Demystifying Nine Common Plumbing Myths

It’s true — you can’t believe everything you see on the internet! There is a lot of great advice out there for do-it-yourselfers, but some of those well-intentioned tutorials can steer you wrong. The experts at 20/20 Plumbing & Heating, Inc. are here to help by debunking some of the most common plumbing myths and keeping your home maintenance projects from circling the drain.

Kitchen Catastrophes

If Water is Moving, There’s Nothing to Worry About

Just because water seems to be going down the drain, don’t assume there is nothing lurking in your pipes. Some things should never be put in your drain or garbage disposal — like grease, rice, pasta and potato peels. Over time, these items can work together to cause buildup and blockages.

Garbage Disposals Should be Lemony Fresh

It’s a common myth that putting lemons in your garbage disposal is the perfect way to keep it clean and smelling fresh. While lemons smell good, the truth is that the citric acid will eventually erode the blades.

Hot Water Melts Grease 

It’s okay to pour grease and oil down the garbage disposal as long as you run hot water with it, right? Wrong. It’s true that hot water will break down the grease going into your pipes, but once the grease cools, it will re-solidify. Eventually, it will attract hair and other particles, leading to future clogs.

It’s Okay to Use Liquid Drain Cleaners

When you have a household clog, the easiest thing to do is reach for a bottle of drain cleaner. However, these harsh chemicals can damage your pipes and fixtures — leading to far more expensive problems. We recommend using a drain snake instead. If you do opt to use a drain cleaner, never plunge! This will bring the corrosive chemicals back to the surface, causing further damage and also exposing you to hazardous fumes. 

Potty Problems

In-Tank Cleaners Keep Toilets Tidy

Those drop-in tabs sure seem like an easy way to keep the toilet clean. However, they only create the illusion of clean by bleaching the scum that collects around the bowl. Meanwhile, scum continues to build up. Excessive use of bleach can also damage surfaces and pipes over time. It’s better to give the bowl a regular scrub with cleaners recommended for this purpose.

It’s Okay to Flush Those “Flushable” Wipes

As expert, we’re here to tell you that “flushable” wipes aren’t really flushable. Since they don’t break down quickly, they cause problems for sewers and septic systems alike, blocking the systems and causing backups and damage. Our best advice is to flush human waste and toilet paper only.

It’s Okay to Flush Cat Litter

Uh, no way. Besides risking clogging your pipes, cat feces contains parasites that are harmful to humans (especially pregnant women) and marine animals. It’s best not to risk introducing these parasites to the local water cycle.

You Can Save Water by Putting a Brick in the Tank

First of all, you don’t save water if water volume is too low and you have to flush twice. Further, the brick will erode over time, scattering abrasive particles throughout your tank. These will ultimately damage your toilet’s parts. 

And now the Lightning Round …

Lightning Can’t Travel Through Pipes

This is actually a myth! Lightning can travel through your metal pipes, since they serve as a conductor. If lightning strikes an exterior pipe, it can travel across your entire plumbing system. PVC piping can reduce this risk, although water itself can be an effective conductor. To remain safe, avoid taking showers and baths during lightning storms.

Some plumbing problems require the help of a professional. When they do, 20/20 has you covered. An industry leader in California and Nevada since 2015, 20/20 delivers reliable, state-of-the-art service. Our skilled tradespeople have the training and resources to help with your most challenging plumbing needs — on-time and in-budget. Contact 20/20 Plumbing & Heating to schedule service at: (844) 676-2020 or