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Plumbing Myths: Flushable Wipes, Grease, Garbage Disposal

Plumbing Myths: Flushable Wipes, Grease, Garbage Disposal

The world of home plumbing is one where homeowners will need at least a little bit of proper knowledge, even if you work with a trusted plumber regularly. Simple day-to-day care of your plumbing system is important, and having the right information is part of this -- which is why it's so unfortunate that a number of common myths regarding the plumbing world remain quite popular among some homeowners today. 

At Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we're happy to not only offer a wide range of plumbing services, spanning from simple repairs and maintenance through major jobs like sewer line repair and much more, but also to provide our clients with expertise and useful information about their system. In this two-part blog series, we'll go over some of the most frequent myths we've heard bandied about when it comes to plumbing and plumbing care, plus the proper information in each of these areas.

Myth #1: "Flushable" Wipes Are Properly Labeled

Chances are you've seen a variety of "flushable" wipes out there, marketed for purposes like feminine hygiene, baby care, and even as general-purpose disinfectants. And while it might seem like a good idea to just pop one of these into the toilet and give them a quick flush when you're done using them, doing so can actually cause some serious damage to your plumbing system.

These wipes may be labeled as "flushable," but they simply are not in reality. Unlike standard toilet paper, which is designed to break down and dissolve in water, wipes often don't have this same property. What happens instead is that they can form something called a "wet wipe clog" -- a blockage in your plumbing that can be very difficult (and expensive) to clear.

The moral of the story? If it's not toilet paper or human waste, don't flush it. Throw it in the trash can instead.

Myth #2: Hot Water Can Dissolve Grease Clogs

One of the most common types of plumbing clogs is one that's caused by grease build-up. And while it's true that very hot water may temporarily dissolve such a clog in your pipes, most who propagate this myth aren't thinking it through to the next phase: When the hot water is gone, the grease will simply re-solidify and you'll be right back where you started.

Rather, pouring grease down the drain should generally be avoided altogether. When cooking, try to let the grease cool and solidify before disposing of it in the trash can. If you do happen to have a grease clog in your pipes, there are special products and methods that can be used to clear it -- so please don't try to go at it with hot water on your own.

Myth #3: Ice Cubes Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

We're not sure where this one came from, but it seems to be a pretty popular belief among homeowners. The idea is that if your garbage disposal isn't cutting through food waste as easily as it used to, you can give it a quick sharpening by throwing in a few ice cubes.

The reality, unfortunately, is that this will do nothing more than dull your blades and may even damage them. In fact, a number of disposal manufacturers actually recommend against using ice cubes in this way. So if your disposal is giving you problems, it's best to call a plumber rather than try to fix it yourself.

For more on the common plumbing myths out there and how to correct them if you hear them, or to learn about any of our plumbing services in Millcreek or nearby areas, contact the pros at Neighborly Plumbing & Services today.

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To serve our Wasatch neighbors in their plumbing, drain, and renovation needs. We are committed to giving you a reliable, fair, and ethical service with our local, experienced team. We strive to ensure that once our services are done, you will never need to call another plumber again.
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