If you grew up with certain beliefs about your plumbing, you may believe you are doing things that are not harmful to your pipes and fixtures. However, believing the following myths may cause damage to your home's plumbing.
Any Food Can Go Into The Garbage Disposal With Enough Water
Whenever you use your garbage disposal, you may believe that, if you water through the drain hard and fast enough, that the appliance can easily chop up any food. You may also think that these tiny pieces will flow smoothly through the pipes and out to the sewer. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Some food items, such as banana peels, are very tough to cut. You only need to try to cut into the skin of a banana with a knife to feel the resistance. Even with a full stream of water, your garbage disposal cannot cut the peel fully. This not only dulls the blades on the disposal, but the big pieces of peel could end up stuck in your pipes.
When you run across a tough food, either chop it up before placing it down the garbage disposal or throw it in the garbage. This could save you costly disposal repairs, as well as decrease the risk of having a clogged up sewer line.
Dish Water Automatically Cleans Your Kitchen's Drains
Every time after you wash your dishes and you drain the sink, you may think that the dish detergent in the water automatically cleans the insides of your drains and pipes. After all, the detergent cuts the grease on your dinner dishes, so it can do the same thing to your drains, right?
Once again, this is incorrect. While the dish detergent may clean out some of the surface grease and oil, it cannot cut into any food particles or heavy grease that has started to cling to your drains. Even putting straight grease-cutting detergent down your drain cannot remove the old crusty layer forming on the wall.
If you want to prevent a clogged kitchen drain, there is something you can do once a month to help dissolve the grease. First, pour a couple of cups of hot boiling water down the drain to loosen up the grime. Follow the water with a cup each of baking soda and white distilled vinegar. The acidity in the vinegar breaks down the hard top layer. When the baking soda is added, the foaming reaction caused by the acid and base mixing creates a deep-cleaning, effervescent effect.
Sewer Lines Only Need Maintenance When They Clog Up
Another myth you may believe is that your sewer lines only need attention if they are clogged up. As long as your sinks and shower are draining, there cannot be a problem. However, your sewer lines may need a little more attention than what you are giving them.
Even if everything is draining properly, there could be an unseen problem brewing deep within the sewer line. There could be a partial clog caused by a partially mutilated banana peel, or tree roots may have grown into the pipes where they start catching anything solid that goes through them, such as toilet paper.
A few times a year, you should check the sewer cleanout to see if the lines need to be cleaned out. After you locate the sewer cleanout, see if the sewage has backed up to the top of the vent. If so, you may have a clog down the line that requires clearing out. If the though of doing this yourself is unpleasant, you may want to contact a plumber to do it for you.
Changing the way you treat your home's plumbing could save it from clogs and other damage. However, if you think that some of your previous practices may have jeopardized your plumbing, you may want to contact plumbing services to have a contractor inspect your pipes and discuss any issue and possible solutions.