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Over time, and as plumbing systems have evolved, information has been spread that isn’t totally true. In fact, there are many “facts” that are just downright wrong and are actually making your plumbing system work less efficiently.

Here are some common misconceptions that should be disregarded moving forward.

Myth 1: It’s Safe to Use Common Drain Cleaners

Most store-bought drain cleaners should be avoided at all costs. These drain cleaners can speed up corrosion on your sewer pipes and even damage a septic tank. 

If you have a blockage – no matter the size or location, it’s always best to let one of our professionals take care of it for you and skip all those DIY videos. ABC Plumbing offers warranties and can diagnose the problem at hand. 

Myth 2: Flushable Wipes Break Down Easily

We regret to inform you that flushable wipes aren’t really flushable. Even though they may say that they are safe for sewer and septic applications, these products are not actually safe for your system. They may flush – out of sight, out of mind – but they don’t go very far. These ‘flushable’ wipes are often responsible for major clogs and most companies will not warranty a drain cleaning when they become the problem.

If you still want to use them, dispose of them in the trash instead. This will help save your pipes and prevent potential blockages. 

Myth 3: Ice Can Help Your Garbage Disposal

There’s a popular myth on the market that putting ice in your garbage disposal can help sharpen the blades when you run it. Busted. — Disposals don’t use sharp blades to do their job, but rather features called impellers.

The garbage disposal uses force to send debris to the outer edges away from the center, where the impeller edges will grind it up into smaller pieces for easy draining. This is really more of a result of force than sharp edges. If an impeller isn’t breaking anything down, then it’s best to have a professional plumber inspect the real issue, as it may be time for a replacement or repair.

Note: Ice cubes are not actually bad for your disposal, they just do not sharpen blades…any blades. However, you can use them to help clean your disposal. The cubes will knock debris off the insides to be rinsed away. This helps eliminate using and commercial cleaners and is better for the environment. 

Myth 4: In-tank Toilet Bowl Cleaners Are Safe

Lots of people depend on in-tank toilet bowl cleaners to keep their toilets clean. However, keeping these products in the tank is not a good idea. They usually contain chlorine and other harsh cleaners. They soak into the gaskets, causing them to break down and deteriorate.

They can also lead to corrosion in your pipes, causing leaks and a whole host of other problems. Not to mention if you have four legged family members who forget where their dog bowl may be, this could cause some major health conditions for them.

Myth 5: Garbage Disposals Can Handle Just About Anything

Your garbage disposal isn’t meant to break down everything that’s edible such as stringy fibrous foods like fruits and vegetables can easily clog your garbage disposal. Non-food items, such as glass, metal, and plastic, are a strict NO. Let’s not even think about that!

Stick to soft, organic matter in your garbage disposal and make sure to clean it often in order to prevent clogs.

Pro Tip: After using your sink or disposal, allow water to run for an extra moment to clean out the piping directly beneath your sink, called a p-trap, to prevent blockages and pesky odors!

Myth 6: Showering Uses Less Water Than Taking a Bath

This is less of a myth and more of a general fact. Water usage will depend on a few things, like the size of your tub, your shower head’s GPM (gallons per minute) rating, and how long you shower.

To know for sure, you can see how much water fills up your tub, then compare it with how many gallons of water are used when you take a shower. Just multiply the GPM by the time you usually take to shower

If you’re into water conservation (or just like to keep more of your hard-earned dollars), consider making a smart investment in any of these:

  • Shower timer
  • Tankless water heater
  • Water pressure regulator
  • Low-flow fixtures and toilets