Have you ever heard the saying “Word of mouth – it’s more powerful, more convincing, and more audible than word of hand”? Essentially, this means that what people hear from others makes more of an impression than any other form of information. Unfortunately, this is true whether the word of mouth information is true or not, and that is how rumors are spread.
The plumbing system in your home is complex, expensive, and necessary. While most homeowners are not professional plumbers, it is common to want to save some money and take on some plumbing repairs on their own. Often this will lead to asking a friend or neighbor for advice and the rumor mill is open.
Here are some common plumbing myths:
Use liquid drain cleaner. This is probably the most prevalent myth out there and is supported by product marketing. In reality, liquid drain cleaner does not dissolve solids. The first thing that you should do if you have a clogged drain is take the plunger to it. Whether it is the kitchen, bathtub, or laundry drain, the plunger will work on all of them. Liquid drain cleaners are highly caustic and will eat away at your pipes if used often enough. This will eventually cause the pipes to become weak and possibly crack and leak. If you have used liquid drain cleaner and it didn’t work, be sure to tell the plumber when he or she comes to fix your clog so they can put on the proper protective gear.
A noisy water heater means it’s going to explode. Most people don’t interact with their water heater at all other than to use the hot water it provides. So, when it starts to make any kind of a noise, it is normal to assume that something horrible and expensive is about to happen. Not always true. Typically, a noisy hot water heater is caused by sediment that has built up on the bottom of the tank. This sediment lets off gases that will rise up in the water and make a bubbling noise. While this could be a sign that it is time to flush the tank, it is unlikely that you tank is about to explode
A brick in the toilet tank. This myth is one people are eager to believe because it claims that you will save money on water usage if you add a brick to the tank of your toilet. While the concept is pretty great, in reality bricks breakdown over time and the sediment that is released could damage the components of your toilet.
A well-meaning, seemingly innocent plumbing rumor could cause your plumbing system more harm than good. Make sure to check with your plumber before implementing these or any other plumbing advice from friends.