Top 3 Plumbing Myths... Debunked!
Hi there! This week, we’re going to look at a few common plumbing myths that plague the minds of unsuspecting homeowners – and hopefully save you some money in the process! Some of you may have heard us talking about these things before, but these issues have been popping up quite a bit recently, so it looks like we need to go over them again!
1. Coffee Grounds
I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had my head under your kitchen sinks trying to clear the drain and found the remnants of coffee grounds. This usually results in the homeowner telling the story of how their mother said that they should pour them down the sink because it will help clear the grease. Well, your mother was wrong, and you can tell her I said that!
Pouring coffee grounds down the sink is a recipe for disaster. Rather than clearing grease, the coffee grounds become stuck to it. In turn, this greatly increases the surface area for more grease to catch on to and build up in the drain. Go through this cycle a few times and you’re calling the plumber! Note – this call usually happens on Christmas morning as you’re trying to prepare dinner for 12. So, the next time your mother tells you something like this, have her call me directly (or send her the bill 😉).
2. Flushable Wipes
The most common myth is that those “flushable” baby wipes we all seem to love are indeed flushable. As someone who deals with his fair share of sewer blockages, I can guarantee you that I’ve not come across a flushable wipe yet! The issue with these wipes is that they don’t break down in the same way as toilet paper. While this inevitably causes major issues for the municipal waste water filtration systems, it also causes issues for the homeowner as well.
Here’s what happens: when you flush a “flushable” wipe, it makes it’s way down drain in the same way toilet paper would. Then all of a sudden, it catches on an imperfection in the pipe. This imperfection could be a small crack or snag, a joint edge that wasn’t properly “cleaned” of debris after cutting, or some otherwise harmless roots that have made their way into the pipes. If you were using toilet paper, this wouldn’t be such a big issue, as it would break down and disintegrate as more water flowed past it. If you’ve used a wipe, now you’re in trouble! As you flush more and more wipes, they will build up, until you find yourself with a toilet that won’t flush or a flooded basement! Neither are situations that you’d want to find yourself in, so avoid those “flushable” wipes!
3. Commercial Drain Cleaners
I know you’ve heard us say this a thousand times, but products like Draino are NOT good for your plumbing system. Not only do these acidic or caustic cleaners potentially cause much bigger issues than your blocked sink (think opening walls to redo portions of your drains after it eats through the pipe), but they really don’t work as well as advertised, and often react with things like grease to solidify the blockage and make it worse!
If you’ve tried products like Draino and notice that your sinks are becoming slower and slower, please CALL THE PLUMBER! I promise you that the issue isn’t going to resolve itself, so putting it off will only do more harm than good. When it comes to your drains, it is best to think of them in terms of maintenance rather than repair.
Thank you for reading! I hope you learned something new today and as always, please feel free to contact us if you do need help!