Plumbing Myths That Can Cost You Money
Our plumbing experts at J & A South Park know that it is easy to believe that certain tips and tricks will help you maintain the costs of plumbing within your home. These tips and tricks; however, are not always expert- approved and the results end up becoming more myth than certainty.
We corralled our best plumbing specialist with the goal of disproving some of these plumbing myths to help you elevate plumbing problems and costs in the future.
Though, none of these myth remedies should replace an actual expert’s evaluation, to truly guarantee the health of your plumbing fixtures, pipes, garbage disposals and sewer system in your home. If you have fallen prey to any of these false truths, J & A South Park’s plumbing gurus can help.
A Good Plunger is the Only Plumbing Tool You Need
Oh, the good ole, reliable plunger. It shamefully hides in the back of the closet waiting for it’s heroic entrance and celebrated plumbing victory of the final flush. This savior of a tool has plenty of reasons to be dubbed a plumber’s best friend; however, there are some plumbing jobs that the tried and true device is not the right tool for.
Plungers are meant to vacuum the clog out, which works perfectly for small, loose clogs like tissue paper. Or, perhaps the kitchen sink that your courteous and helpful house guest thought contained the garbage disposal. For more major blockages like extremely stubborn clogs, mineral buildup, or even clogs from invading tree roots, there are other tools much more suitable for the job.
A hand auger, also known as a plumber’s snake, is a tool that has a long flexible steel cable cord that is hand cranked to extend and retract. It is mostly used for tubs, showers and sink drains, and it works great for breaking up the bulk of the clog, and pushing it out through the pipe.
Or, a closet auger is like a hand auger but it is designed specifically for toilets and works with the same concept of the hand auger. These two tools are always in a plumber’s toolbox and may be better options than a plunger when it comes to those uncompromising clogs invading the plumbing structure within your home.
Although, being the responsible homeowner that we all strive to be, having a large tool collection doesn’t always mean our skills are up to par with that of a professional. Not all plumbing issues should be considered DYI. Some clogs just plain and simply need to be evaluated and mended by a licensed plumber.
J & A South Park plumbing specialists have seen just about all circumstances of clogs, plugs or overflows in our years of experience. And we can surely provide the proper treatment and cure for your home’s clogged drains and pipes.
If the Drain is Draining, Everything Is Working Correctly
Just because the water is going down, doesn’t necessarily mean smooth sailing for your home’s pipes. When you can tell that the drain is backed up, it is already too late. You have a big clog on your hands, but where did you go wrong?
Drains throughout your home’s sinks, tubs and showers need to be maintained regularly. Simple methods like flushing the drain out with hot water after each use, and getting a screen for the bathroom sinks and tub drains so your shedding luscious mane doesn’t back up the traps in your pipes, are both quick and easy fixes that will help exponentially.
If by chance, you haven’t been keeping up on your home’s drain maintenance and you have found yourself with a slow drain, an increasingly popular remedy is the vinegar and baking soda miracle worker.
All you will need is 1/2 cup each of baking soda, vinegar, salt and a few quarts of rapidly boiling water. Remove the drain cover if you have one, and pour the mix of baking soda and salt into the drain. Add the vinegar and allow the foaming action to work for 2-3 minutes. Carefully rinse the mix down the drain with a couple quarts of the boiling water. Allow the drain to be unused for 6-8 hours.
Maintaining the pipes will always be the easiest method of unclogging; however, for some homes, whether it is the structure of the home or the plague of home renovation gone wrong, clogged pipes are the inevitable. J & A South Park plumbing experts are here for all your drain’s maintenance needs, and structure evaluations.
Citrus Peels are Great Deodorizers
While this logic may be a good idea for the potpourri simmering on your stove, putting citrus peels down your garbage disposal’s sink is not such a great plan. The pieces of the peels will eventually end up trapped in the kitchen drain line and cause back-ups and possibly even worse odors. And if you didn’t take the time to cut the peels into small sections, the peels could jam and stall the motor.
Avoid having to deal with the hassle of unjamming the hand chopping machine by skipping the peel method altogether. Juicing the citrus, such as lemons, and using the juice down the drain is a better and more efficient solution for the odors. This method should be used sparingly because the citric acid tends to corrode metal parts over time.
If your disposal tends to get a lot of use and therefore requires a cleansing more often, baking soda and vinegar used as a drain cleaner is an eco-friendly way to loosen up any blockage that may be accumulating, as well as giving the disposal a fresh smell.
It is has been debated if ice actually sharpens the disposal blades, but ice is an inexpensive technique as well as an effective system for cleaning your garbage disposal, removing particles from the blades and breaking up any grease build-up which has accumulated. Freeze a mix of vinegar and water in ice cube trays and once a month run the cubes through the disposal, this will safely kill odor-causing bacteria.
Like all abrasive cleaning routines, less is more. Over doing the deodorizing within the pipes and parts of your disposal can eventually cause more harm than good to the machine. Using the garbage disposal sparingly and making sure that you are only putting small amounts of food down at a time, while diluting the waste thoroughly with a 4:1 ratio of water to food waste, will help maintain the cleanliness of the disposal and deodorizing won’t be a daily chore.
The Garbage Disposal is Superman
Your seemingly immortal, waste shredding power appliance, in reality cannot handle the damage of a speeding bullet, chicken wing bone, eggshell disaster. The garbage disposal super machine is a much more delicate appliance than we all tend to believe.
Although, we at J & A South Park understand that this undoubted belief stubbornly holds true until the moment the sink is backing up garbage like soup onto the kitchen floor. More obvious items such as fruit pits, which never should go down the disposal, are easier to guess. Food items that are seemly more inconspicuous can cause havoc on the disposal and its blades.
For example, it may be common to know that celery is made up of mostly water, 95% to be more accurate, and contain those cumbersome “strings”. These “strings, also known as collenchyma tissue (fun food fact) get tangled and jam the garbage disposal motor and can even block up the drains and traps.
Meanwhile, starchy foods like potato peels can create a thick paste and may cause the blades to stick and then overheat. Foods that fall under the “terrible idea” category when it comes to your garbage disposal are as the following; grease and oil, fibrous foods, citrus and starchy peels, bones, eggshells, coffee, rice, pasta and pits or seeds. Be gentle and nice to your disposal, he’s here to help, not save the day.
There is an Alligator in the Toilet
Okay, so maybe you’re not finding alligators in your toilet as your tormenting older sibling insisted would happen to the young, impressionable you.
Although, sorry to break it to you now that your fears have finally calmed, but it is possible for small creatures to find their way up into sewer pipes and into your home. It has been well documented that all around the world, creatures that don’t belong are finding themselves as uninvited guests to your lavatory. Frogs, snakes, lizards and even the occasional baby possum, depending on the part of the world you live in.
Rodents, such as rats however, are the most common toilet intruders no matter where you reside. They can sniff out the smell of food or sewer gas, get lost in the plumbing and find their way out through your porcelain throne. Their incredible flexibility allows them to fit through a hole the size of a quarter and their superb swimming ability gives them the super combination they need to make their way up a three-inch toilet drain pipes and into your home.
From the city streets to the lap of luxury, these creatures are finding it easier and easier to invade. Especially, if your city or town is still working on converting their combined sewer system, where the streets storm drains and the pipes from the toilets all run into the same piping system.
Rats rely on humans for their food; they do not hunt, but rather gather what we leave behind. Avoid sending food down your any of your drains, unless through a garbage disposal. A critter in your toilet seems like an absurd situation, but such is the case with many circumstances in this world until it happens to you or someone you know. Be proactive by calling your plumber before you must call an exterminator or animal control.
Plumbing Fixtures Require Little To No Maintenance
This plumbing myth is the most detrimental of all because homeowners who believe it to be true may have very serious plumbing problems in their home later on down the road.
Just because the water is finding its way down the drain and the toilet flushes each time these observations don’t necessarily mean the pipes are problem-free within the walls and beneath the ground. Your home’s plumbing pipes may be obstructed by chronic clogs, shifting home foundations or very often tree roots. Homeowners should also inspect their sewer cleanouts for obstructions every two to four years.
If the plumbing and sewer lines within your home are overlooked and neglected, you most likely will end up paying much more for costly repairs than you would for routine maintenance check-ups.
All Plumbers are the Same
Do all shoes fit the same? You wouldn’t wear your dress shoes to catch a work out at the gym so why would you trust just anyone to work on your plumbing? Plumbing is the infrastructure of your home, so much can go wrong if the job is not done right, and a lot of costly repairs can be avoided by using the appropriate professionals for the job. Call our plumbing experts at J & A South Park. Our 30 years of plumbing experience will get the job done right for you.