, you want the piece of mind you are getting quality service at a fair and reasonable price with no unnecessary hiccups down the line due to poor workmanship. Unfortunately not everyone who introduces themselves as a plumber has the actual experience and knowledge needed to get a job done.
When deciding which plumbing professional to hire there are a few questions you should ask:
Are they licensed?
Can they provide proof of insurance?
Are they clearly communicating with me about my problem?
Are they available?
To read more about how to choose the best plumbing company in Orange County, California, read our guide here.
“Hydro Jetting damages your pipes.”
FALSE. Hydro Jetting is the number one recommended method for drain cleaning. When performed properly by an experienced professional, Hydro Jetting is a cost-effective, trenchless and long lasting solution to your drain needs. In fact, it is recommended to that you make hydro jet drain cleaning a regular part of your plumbing maintenance.
The only time Hydro Jetting can cause harm to your pipes is if your plumbing system is very old and your pipes have weak spots. An experienced plumber will have the equipment necessary to inspect your drain prior to starting work and then adjusting to your property’s needs.
The internet is full of false or misleading information that can cause unnecessary and costly problems. While some of this advice may come with good intention it’s a good idea to do full research and get the facts before applying these methods in your home.