Plumbing Facts

Plumbing Fact or Fiction

Let me be one of the first to say that there are a lot of plumbing misconceptions out there, and trust me, we’ve heard them all.  I think my all time favorite is that it’s okay to put a diaper in the toilet because they are biodegradeable and will break down in the pipe without causing a clog….please don’t try this because, I can assure you, it’s not true.  With all of the misconceptions out there, we wanted to share with you some of the ones that we tend to hear on a daily basis as well as a few that come in from left field.

Fact or Fiction:  Liquid drain cleaner can unclog your sink.

FICTION: When you have a clog in your sink, it’s usually going to be caused by the buildup of food material if it’s in the kitchen or a buildup of residues left behind from soap, makeup, hair, etc. in your bathroom sinks.  Any kind of liquid drain cleaner is not a permanent fix for your clogged sinks as they can’t dissolve solid materials.  Additionally, overuse of liquid drain cleaners can lead to deterioration of your pipes due to some of the chemicals found in them.

Fact or Fiction: Approximately 157 gallons of water are wasted per year due to a slow leak of 3 drops per minute.

FACT:  According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), household water leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water per year nationwide.  To put that into perspective, this amount is equal to the amount of water in about 40 million swimming pools. To put this in a different perspective, 1 trillion gallons of water is the amount of water in Florida’s huge Lake Okeechobee (with a surface area of 669 square miles) which is a lot! When drips occur, they not only cost you money in extra water usage, but they can take a toll on your plumbing fixtures as well.

Fact or Fiction: Flushable wipes or feminine products are okay to flush down the toilet.

FICTION: Flushable wipes, or feminine products, are the absolute LAST thing(s) you want to flush down your toilet.  Often times, the wipes, or products, are the culprits of clogged toilets and drains.  Going back to my opening story – please, don’t flush diapers down the toilet either.

Fact or Fiction: A small animal, or snake, can crawl (or slither) up a pipe and into a toilet bowl.

FACT:  I’m sure that we have all heard the viral story of the python in Australia that bit a woman using the toilet.  While we don’t have pythons roaming around McKinney (unless there’s something I don’t know about), we do have grass snakes and other critters that can come up pipes and take residence in our homes.  How does this happen?  Well, a typical home has many pipes that run from your sewer to the roof of your home where sewer gases are vented out.  These pipes also connect to your homes’ drain system which empties water into your toilet.  While it’s not a common occurrence (thank goodness), it’s possibly for a snake or critter to make their way into your home by going through the sewer line and into your toilet.

Fact or Fiction: Using toilet bowl tablets that have bleach in them will keep the toilet clean.

FICTION: Just like with liquid drain cleaners, these types of tablets can harm your toilet bowel due to the chemicals in them.  With prolonged use, the tablet can potentially ruin certain parts of your toilet within 6 months.  If you need to use bleach to clean your toilet, that’s okay.  Just be sure to not let it soak for longer than 10 minutes and make sure you flush it thoroughly after to prevent any future damage.

We hope that you enjoyed these fact or fiction misconceptions.  If you have any plumbing misconceptions that we need to hear, we’d love for you to share them with us!  You can reach out to use via email or on Facebook and Twitter!