Dangerous Plumbing Myths That Are Doing Your Pipes More Harm Than Good

May 24, 2021

As a homeowner and plumbing novice, it’s not surprising you’re adhering to so many plumbing myths. These age-old tales of the plumbing industry and the inner workings of household plumbing are often entirely believable. We don’t blame you for thinking the leaky tap in your bathroom is the least of your problems, or taking the ‘if it fits it flushes’ approach to your toilet. When you purchased your property, the truths and falsities surrounding the plumbing industry were probably the least of your concerns.

It’s likely now that you’re encountering some unexpected plumbing issues, or you’ve been on the phone one too many times with the emergency plumbers that you’re starting to question what are the truths and the lies.

ANorwich plumbers, we’re all too familiar with the dangers of widely believed plumping myths.

In this blog post, we’re busting the most common plumbing myths, so you can treat your pipes better, know what to flush, and have fewer phone calls with your favourite local plumbers.

Leaks Don’t Matter

Are you familiar with the phrase “flushing money down the drain”? Well, that’s essentially what a leak is. Every month you’re paying a water bill, and part of that water bill is leaking out your purse and slipping right down the drain. Rather than ignoring your leak, figure out where it’s coming from, see if you can fix it yourself, and if not, call a professional plumber. Not only will you be saving yourself money, but you’ll be saving the planet and not letting essential resources go to waste!

Fixing a leak isn’t solely a matter of money-saving or environmental conscience; it could also indicate a more substantial problem. Leaky taps might suggest a more significant pipe or water system problem. Resolving your leak as soon as possible will minimize the chances of another problem developing or can highlight an existing problem that’s gone unnoticed.

Hot Water Solves Blockages

The belief that hot water solves blockages is common among homeowners. If you have a blocked sink due to a build-up of grease, hot water will help resolve this problem, but only for a period. Hot water will initially melt the grease inside your pipes and flush it out. This solution is not permanent, as once this grease has melted and cooled off, it will begin to build again. Grease is a haven for small bits of food, hair, and other unwanted debris. These tiny pieces will attach themselves to the recently cooled grease, clogging your pipes again.  Hot water is only a momentary solution to a blocked sink, and frequently using this method will result in a larger and more significant blockage at a later date.

Chemical Unblockers and Plungers Can Work Together

When you encounter a blocked sink in your home, you’re going to frantically reach for any tool or chemical that promises to solve the issue. Plungers and chemical unblockers are the two most common methods of sink unblocking for the DIY plumber. Whilst these two methods can prove effective individually, together they are a recipe for disaster. If you’re going to embark on a DIY plumbing job in a bid to unblock your sink, you can not use a chemical drain cleaner and a plunger together. The suction of the plunger will drag the chemical cleaner back up the pipes, burning and eroding the inside of your pipes. Inevitably, this will lead to later problems as the chemicals will have burnt and damaged the inside of your pipes. Pick one or the other; using a plunger and chemical unblocker together is a dangerous and ineffective myth.

If It Fits, It Flushes

If it fits, the myth is confusing due to different countries having different rules for what can be flushed down the toilet. In the UK, we flush toilet roll down the toilet, whereas in European countries, they don’t do this.

As a basic rule of thumb, nothing besides toilet roll should be flushed down your toilet. We often encounter people flushing nappies, wipes and tampons down the toilet. None of these items is suitable for flushing. If flushed, these items will block your toilet and damage the plumbing system.

A common household occurrence is the removal of hair from surfaces or plug holes and flushing it down the toilet. By doing this, you’re simply moving one blockage to another location. The hair will no longer block your sink or shower drain, but it will block your toilet. You can’t flush hair or plastic and cotton-based products down the toilet. Instead of flushing these items, dispose of them in the bin.

If you’re reading this article, cringing at the fact you’ve done all of these things, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Although many people will hate to admit it, we’ve all been subject to plumbing myths at some point in our lives. As homeowners, we want to do the best for our homes, which is why learning these myths now will benefit you and your property in the long run.