There are a lot of popular ideas floating around about plumbing and what homeowners can do to optimize these systems. While some of these ideas are true, many are simply untrue and costing homeowners a lot of undue stress and expense. Here, we’re going to bust some common plumbing myths to help Boston homeowners make smarter decisions that will result in more savings and fewer plumbing issues.

Myth #1: “Flushable” items are really flushable.
Despite what some products claim, the only things that toilets can handle are waste, water, and toilet paper. That’s it! Anytime you see baby wipes, wet wipes, or tissues being dvertised as “flushable”, resist the urge to believe it. You might get away with flushing these items a handful of times, but it only takes one to cause a plumbing disaster. When something gets stuck inside your pluming system, it can create a nasty backup that eventually leaks into your home. Avoid the hassle and protect your piping by throwing “flushable” items in the trash.

Myth #2: Garbage disposals can handle anything.
The name garbage disposal is a slight misnomer. Although these devices can handle an impressive amount of food waste, there’s a lot that Boston homeowners shouldn’t be throwing down the kitchen sink. The following common food-waste items can end up damaging your garbage disposal over time.

  • Grease
  • Coffee grounds
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vegetable peels
  • Eggshells
  • Cornhusks
  • Bones

Accidentally tossing a few of these items down the drain every once in a while isn’t going to cause a major problem. However, your garbage disposal will become damaged over time when misused, resulting in expensive repairs.

Myth #3: Water heaters can explode when pressure builds.
Everyone has heard horror stories of malfunctioning water heaters exploding and causing extensive damage and even death. While there’s some truth to this myth, the potential is blown out of proportion. Government regulations ensure that all modern water heaters are equipped with TPR  valves that relieve pressure and temperature when these factors exceed safe levels. This safety mechanism along with other important mitigation measures have significantly reduced the number of water heater explosions to the point where they’re no longer a reasonable concern for homeowners. However, it’s still important to get receive regular water heater servicing to ensure the TPR valve is working correctly.

Myth #4: Pouring chemicals down the drain will fix clogs.
Another common plumbing misconception costing Boston homeowners a lot of money is the belief that chemicals are the answer to clogged pipes. The idea behind this myth is that chemicals can break down whatever is backing up your plumbing. While it’s true that some chemicals might be able to disrupt a clog, they’re also damaging your home’s piping. Even products advertised as drain cleaners can erode the inner coating of your plumbing when used excessively. If your system is backed up, call a professional plumber to handle it.

Myth #5: All plumbing projects are DIY-friendly.
There’s something about plumbing that’s less imposing than other systems in your home. The misleading simplicity of piping leads many homeowners to assume that all plumbing projects are DIY-friendly. If you have the right equipment and some technical know-how, you shouldn’t have any problem tackling minor tasks here and there. But it’s the bigger projects with higher stakes that end up costing homeowners a lot of hassle and money. After all, the bill to clean up the mess caused by a botched DIY job often overshadows the initial cost of hiring a professional.

Myth #6: Tightening knobs excessively can prevent leaks.
Nobody wants a leaky faucet. Not only does it produce an annoying sound, but it can also lead to higher water bills. In an effort to prevent leaks, many Boston homeowners over-tighten their knobs thinking the extra pressure will create a better seal to prevent any water from sneaking through. Unfortunately, this forced tightening can actually lead to damaged valves and knobs which contribute to leaky faucets instead of preventing them. You should only turn a faucet handle until it stops. Everything after that point is unnecessary and potentially damaging.

Looking to get in touch with a reputable plumbing specialist in Boston? You’re in the right place! Boston Standard Plumbing has been offering comprehensive plumbing maintenance and repair services to Boston homeowners for years. We’d be honored to work with you next! Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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