Plumbing Myths Debunked

Plumbing Myths Debunked: Separating Fact from Fiction

Isn’t it amazing how accessible information is on the internet? We can simply hop online, ask a question, or seek a service, and voila! We usually find what we’re looking for, or so we think. The beauty of the internet is also its challenge: everyone has a voice, and sometimes opinions are mistaken for facts. But hey, that’s the dynamic nature of the online world! Break free from the confusion and uncertainty with these plumbing myths debunked, guiding you towards effective solutions for your plumbing needs.

Take the plumbing industry, for example. It’s no secret that it’s rife with misinformation. One common issue is that many articles or blog posts you find aren’t written by actual plumbers—they’re often penned by researchers or writers. These individuals may not have hands-on plumbing experience. They might conduct a quick search on a topic and then craft an article, whether it’s accurate or not.

No worries! In this post, we’ll uncover some of the most outrageous falsehoods perpetuated by plumbing companies. It’s all about empowering ourselves with knowledge and discernment in this vast sea of information.

Big B's Plumbing - Your Plumber for Life!

First Plumbing Myth Debunked Starts With Your Garbage Disposal 

I started by doing a Google search. This is what I typed in my Google search: 

“Sharpen your garbage disposal blades with ice cubes.” 

The top two searches were large plumbing, heating, and air companies. This was one direct quote:

“But what about those myths that ice cubes can help sharpen garbage disposal blades? Is there any truth to them?

The response to whether or not grinding ice is worthwhile is up in the air. While some people swear by the method, others say it does nothing to improve the performance of their garbage disposal”.

Pure junk!

Plumbing Myth Debunked sharpen blades with ice

Let’s Debunk This Plumbing Myth:

In your garbage disposal, two swiveling impellers (not blades) play a crucial role in effortlessly maneuvering food within the chamber. Guaranteeing these impellers maintain smooth rotation is key to optimizing the efficiency of your garbage disposal. 

Even the number one Google search suggested putting ice cubes down the drain to clean its blades. Yes, they still referred to the garbage disposal as having blades.

Can Ice Cubes Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

In our endeavor to find plumbing myths to debunk, we sought to uncover the truth behind using ice cubes to clean residue from our garbage disposals. To our surprise, we have two opinions from experts in their field: Alyssa Wiegand, product manager at Moen, and Eric Schultz, the director of product management at InSinkErator. Here’s what they had to say about cleaning your garbage disposal: 

On the topic of using ice cubes, Eric Schultz, director of product management at InSinkErator, shares some effective tips for keeping your garbage disposal fresh and clean. Utilizing ice cubes to break up any food residue, combined with the germ-killing properties of baking soda and bleach, along with the refreshing scent of lemon, can work wonders.

Try This For Optimal Performance: 

For those who use their disposal regularly, incorporating these simple steps into your weekly routine can provide optimal performance:

Step 1: Start by turning off the disposal and faucet. Then, place six ice cubes in the chamber, followed by one tablespoon of baking soda, three thin lemon slices, and one teaspoon of bleach. Finally, top it off with six more ice cubes.

Step 2: Turn on the disposal without running water until you hear the grinding stop.

Step 3: While the motor is still running, flush the disposal with cold water for 30 seconds.

Alyssa Wiegand highlights cleaning the splash guard as a simple solution for most odors emanating from your garbage disposal. This removable black rubber panel, situated over your sink’s drain hole, can be easily refreshed with warm water and baking soda. Alternatively, you can conveniently place it in the top rack of your dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.

This routine maintenance helps keep your garbage disposal clean and guarantees it functions efficiently daily. Additionally, there are branded garbage disposal cleaners available including Arm and Hammer garbage disposal and drain cleaner. Get the facts straight with plumbing myths debunked, empowering you to make informed decisions about your plumbing systems.

The Second Plumbing Myth Debunked is Drano and Liquid Plumbr Will Eat Your Pipes

Let’s clarify the facts about Liquid Plumbr and Drano: these long-standing products are safe for your pipes and have effectively cleared minor drains for over 60 years. While we don’t actively promote their use, these products can offer a cost-effective solution for customers facing a minor clog in their bathroom drain. It’s important to recognize that many plumbing companies suggesting these products will harm your drains must not fully understand the science behind them.

The problem with using caustic chemicals like Drano is that they can harm people, including plumbers because they contain lye, a potent substance intended to dissolve clogs in drains. However, if the clog isn’t cleared, the chemical residue can pose risks to plumbers when they use tools like plumbers snake to remove the blockage. Exposure to lye can lead to burns and even blindness.

Sometimes, a plumber will ask the customer if they have used a drain cleaner before clearing the drain. Both companies have developed a gel to prevent splashes, and the product sinks to the clog quickly. So, use common sense, caution, and only use as directed. 

Before You Hire A Plumber, Try To Clear The Drain Yourself Using a Gentle Drain Cleaners

These Products are Formulated to Dissolve Organic Materials Like Hair, Bathroom Products, and Fat

Fortunately, Drano is safe for PVC and metal pipes, as it’s formulated to dissolve organic materials like hair, bathroom products, and grease—common culprits of clogs. It’s essential to recognize that lye, a base, does not react with metals, unlike acids that can corrode pipes. While Drano and Liquid Plumbr won’t harm your pipes, it’s crucial to handle them with care. Remember to thoroughly rinse the sink and drain afterward to ensure your safety. So let’s arm ourselves with knowledge through plumbing myths debunked, ensuring your plumbing maintenance is based on accurate information.

The Third Plumbing Myth Debunked Vinegar and Baking Soda Will Clear Your Clogged Drain

We’ve heard plumbers and plumbing companies offer baking soda and vinegar as a drain cleaning solution for years. Nine out of ten plumbing blogs have a post on clearing a clogged drain using baking soda and vinegar. So, let’s dive in and check out the facts.

The Fascinating Science Behind Vinegar and Baking Soda 

Let’s explore the intriguing science behind concocting our homemade remedies and cleaners. Understanding the chemical interactions involved is key to effectively formulating DIY solutions. Alexis Rochester, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Chemistry, has penned an enlightening e-book. This resource serves as a thorough chemical reference, providing valuable insights into the ingredients frequently employed in DIY cleaners, such as vinegar and baking soda.

The interaction between vinegar and baking soda follows the same fundamental principles. When combined, these substances undergo a remarkable chemical transformation. Grasping this reaction is essential for harnessing the complete effectiveness of vinegar and baking soda across a range of cleaning applications. Discover the reality of plumbing myths debunked through careful examination and expert insight.

More Insight Into the Chemistry 

Alexis Rochester offers insight into the chemistry underlying the interaction of baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda, scientifically termed sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), acts as an alkaline substance due to its alkaline properties. Conversely, vinegar, or acetic acid (CH3COOH), is highly acidic, evidenced by its low pH level, making it effective for removing stains and debris.

When these two substances combine, they undergo a fascinating chemical reaction: NaHCO3 + CH3COOH → NaC2H3O2 (sodium acetate) + H2O (water) + CO2 (carbon dioxide)

This reaction often results in bubbling and fizzing, a captivating sight that many of us have observed when mixing vinegar and baking soda. Witnessing this reaction can spark some individuals’ early fascination with chemical reactions and scientific principles.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Once The Reaction Occurs, it is Complete

When vinegar and baking soda come together, they initiate an intriguing chemical reaction. This reaction yields water and carbon dioxide, leading to the formation of gas bubbles. Additionally, it generates sodium acetate, a salt that leans toward the basic end of the pH scale. While the reaction tends towards neutralization on the pH scale, it doesn’t achieve complete neutralization.

It’s important to recognize that once the reaction occurs, it is complete. After mixing vinegar and baking soda, the reaction progresses with bubbling, fizzing, and eventually ends. However, it’s worth noting that this reaction doesn’t repeat, especially in cleaning applications.

For instance, vinegar and baking soda are used separately in a homemade carpet cleaner recipe. When applied together, the reaction aids in effectively breaking up stains. However, after this initial reaction, they do not react again. Understanding that the reaction occurs only once is crucial for grasping cleaning efficiency.

Debunking Common Plumbing Myths 

We hope this provides valuable insights into proper maintenance and care for your plumbing systems. By dispelling these misconceptions, we empower ourselves to make informed decisions and take proactive measures to safeguard our plumbing infrastructure. Remember, relying on evidence-based information and professional advice is essential for ensuring your plumbing fixtures’ longevity and optimal performance. Let’s continue to seek accurate knowledge and stay vigilant against misinformation, fostering a healthier and more efficient plumbing environment for all. So, let’s uncover the hidden truths with plumbing myths debunked, shedding light on misconceptions that may impact your home.

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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