10 Common Plumbing Myths Debunked by Premier Plumbing Experts

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The world of plumbing is filled with tales and myths. Some of these are half-truths, while others are completely off the mark. Fortunately, for residents of Toronto, Scarborough, and the greater Toronto areas, Premier Plumbing is here to set the record straight. With over 15 years of plumbing experience, our team of fully licensed and insured experts is well-equipped to debunk some of these myths. We offer services ranging from general plumbing and installation to specialized areas such as backflow valves, heating and gas, and even snow melt systems.

So, let’s dive in and clear up some common misconceptions:

  1. Lemons Clean Your Garbage Disposal: 

This is a popular one. While lemons can leave your disposal smelling fresh, they don’t actually clean it. Over time, citric acid can corrode the metal. Instead, use a mixture of soap and water to clean your disposal. This old wives’ tale is only half true. Let’s break it down:

Aroma Booster: Yes, lemons are great for neutralizing odors. If your kitchen sink has started smelling a tad off, a lemon can certainly help mask the smell. The citrusy freshness can give your kitchen a pleasant, fleeting fragrance.

Cleaning Agent?: However, when it comes to genuinely cleaning the disposal, lemons fall short. The small pieces of lemon might clear away some minor debris, but they won’t give your disposal the deep clean it often needs.

Corrosive Over Time: Here’s where the real concern lies. Lemons are acidic. Regularly using them as a cleaning hack might seem efficient, but the citric acid can slowly corrode the metal components of your disposal. Over time, this can lead to decreased efficiency of the unit or even malfunctions.

Better Alternatives: For a thorough cleaning of your garbage disposal, it’s advisable to use a combination of mild dish soap and water. Turn on the disposal, add the soap, and then pour in the water. This method is not only effective in getting rid of gunk but also ensures the longevity of your unit. For persistent odors, consider using baking soda and vinegar – both are natural and won’t harm your disposal.

  1. Running Water Helps Grease Go Down the Drain: 

It’s a common practice in many households: after frying up a batch of crispy bacon or searing a steak, the leftover grease in the pan is washed down the sink with a generous flow of water. The belief? That the running water will help guide the grease smoothly down the drain, preventing any clogging. While it may seem to work in the short term, here’s why this is a problematic habit:

The Nature of Grease: Grease, by its very nature, is a fatty substance. When exposed to cooler temperatures, it solidifies. In the case of your drain, once the hot grease cools down, it begins to harden, sticking to the walls of your pipes.

Water Isn’t a Magic Solution: While it might appear that running water helps disperse the grease, it merely pushes it further down into the pipe system. Over time, this grease will accumulate, leading to potential blockages. The process is similar to how our arteries can get clogged by cholesterol – and just as our arteries don’t need that kind of blockage, neither do our pipes!

Environmental Impact: It’s not just your pipes that are at risk. Once the grease makes its way down your drain, it enters the local sewage system. Large quantities of grease can cause blockages in the main sewer lines, leading to overflows and potential environmental hazards.

A Better Way to Dispose of Grease: Rather than pouring it down the sink, allow the grease to cool and solidify in the pan or another container. Once solidified, scrape it into a compostable bin or your regular trash. If you’re keen on recycling, some localities have facilities that collect and recycle kitchen grease.

Already Made the Mistake? If you suspect that grease has already built up in your pipes, it’s essential to address it sooner than later. Premier Plumbing, with its expertise in the Toronto and Scarborough regions, offers drain cleaning services to ensure your pipes remain clear and functional.

  1. All Plumbers Are the Same: 

The misconception that “all plumbers are the same” is as misleading as saying all chefs cook the same way or all artists create identical artwork. While the foundation of the job might be consistent — fixing leaks, installing appliances, and clearing drains — there’s so much more that differentiates one plumber or plumbing company from another. Premier Plumbing stands as a testament to this myth. Our 15+ years of experience in the greater Toronto area and wide array of services ensure that we’re a cut above the rest. 

Experience Matters: Premier Plumbing isn’t just another name in the list of plumbers in Toronto and Scarborough. With over 15 years of dedicated service, our experience has granted us insights into the unique challenges of plumbing in the greater Toronto area. Whether it’s understanding the age-old pipe systems in heritage buildings or installing the latest in smart home plumbing tech, experience makes a significant difference.

Range of Services: Not every plumbing business can boast of the wide array of services offered by Premier Plumbing. From general maintenance to specialized tasks such as backflow valves and snow melt systems, our team is trained and equipped to handle it all.

Licensing and Insurance: While some plumbers might operate without the proper paperwork, Premier Plumbing is fully licensed and insured. This not only validates our professionalism but also ensures our customers’ peace of mind.

Continual Training: The world of plumbing isn’t static. New technologies, tools, and methodologies evolve regularly. What differentiates Premier Plumbing is our commitment to continual learning, ensuring we’re always at the forefront of the industry.

Customer Feedback: Beyond the technical aspect, the measure of a good plumber often lies in the satisfaction of their customers. Our long-standing reputation and positive feedback speak volumes about our dedication to quality service.

  1. Plumbing Doesn’t Require Regular Maintenance: 

Many homeowners operate under the belief that their plumbing systems are almost invincible – functioning seamlessly until a significant issue arises. This “out of sight, out of mind” mentality can, unfortunately, lead to unexpected and sometimes costly repairs. Plumbing, like any other essential system in a home, benefits immensely from regular check-ups. Just as we wouldn’t wait for our car to break down before taking it to the mechanic, we shouldn’t wait for a plumbing catastrophe to give our systems the attention they deserve. Regular maintenance not only identifies potential problems but can also extend the life of your plumbing fixtures, ensuring they operate at optimal efficiency.

Now, what does “regular maintenance” entail? It goes beyond just watching out for obvious leaks. It involves inspecting faucets for drips, checking under sinks for signs of moisture, ensuring drains flow freely, and having your water heater inspected for sediment build-up or corrosion. Seasonal checks, like ensuring outdoor faucets are winterized or checking sump pumps before the rainy season, can prevent bigger issues down the line. By embracing a proactive approach and scheduling routine inspections with experts like Premier Plumbing, homeowners can save money, conserve water, and enjoy peace of mind.

  1. Toilet Tablets with Bleach Keep Toilets Clean: 

There’s a certain allure to those blue tablets that promise to keep your toilet sparkling clean with every flush. After all, if a tablet can lighten the load of scrubbing and scouring, why not use it? The primary active ingredient in many of these tablets is bleach, which undoubtedly has powerful cleaning and disinfecting properties. On the surface, it seems like a match made in sanitation heaven. A toilet that’s not only clean but also free from germs, with minimal effort from your side.

However, there’s a hidden side to these convenient cleaners. Over time, these tablets can break down the integral parts inside your toilet tank. Rubber components such as flappers and seals can deteriorate faster due to the constant exposure to the harsh chemicals. This not only reduces the efficiency of the flush but can also lead to silent leaks, increasing water bills without homeowners even realizing it. Moreover, the blue dyes in some products can also cause unsightly stains that are difficult to remove. Instead of relying solely on these tablets, a more sustainable approach would be to regularly clean your toilet using mild, septic-safe cleaners and to periodically inspect the components in the tank for wear and tear.

  1. A Dripping Faucet Isn’t a Big Deal: 

Those small drips add up and can significantly increase your water bill. It’s also wasteful from an environmental standpoint. Premier Plumbing can quickly address such issues, saving you money in the long run.

Firstly, the financial aspect. Those small drips, over time, accumulate. A faucet that drips just once every second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water in a year – that’s the amount of water needed for over 180 showers! This waste will inevitably be reflected in the water bill, turning what seemed like a negligible issue into a silent financial drain.

But it’s not just about money. Freshwater is one of our planet’s most precious resources. With increasing water scarcity issues around the globe, every drop counts. By letting a faucet continuously drip, we’re contributing to unnecessary water waste. This is especially concerning when considering the energy and resources used to treat and deliver that water to our homes.

Additionally, a dripping faucet can be a symptom of a larger problem. It might indicate wear and tear on seals, increasing the risk of more significant leaks in the future, or even damage to the plumbing fixtures themselves.

  1. Soap and Water is Enough to Clean Fixtures

Soap and water have been cleaning allies for centuries. Many homeowners believe that this classic combination is perfect for cleaning all household items, including plumbing fixtures. After all, if soap cleans our hands and bodies, it should work just as well for faucets and showerheads, right?

While soap and water can clean surface dirt and grime effectively, they might not be the best choice for plumbing fixtures, especially those with finishes like brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze. Soap can leave behind a filmy residue which, over time, dulls the fixture’s finish. Moreover, mineral-rich hard water can cause spots and discolorations that soap struggles to address. For best results, it’s crucial to use cleaning products specifically designed for your fixture’s material or consult with plumbing experts for cleaning recommendations. Remember, proper care can extend the lifespan and maintain the aesthetics of your plumbing fixtures.

  1. Flushable Wipes are Safe for Sewer Systems:

Flushable” wipes have gained popularity due to their convenience. Many believe that if the packaging claims they’re safe for sewer systems, then they must be. A quick wipe down, a flush, and it’s out of sight and out of mind.

The reality, however, is more problematic. While these wipes might go down the toilet with ease, they don’t break down as quickly as regular toilet paper in water. As a result, they can accumulate, mingle with other debris, and form substantial blockages in sewer systems, aptly named “fatbergs.” These blockages can lead to significant plumbing issues, sewage backflows, and hefty repair bills. It’s always best to dispose of wipes in the trash. As the saying goes, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Being mindful of what goes down the drain can save homeowners from future headaches.

  1. Hot Water Melts Grease in Pipes:

Pouring hot water down the sink after disposing of grease is a practice adopted by many. The logic seems sound on the surface – hot water melts the grease, allowing it to flow smoothly through pipes. However, this is a misconception that can lead to unexpected plumbing woes.

While hot water might initially melt or liquefy the grease, it doesn’t stay hot forever. As it cools down while traveling through the pipes, the grease starts solidifying again, sticking to the pipe walls and causing blockages over time. This is especially problematic in areas with cooler underground temperatures. Instead of relying on hot water, the best practice is to avoid pouring grease down the sink altogether. Collect it in a container, allow it to solidify, and dispose of it in the trash. A little awareness and preventive action can go a long way in maintaining a free-flowing plumbing system.

  1. Plungers Can Clear All Clogs: 

Plungers have become the iconic go-to tool for many homeowners when faced with a clog, often seen as the one-size-fits-all solution. In many cases, the suction they create can effectively dislodge minor blockages, restoring water flow. Whether it’s a clump of hair or accumulated soap scum, a good plunging can get things moving again.

However, not all clogs are created equal. Deep-set blockages, or those caused by more stubborn materials like tree roots or hard foreign objects, are beyond a plunger’s reach. Relentlessly plunging without results can even exacerbate the problem, pushing the blockage further down or damaging the pipes. In such scenarios, professional intervention becomes necessary. Advanced techniques, like hydro jetting or snaking offered by experienced teams like Premier Plumbing, ensure the root of the issue is addressed without causing harm to your plumbing system.

Why Premier Plumbing is Different

Navigating the world of plumbing can seem daunting, filled with misconceptions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. While some of these myths might sound harmless or even logical on the surface, they can lead to unnecessary costs, time-consuming repairs, and additional stress for homeowners. It’s crucial to approach plumbing with a mix of informed skepticism and a willingness to seek expert advice when needed.

Premier Plumbing, serving the Greater Toronto and Scarborough areas, prides itself on its 15+ years of expertise, aiming to debunk these myths and offer trustworthy, efficient solutions. Our commitment isn’t just about fixing pipes and drains; it’s about empowering our community with knowledge, ensuring everyone can make informed decisions about their homes.

In this ever-evolving world, one thing remains constant: the value of reliable, professional guidance. As you reflect on these debunked myths, consider how many might have influenced your choices in the past. And remember, the next time you encounter a plumbing dilemma, expert advice is just a call away.
By being proactive, staying informed, and partnering with experienced professionals like Premier Plumbing, homeowners can ensure a well-maintained, efficient plumbing system that stands the test of time.

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