We are all familiar with the laughable childhood game “telephone” in which one person starts out whispering a funny sentence or limerick to the person adjacent to them. As the sentence is retold again and again, it tends to take on a new, distorted meaning, ending up far from its original format. Even in adulthood, this is how rumors tend to develop and spread. The same is true of for plumbing myths. There is truly no telling where some of the misinformation out there comes from, but we are here to set the record straight.
To kick us off, no, plumber Thomas Crapper is not responsible for the invention of the modern toilet. He did, however, improve upon it functionality. Additionally, the company he created, Thomas Crapper & Co, owned the world’s first toilet, bath and sink showroom. Now that we have a bit of trivia out of the way, let’s move on.
You’ve probably heard that the best thing for a foul smelling garbage disposal is a healthy dose of fresh lemon, lime or other citrus fruit. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. You may enjoy a pleasant scent momentarily—but it could cost you the functionality of your garbage disposal in the long run. While a garbage disposal is able to completely obliterate citrus fruit, it certainly does not mean these are good for the unit. In fact, the strong acidity in these fruits are capable of rusting the drain mechanism and, in time, corroding the entire unit. Furthermore, citrus fruit is a food—and foods rot. What may smell appetizing for a few short minutes will end up further perpetuating the aroma problem. So what is the solution? Easy! Mix up some inexpensive white vinegar and hot water. This should kill anything in the disposal giving off an unpleasant odor. It’s also worth mentioning here that ice cubes in no way sharpen garbage disposal blades. (Where do these things come from?!)
You may also have heard that flushable wipes are perfectly safe for toilets. Think again! These “disposable” wipes are the culprit behind a myriad of toilet backups each and every year. The wipes aren’t truly paper, so they are unable to fully biodegrade like toilet paper.
Another crazy rumor out there is that your water heater has the ability to spontaneously explode. Sure, sometimes you may hear a low grumbling or slight banging noise coming from it, but the truth is that’s just sediment collected in the tank working its way through the mechanism to the heating element. Rest assured that noise is not an indication of impending doom. That said, if your water heater is more than 15 years old it may be time for a new one. In newer models you can flush out those sediments.
One final thought. Perhaps you may be one of many out there who believe a leaky faucet is nothing to worry about. Wait! Stop for a moment and think about this—you’re paying for water you are not using. Even if your faucet is only wasting a few drops each minute, you are quite literally throwing money down the drain. Get this issue taken care of right away!
If you have any questions or have any plumbing problems, be sure to give us a call. Robinson Plumbing can assist you with any plumbing questions that you might have as well as address any of your plumbing needs. Robinson Plumbing is a local, family owned company that is known for trusted, quality service.