Six of the Most Popular Plumbing Myths.

When it comes to the sewer system, there’s plenty of myths floating about. The average person has their own ideas and backhand knowledge about what it takes to keep your pipes flowing smoothly. Falling victim to these myths can create an expensive plumbing issue. By debunking some of the most popular myths, we hope to prevent you from having to pay hundreds (or even thousands) to get out of a sticky situation. Here are six popular plumbing myths:

1. Coca-Cola Can Fix A Clogged Drain

This is a tricky myth that can be true—depending on your situation. The fact is, in some cases, Coca-Cola can actually fix a clogged drain if treated carefully. This is because soda contains phosphoric acid, a mineral found in many drinks and foods, thanks to its ability to add flavor. Allow a two-liter bottle to sit at room temperature, and then slowly pour it down the drain. Let it sit for 24 hours, and then pour boiling water down the drain, and flush or run the faucet as necessary.

However, there are many cases where phosphoric acid won’t be able to help your situation. There might be an obstruction that simply cannot be dissolved, or the issue could be more serious than a simple clog. If you still have issues with a clogged drain, you’ll need a professional to get it fixed.

According to Fix It Right Plumbing, one of the premier Frankston plumbing companies, a seriously clogged drain could require advanced machinery to fix. “The plumbing industry has come a long way in the past 10 years and drain technology has been leading the pack in terms of new tools and devices to help clear drains and also keep them cleared once the drain is open,” they said in a blog post.

2. Ice Cubes Can Sharpen A Garbage Disposal

This myth perpetuates the idea the when you toss ice cubes into the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, it will sharpen the blades. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Garbage disposals use impellers to grind solids into liquids, and throwing in a little ice and salt could help clean it, but certainly won’t sharpen it.

3. You Can Flush Your Cat Litter

It’s true that some cat litter can be flushed down the drain, especially because it’s water soluble. However, it’s strongly advised that you don’t flush any cat litter down the drain, under any circumstances. While plain cat litter is fine, the fact is, most people aren’t flushing pure cat litter.

Because of this, what’s most problematic is the fact that cat poop can expose people to a toxic parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which is especially harmful to pregnant women. Furthermore, because cat litter is designed to absorb moisture, it could expand and cause clogs in the drain.

4. Hot Water Can Melt Grease

If you put hot water down the sink with grease, it can help melt it down the drain. But it doesn’t do much help with it beyond that. Once liquid grease goes down the sink, it can solidify, and then it’s able to attract hair, food, lint and other objects that are sent down the train. This can clog the drain quite deeply, and will become more expensive to reach and rectify via professional plumbing services.

5. Toilets Flush In The Other Direction South of the Equator

It’s a popular myth that in countries south of the equator, such as in Australia; toilets flush in the other direction—counter-clockwise. This is because many people falsely believe that the Earth’s rotation affects the flow of water in your toilet.

Others believe this is true because of the Coriolis Effect—the phenomena that occurs when a cyclone rotates differently across the Northern and Southern hemispheres. However, this happens with cyclones because of the amount of water that’s present; and there isn’t nearly enough water in a toilet bowl to produce the same effect. In reality, the rotation of water actually depends on how the toilet is built and the direction of its jets.

6. Flushable Wipes Are Just As Safe As Toilet Paper

Flushable wipes are designed to flush down the toilet just as fluidly and safely as toilet paper. However, they don’t decompose the same way toilet paper does and could even be damaging to sewers. Because they don’t disintegrate like toilet paper; it can clog sewers and result in about $100,000 worth of maintenance damage annually. Sonia Harvat, a spokeswoman for Metro Water and Sewer in Arizona, said in an interview, “They don’t break up. They tear, they get stringy, and that’s really why these shouldn’t be put into a toilet.”

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