An important aspect of homeownership is knowing how to maintain your plumbing system and avoid the things that may damage it. Plumbing is an industry with a lot of information, and unfortunately, some information can be misleading or incorrect and lead to unnecessary expenditures. Here are five of the most common home plumbing myths you’ll want to avoid to help you get the most out of your system.

Myth: You Can Use Lemons to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Running lemons through your garbage disposal may help to mask any odor residing, but they will do next to nothing to actually clean it. Just like leftovers, they’ll take up space in your garbage disposal and in the end, will be a waste of money… and lemons.

To properly disinfect your garbage disposal, using a cleaning solution containing mild soap and warm water will do the trick. Before attempting to clean it, you’ll want to ensure that you disconnect your disposal from its power source to eliminate the risk of potential accidents. Spray the cleaning solution into your disposal and wait a few minutes, giving it time to work. Then, taking a cleaning brush, begin scrubbing the inside of your disposal. While there are disposal-specific cleaners on the market that can assist with cleaning, remember to never pour cleaning solvents such as bleach, drain cleaners or other harsh chemicals down your drain as they can cause the unit to erode over time.

On a similar note, using ice to “sharpen blades” doesn’t actually work as garbage disposals don’t have blades. They instead utilize a system of shredding impellers to break down food and waste.

Myth: Running Water While Using the Garbage Disposal Helps Waste Travel Smoothly

There is a popular misconception that as long as you’re continuously running water while your garbage disposal is running, you can put almost anything in it. The truth is, not everything belongs in your disposal, no matter how much water you run through it. Hard or thick food items, such as banana peels or egg shells can clog, back up, and cause damage to your disposal, requiring expensive repairs and drain cleaning. You can learn more about your home’s garbage disposal here.

Myth: As Long As Things Keep Going Down The Drain, It Isn’t Getting Clogged

While things may seem to be operating as usual, your drains are still at risk of serious clogs. Early warning signs to keep an eye out for that are a concern for impending problems are slow-moving disposals and waste fragments that continue to remain in the discharge pipe. Noticing either of these signs may indicate a clog is developing and it’s best to cease use until a professional plumber can remove the blockage.

Myth: You Can Clean Plumbing Fixtures With Hand Soap

In the same way as any other fixture or piece of furniture within your home, they require specific cleaning methods and solutions. When it comes to your plumbing fixtures, cleaning them with regular hand soap is not advised, as there is a possibility that it could damage their surface. Brass plumbing fixtures, for example, should be cleaned with gentle solutions such as mild soap, warm water, and a polishing or microfiber cloth. Toilet bowls, however, need to be cleaned with an effective disinfectant to kill germs and prevent them from spreading. Using proper cleaners that are formulated to rinse clean can also help get rid of unwanted and unsightly water spots that normal soapy water might leave behind.

Myth: Plumbing Requires Little To No Maintenance

This is one of the most expensive home plumbing myths because homeowners who believe it may run into some serious issues later on. Pipes may be obstructed by clogs, wayward tree roots, or shifting home foundations. Homeowners should also inspect their sewer cleanouts for obstructions, and property managers need to check their drainage lines and lift stations. All of these issues may lead to expensive plumbing repairs, such as unclogging sewer lines, repiping your home, or lift station motor repair. The fixtures inside the home such as sinks, faucets, and tubs also need regular maintenance to avoid serious drain clogs.

Contact the Avis Experts

If you need help with maintaining the plumbing system in your home, eliminate the dangerous guesswork and call the Southwest Florida plumbing professionals at Avis Plumbing today. Our licensed and insured technicians are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach Avis Plumbing at (239) 542-4421 or (239) 481-1511.

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